BLVD Transformation Project garners award

(L to R) Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, The BLVD Association’s Erica Allbee and Myrle McLernon, owner of MDM Architects, show off IDA Pinnacle Award at a press conference Tuesday.

(L to R) Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, The BLVD Association’s Erica Allbee and Myrle McLernon, owner of MDM Architects, show off the IDA Pinnacle Award at a press conference Tuesday.

LANCASTER – Representatives of The BLVD Association and the City of Lancaster have received the International Downtown Association (IDA) Pinnacle Award for The BLVD Transformation Project, city officials announced Tuesday. The project was recognized at the IDA World Congress and 59th Annual Conference, held in New York City.

“This innovative project has transformed an area in the heart of our city into a vibrant center of activity and community,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “From The BLVD’s 53 new businesses to the Museum of Art and History, with events ranging from go-karts racing down city streets at breakneck speeds to traditional Christmas celebrations, there is something downtown for everyone. This project has truly brought our community together. I am deeply honored that the prestigious International Downtown Association has recognized the destination we’ve created right here in Lancaster.”

The BLVD Transformation Project was selected for the Pinnacle Award, the IDA’s top honor, from a pool of 24 projects in the category of Public Space. Elizabeth Moule of architectural and design firm Moule & Polyzoides and David Sargent of Sargent Town Planning served as architect and designer of the project.

Erica Allbee, Vice President of The BLVD Association’s Board of Directors and owner of All About Fitness gym, joined with Sharon Giannini, owner of Giannini’s Bistro & Grill; Myrle McLernon, owner of MDM Architects; and City representative Chenin Dow in accepting the award. Giannini, McLernon, and Dow also hold seats on the Association’s Board of Directors.

“The BLVD has outpaced our highest expectations, becoming a vibrant downtown area far faster than we ever thought possible,” said Allbee. “Businesses are continuing to build, with new ones opening constantly. With amazing special events, a weekly farmer’s market, and a wide variety of businesses offering everything from designer candles and designer jeans to home décor and custom motorcycles, there’s always something to do or see on The BLVD.”

With 550 members and thousands of friends, the Washington, D.C.-based IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.

Awards previously won for The BLVD Transformation Project include the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the 2012 California Redevelopment Association Award of Excellence in Community Revitalization, the 2012 California Downtown Association Award in Physical Improvement, 2011 Outstanding Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association – High Desert Branch, and the 2011 Planning Excellence in Implementation Award of Merit from the American Planning Association – Los Angeles Section.

The IDA Pinnacle Award marks the project’s first international recognition. For more information regarding The BLVD, visit For more information about the IDA, visit

(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)

  7 comments for “BLVD Transformation Project garners award

  1. JJ
    October 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    The BLVD is a joke. Walk a couple blocks south of there and good luck. I don’t see anything appealing about that place.

  2. sickofit
    October 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    They must not take crime rates into consideration. Sounds like a bogus award.

    • William
      October 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      I Googled the summary of the award by that organization. It looked like Parris wrote it himself.

      In case you didn’t already know, the BLVD is the ‘culture capital of northern Los Angeles County’ according to the award summary. It’s as though the award organization had never actually been to the BLVD, just saw some brochures.

      This is like every kid in the 3rd grade getting a gold star. I guess every city that renovates their downtown gets an award.

  3. NotKool!
    October 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Oh look! There’s our Mayor! He needs to put WalMart there in the blvd instead off Quartz Hill!!

  4. danya
    October 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I avoid the Blvd…

  5. QHR
    October 30, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Wish there was more on the BLVD to make it more appealing such as Brand Blvd in Glendale or San Fernando Rd. in Burbank. We need a name brand chain such as Fuddruckers, Hooters, Dave & Busters, Islands Burgers, etc on the Blvd. The idea of the LPAC and the museum is great. Most importantly, the riff raff that hangs around it needs to be cleaned up.

  6. 10dog
    October 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I’m glad someone likes it., I don’t.

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