Award-winning Aurora
Theatre brings home award from Georgia Downtown Conference

LAWRENCEVILLE - Chalk one up for the city and its Aurora Theatre.

At the annual Georgia Downtown Conference in Douglasville, which took place Oct. 1 to 3, Lawrenceville's Aurora Theatre brought home the city's very first award since the Main Street program began in 1980.

According to Jay Markwalter of the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association, the award is a win for the city, its residents and the businesses that want to call downtown home.

"The Aurora Theatre is an anchor attraction, not only for events and shows, but also as an economic development engine for the downtown," Markwalter said. "It's great for the thousands of people who want to stroll the streets of the downtown or for the businesses who want to set up there to attract these people in. It's a validation of the efforts made in revitalization."

The Georgia Downtown Awards were established to recognize individuals, downtown programs and businesses that have demonstrated unique efforts in making a difference in their downtowns. In Douglasville, more than 200 of Georgia's downtown professionals gathered to plan for the future and commend those who have made a difference in their downtown areas. The award categories focused on organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. The Aurora Theatre and Lawrenceville won in the design category for "Sensitive Rehabilitation with Infill." Also taking home an award in the economic restructuring category was the city of Suwanee and the town center. It won the "Best Problem Solving" award.

Jeff Seeley, an architect with Foreman Seeley Fountain which did the work on the Aurora, said it's a great award for the city and the theatre and nice as an architect to be recognized for the design.

"That building is an historic old church and we wanted to keep it like that as much as possible," Seeley said. "We wanted to keep up the character of that building and do an addition that belonged."