Photo: Shippensburg University’s restored Old Main Fountain will receive a Construction Project Award for Public & Institutional Properties at the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards luncheon in Pottstown on Friday, September 27.
by Erin Hammerstedt, Preservation Pennsylvania
Earlier this summer Preservation Pennsylvania, along with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and our other partners, announced the recipients of the 2013 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards. Presented annually since 1979, the awards honor impressive historic preservation projects and inspiring commitment to preserving and protecting Pennsylvania’s rich historic resources. We want to highlight just a few of the 2013 recipients and invite you to join the celebration by attending the awards ceremony and luncheon on September 27 in Pottstown, Montgomery County.
Each year, many impressive projects are nominated for recognition. Some of them are projects that we are familiar with – and in fact, several of the awardees this year are being recognized for projects that came to us many years ago as Pennsylvania At Risk properties. Some have made use of our revolving loan fund or grants that we help to administer. It makes us proud to see these projects reach completion thanks to the talents and dedication of the people seeing them through.
One of these projects is the Franklin Street Railroad Station in Reading, which was listed in Pennsylvania At Risk in 1999. The station had closed in 1981, and had fallen into a state of disrepair after 18 years of vacancy. Plans for a new transportation center called for demolition of the derelict station. However, plans changed when the Berks Regional Transit Authority acquired the building in 2005 and immediately put a new roof on the structure to arrest deterioration. Today the building has been rehabilitated for use as a bus terminal, with hopes of accommodating an expanded SEPTA line in the future, as well.
While we feel a special sense of pride when projects that we have been involved in are completed, it is at least as exciting to receive nominations for completed preservation projects that have never heard of before. This year, for instance, Shippensburg University completed the restoration and repair of their cast iron Old Main fountain and the Northampton County Courthouse in Easton was rehabilitated to drastically improve its energy efficiency, including window repair and installation of interior storm windows, among other improvements. We never cease to be amazed by the good preservation work that is being done around the Commonwealth!
Preservation Pennsylvania will also honor two individuals and two local preservation organizations that have made significant contributions to the field of historic preservation. So please plan to join us to celebrate the wonderful people, projects and initiatives that make Pennsylvania such a wonderful place to live, work and visit. This year’s Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards luncheon will be held at the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown on Friday, September 27. The inspiring event begins at 11 am and ends at 2 pm, with the awards presented immediately after lunch. Tickets are $65 each, or $500 for a table of eight. Click here to reserve your tickets today!
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards are also available. With several opportunities ranging from $500 to $10,000, this is your opportunity to support preservation and help us to recognize the important, successful projects in the Commonwealth. Each sponsor receives a table and eight tickets to the awards luncheon (with additional tables available for $250), and will be recognized in the conference program as well as on Preservation Pennsylvania’s website. Additional sponsor benefits are listed on our website. All sponsorships must be received by August 30, 2013 to be included in the Awards Ceremony Program and related publicity.
Guest contributor Erin Hammerstedt is a Field Representative for Preservation Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them. In that role, she travels around the Commonwealth providing free technical assistance to help people with their preservation projects and challenges. Erin’s prior work as an architectural historian and historic preservation consultant, preparing conditions assessments and preservation maintenance treatment plans, identifying, documenting and evaluating historic properties as part of the compliance review process, and staffing a local Historical and Architectural Review Board have helped to prepare her for the wide variety of projects she assists with in Pennsylvania today.