A National Historic Landmark Est. 1875

A Chautauqua on Lake Michigan

Archived Press Releases

Bay View Makes the Top 10 "Prettiest Painted Places" in North Central U.S.


October 3, 2012

The search for the “Prettiest Painted Places in America” is narrowing, with 10 finalists from the North Central U.S. named by the Paint Quality Institute, an informational entity whose mission is to educate the public about quality paints and coatings.

The 10 finalists are:  Aurora, Illinois;  Bay View Association, Michigan;  Evansville, Wisconsin;  Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota/Minnesota;  Galena, Illinois;  Grinnell, Iowa;  Lowry Hill East, Minnesota;  Richmond, Indiana;  Saugatuck-Douglas, Michigan;  and Stillwater, Minnesota.   

After further evaluation, two of the 10 will be named the prettiest painted places in the North Central U.S., alongside winners from five other regions, to make up the 12 prettiest painted places in America.  

A “prettiest painted place” is a special town or neighborhood with exceptional community-wide “curb appeal” due to optically pleasing or creative use of exterior paint color, according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute.

“One typically thinks of curb appeal defined by beautiful color schemes on homes or buildings, and that’s the case most of the time, but exquisite outdoor murals and creative use of paint color on statues, signage, traffic signals, water towers, and even streets and sidewalks have elevated the appearance of many of today’s prettiest communities,” she said.

The search for America’s prettiest painted places began this spring, when the Paint Quality Institute contacted state departments of tourism, local chambers of commerce, and convention and visitors bureaus in all 50 states.  Eventually, nearly 200 towns, historic districts, neighborhoods and Main Streets were nominated in the competition. 

Last week, a panel of judges with expertise in color selection, exterior painting, and home improvement reviewed the entries and narrowed the field to 60 finalists, 10 from each of six geographic regions.  The 12 national winners will be named later this month.

This is the third time the Paint Quality Institute has conducted a search for the prettiest painted places in America.  It held the first competition in the 1990s, and another in year 2000.

According to Zimmer, the purpose of the competition is to give recognition to places that use paint to express pride in their communities, and highlight how an attractive exterior paint treatment can enhance the curb appeal of virtually any home, building or exterior structure.

To see a complete list of the 60 finalists involved in the search for the “Prettiest Painted Places in America”, visit http://blog.paintquality.com/ppp/

Bay View Nominated as America's Prettiest Painted Place


September 18, 2012

Bay View is one of hundreds of attractive towns and neighborhoods that will compete this summer in a national contest to find the “Prettiest Painted Places in America”.

The competition, which is sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute, a leading source of information on paints and coatings, was last conducted in 2000 when towns such as Cape May, New Jersey, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Telluride, Colorado won top honors.

“The purpose of Prettiest Painted Places is to identify and recognize those towns and neighborhoods that best demonstrate how exterior paint can enhance the appearance of an entire community,” according to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute in Spring House, Pa.

“By honoring the most aesthetically-pleasing places, we believe our competition will give everyone an appreciation for the role that exterior paint can play in protecting and enhancing the appearance of any home or building,” she says. Throughout the summer, cities, towns, historical districts, and neighborhoods will be permitted to enter the competition. In September, a panel of judges will choose 60 places as finalists, 10 each from six geographic regions of the U.S.

After further research, a panel of judges from major media outlets will select one small place and one large town or city from each region as the 12 Prettiest Painted Places in America. The winners will be extensively promoted in a national publicity campaign conducted by the Paint Quality Institute.

To learn more about the competition, the public is invited to visit the Paint Quality Institute website at http://blog.paintquality.com/. Information and photo galleries on the 60 finalists will be posted in September.