AUSTIN — The Roche Building in downtown Huntsville was named a finalist for Best Building Restoration by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA). Finalists for TDA’s 2006 President's Awards were selected by a panel of distinguished judges on Sept. 8, in Fort Worth.

Since 1998, more than 100 projects, events and people in Texas downtowns have received statewide recognition.

The award for Best Building Restoration recognizes excellence in the restoration of an existing building in the downtown. Restoration focuses on the retention of materials from the most significant time in a property's history, while permitting the removal of materials from other periods. The other finalists for Best Building Restoration are Suga’s Deep South Cuisine in Beaumont, the Farmersville Times Building in Farmersville and the Mineola Depot Transportation Plaza in Mineola.

“I was especially impressed with the restoration of the doors and windows,” said Bob Ray Sanders, editor and columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and an awards judge for the annual competition. “The interior design was also very well done.”

“The fact that our restoration effort would even be considered in this group of impressive entries; one of them having grant amounts in excess of $600,000 to work with is very exciting. Bill and I are honored just to have made it into the top four,” Becky Roche remarked when told of the Roche Building being named a finalist for Best Building Restoration the recognition.

Representatives from Huntsville will make a presentation to a statewide audience at the annual conference of the Texas Downtown Association and Texas Main Street Program in San Angelo on Nov. 16. Winners are announced at the awards gala that evening. The annual conference, “A River Runs Through It — Building on Your Assets,” also celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Texas Main Street Program.

“I feel very grateful to be able to speak of the time and effort Dr. William Roche and his wife Becky have poured into their family dentistry building at the corner of University Avenue and 12th Street on the downtown square,” said Harold Hutcheson, Huntsville Main Street program coordinator. “The two of them turned a very tired, old building into a state-of-the-art dentist office and restored the building to its once stately appearance at the same time. This proves again Huntsville’s history need not die in the name of progress.”

A panel of distinguished judges selected the TDA awards finalists and winners. The panel included Susan Campbell, economic development coordinator and Main Street manager, city of Bowie; Ray Reed, Southwest regional advertising manager, Southern Living; Bob Ray Sanders, vice president, associate editor, columnist, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and professor, Texas Christian University; Wendy Shabay, planner, Freese and Nichols; and Jim Wilson, AIA, Jim Wilson Architects.

TDA is a statewide nonprofit organization comprising more than 400 members involved in more than $1 billion in downtown revitalization projects. By fostering development and revitalization, TDA strives to enhance the economic vitality of Texas downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts by providing resources, networking opportunities, education and advocacy. For more information, including the complete list of awards finalists, visit

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