by Sabra Smith, Preservation Pennsylvania
What is the preservation community’s most important asset? It’s the people! Those passionate, creative, place-loving, story-telling folks who wear invisible super hero capes and do their best work so that a beloved landmark is restored, or a neighborhood story is discovered, or a community of advocates is activated.
This year’s Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards luncheon will be hosted on Friday September 25 in Harrisburg at the Zembo Shrine (built 1928-29, architect Charles Harold Lloyd). Tickets for the luncheon and sponsorship information are available at Preservation Pennsylvania’s website, www.preservationpa.org
The Honor Awards, Special Focus Awards, Construction Awards, and Initiative Awards recognize a variety preservation projects from across the state, from National Historic Landmark sites to a small town bridge that is the heart of Main Street. Thomas Hagen of Erie will receive the F. Otto Haas Award for lifetime achievement in the field of historic preservation. For all the honorees, see the full list below.
F. OTTO HAAS AWARD for outstanding individual achievements in the field of historic preservation – Thomas B. Hagen, (Erie County)
HENRY A. JORDAN AWARD for outstanding historic preservation efforts at the local/regional level – Jacqueline J. Melander (Centre County)
CHAIRMAN’S AWARD for demonstrated leadership in historic preservation – East Allegheny Community Council (Allegheny County)
SPECIAL FOCUS AWARDS
RALPH MODJESKI AWARD for excellence in transportation design, preservation and archaeology – Veterans Memorial Bridge, Columbia and Wrightsville (Lancaster and York Counties)
- SUSTAINABILITY IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARD – LSC Design Corporate Headquarters, 320 North George Street, York (York County)
- GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY AWARD – Carol Peterson, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
- SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY RECOGNITION – State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg (Dauphin County)
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT AWARDS (Categories based on original use of property)
- David and Dana Dornsife Center, Drexel University, 3509 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County)
- Maria Hall, Villa Joseph Marie High School, 1180 Holland Road, Holland (Bucks County)
- Merchants’ Exchange Building, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County)
PUBLIC & INSTITUTIONAL
- Mellon Square, 1529-40 Smithfield Street Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
- Old Main, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park (Centre County)
SPECIAL HISTORIC PROPERTIES
- East Broad Street Bridge, Tamaqua (Schuylkill County)
- Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
- YorkBlog.com, York Daily Record (York County)
- Catholic Chaplain’s Office. Eastern State Penitentiary, 2017 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County)
- Rocky Spring Presbyterian Church, 3150 Rocky Spring Road, Chambersburg (Franklin County)
- Webb Farmhouse, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square (Chester County)
About Preservation Pennsylvania
Preservation Pennsylvania is the commonwealth’s only statewide, private nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protections of historically and architecturally significant properties. The organization was created in 1982 as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania to operate a revolving fund that would assist in the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic properties. Since its incorporation, the organization has evolved and now hosts the Statewide Conference on Heritage and the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards, and publishes an annual list of endangered historic properties in “Pennsylvania At Risk” in addition to managing the revolving loan fund. Preservation Pennsylvania also participates in educational programs and advocacy initiatives, conducts special projects and offers on-site technical assistance to people across the commonwealth.
Sabra Smith is the Special Projects Manager at Preservation Pennsylvania, a statewide voice for historic preservation helping people protect and preserve the places that matter to them.
First of all, congratulations to all the awardees for a job well done. Secondly, it is nice to know we are appreciated on some level. Pittsburgh’s Old Stone Tavern Friends Trust (see our website at postfriendstrust.org) represents the people which you refer to above.
We have been hard at work trying to save the Old Stone Tavern in what seems an impossible task – the current owner will not sell the building unless we buy his entire business — all five parcels. Additionally, fundraising is beyond us as not one of us has experience in this matter. This building (c. 1782) is an icon and needs to be saved. It is a jewel in the crown that is Pittsburgh, however, right now all we have is a helmet.
Although the restoration of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, Columbia and Wrightsville (Lancaster and York Counties) was mostly historical (except for the exact luminaires used), the restoration has now resulted in yearly closures of the bridge due to mayfly invasion. This is due to not accounting for the type, colour and intensity of the (non-historical) very blue LED lights that were designed in, whereas the original 1930s lighting would have been much yellower incandescent lighting of much lower intensity. The mayflies are attracted to the lights through the “vacuum effect” and will not cross by the lights (the “crash barrier effect”) to the other side. I would hope that both the architectural firm involved and the awards committee would learn something from this for the future! Proper lighting for the night time environment consists of low level light at the orange end of the spectrum that are properly down shielded, and local wildlife populations need to be considered for effect. With today’s knowledge, civil engineering can no longer done in a vacuum.