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2012 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards Press Release


August 8, 2012

Media Contact:      Carol Bostian
                    717-234-2310 x10

                                RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

Preservation Pennsylvania announces the recipients of the 2012 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation
Awards. The Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, September 28, 2012 at The Yorktowne
Hotel, 48 East Market Street, York beginning at 11:00 AM. Tickets to the event and sponsorship
opportunities are available at Preservation Pennsylvania’s website:

Since 1979, the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards have honored individuals and
organizations that exhibited excellence in the field of historic preservation. “The annual awards
program highlights the richness and diversity of Pennsylvania’s heritage and recognizes the valuable
contribution historic preservation projects make to community vitality,” said Mindy Crawford,
Executive Director of Preservation Pennsylvania.

Preservation Pennsylvania presents the F. Otto Haas Award annually to individuals and organizations
in recognition of outstanding contributions and consistent achievement above the standards of the
profession. Other 2012 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards include: Grassroots Advocacy;
Initiative Awards; Henry A Jordan Award; Chairman’s Award; Ralph Modjeski Award for Excellence in
Transportation Design, Preservation and Archaeology; Sustainability in Preservation Award;
Leadership in State Government and State Issues; and Construction Awards.

                                      F. OTTO HAAS AWARD
Janet S. Klein (Montgomery County)

There are few individuals who have worked as tirelessly as Janet Klein to preserve the unique
heritage of Pennsylvania. Her historic preservation career included work with many organizations
including the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and the Fairmount Park Historic
Preservation Trust. Her position on the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission spanned
several governors and was highlighted with grant work, advocacy for historic preservation, numerous
marker dedications, and an enormous enthusiasm for Pennsylvania’s rich history. A personal friend
of Otto Haas, for whom the award is named, Janet represents the best of the historic preservation
                                     HENRY A. JORDAN AWARD
Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust (Philadelphia)
Awarded to the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, this award is named for Henry A. Jordan,
a life-long supporter of historic preservation who advocated for historic preservation at the local level.
Formed in 1992, the Trust is an innovative public/private preservation venture authorized under a
Philadelphia City ordinance. Developing a long term leasing program attracting private and non-profit
lessees to historic properties in the park, the Trust has secured or facilitated an investment of more
than $10,000,000 into the preservation and development of historic parks and landscapes in
Fairmount Park.
                                         CHAIRMAN’S AWARD
Dee Durham (Chester County)
From 2002 through 2012, Dee Durham served as the first Executive Director of S.A.V.E., a
grassroots non-profit organization based in Chester County, Pennsylvania focused on minimizing the
impacts of transportation projects on historic and natural resources. She is a passionate advocate for
preservation and an increased public participation in transportation planning as guided by NEPA, 4f
and Section 106 principles and supported changes in Pennsylvania’s practices regarding 106 and
determination of NR eligibility for the state’s remaining bridge inventory. S.A.V.E. was instrumental in
PennDOT’s adoption of right sizing and smart transportation policies which should serve to better
protect many historic resources in Pennsylvania.

                                      GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY
Dutch Corner Historical Society (Bedford County)
Named for the large numbers of Pennsylvania Dutch speaking Germanic settlers, Dutch Corner is a
small cove in the curve of Evitt's Mountain, north of Bedford. The area is mainly farmland and its
residents are closely tied with the forested mountains which surround their lands. In 2005, these
landowners became aware of a proposed project to develop Evitt's Mountain for an industrial wind-
energy project. Through local advocacy and the documentation of historic resources, the Dutch
Corner Historical Society was able to prevent the destruction of an important natural resource and
preserve the integrity of their historic agricultural settlement.

                                 ANNUAL THEME AWARD

The Steeples Project (Somerset County)

In 2008, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown announced that its five Cambria City Parishes would be
consolidated into one and three major churches were to be closed. After grassroots efforts to save
the churches failed, a new idea was needed. The Steeples Project emerged with a vision. While the
buildings are no longer needed for worship, they can continue to inspire and provide space for
cultural activities. The Steeple Project has worked to raise the funds necessary to purchase, maintain
and redevelop these wonderful historic resources and enhance Johnstown’s quality of life.
                         PRESERVATION AND ARCHAEOLOGY
Charles Davies and Henry Berman
PennDOT’s engineers are rarely associated with historic preservation, but two District 6-0 engineers
are ahead of the curve in that regard. Charles Davies and Henry Berman have done substantial work
in Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, and Chester counties rehabilitating historic bridges.
Due to the age, history, and demands of bridges in District 6-0, Davies and Berman face a very
challenging dilemma in trying to balance increased transportation demands, deteriorating
infrastructure, and historic preservation. As an outcome of Project Keystone, a Stone Arch Bridge
Management Plan for PennDOT District 6-0, Davies and Berman have found ways to rehabilitate
historic masonry arch bridges in cost-effective and efficient ways.


Market Square Place, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
Market Square Place demonstrates the value of preserving existing historic buildings as part of urban
regeneration and sustainability. A combination of seven distinct structures, this project enabled the
preservation of each facade while encouraging downtown living and reinforcing the density and
diversity of Pittsburgh's urban core. Market Square Place has earned a LEED Gold Certification and
has a renewed role as a hub of downtown activity.

                                CONSTRUCTION PROJECT AWARDS
• 511 West Miner Street, West Chester (Chester County)
  Awarded for the rehabilitation of an 1887 single-family twin house designed by T. Roney
  Williamson. A deliberately "green" rehabilitation project, Frens and Frens, LLC altered, repaired,
  and added onto this Queen Anne Revival house while preserving its unique historical and
  architectural character and integrity. From adding insulation, eco-friendly lighting, and a closed-
  loop geothermal heating and cooling system, the Frens' were able to combine authenticity and
  sustainability in what is now a livable, restored 19th century home.

Public & Institutional Properties
• Steelton High School (Dauphin County)
  Awarded to the adaptive reuse of the Steelton High School campus, an isolated, elevated city
  block made up of three school buildings constructed from 1882 to 1928. The campus consists of
  the 1882 Felton School, the 1899 (Main) High School, and the 1928 Auditorium and Gymnasium
  building. The campus went out of use in 2007 with the relocation of the Steelton elementary
  school, and in 2011 the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places under
  Criteria A and C. After years of work, the project team was able to preserve one of the most
  enduring and signature landmarks in Steelton, through a mix of lofts, one-bedroom, and two-
  bedroom units in the Felton and Main buildings, a community center in the auditorium, and an
  indoor garage and additional units in the gymnasium.

•   George A. Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field (Philadelphia)
    An initial schematic design for the University of Pennsylvania's adaptive reuse of the historic
    Franklin Field, formed from "captured" space within the exterior arches, resulted in a very narrow
    (about 20ft wide) and long (over 400ft) floor plan. Searching through the University's architectural
    archives, it was discovered that streets were much lower in the original design, and an extra
   25,000 square feet could be captured with excavations. In doing so, the project created a 55,000
   square foot adaptive reuse project that sits in the north facade of Franklin Field, facilitating an
   intercollegiate strength and conditioning center, a general fitness center, space for retail outlets,
   and extra space available for future use.

Commercial & Industrial Properties
• Gruber Wagon Works (Berks County)
  The Gruber Wagon Works, located in Bern Township, PA, is recognized as the most complete
  surviving example of a late nineteenth/early twentieth century wagon manufacturing facility in the
  nation. Listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Gruber Wagon Works had fallen into
  disrepair and was placed on the Preservation Pennsylvania "At Risk" list in 2006. With over 19,000
  original artifacts inside, and severe structural framing distress, the building was in need of a hefty
  restoration. Thanks to local support and advocacy, and the re-allocation of funding from another
  DCNR project by the Berks County Commissioners, what was originally a three-phase plan was
  able to be completed in one continuous phase. Work began in October of 2010 and finished in
  September of 2011. The Gruber Wagon Works is now open for public tours May through October,
  Tuesday to Sunday.

• Hawley (Belmonte) Silk Mill (Wayne County)
  The world's largest building constructed of bluestone, The Hawley Silk Mill complex was built in
  1880. Originally the Belmonte Silk Mill, the complex sits prominently above the Paupack Falls, and
  welcomes everyone into town on the main street. The structure was turned into a multi-use facility
  to better serve the community, with educational space on the third floor (now occupied by a
  Scranton-based community college), office spaces on the second floor, and retail spaces on the
  first floor. In the design, efforts were made to reuse as much of the original materials as possible;
  19th century wood trusses have been reused in various ways ranging from educational examples of
  the original roof design, wall finishes, and custom furniture designed for retail tenants. The
  redesigned mill also managed to retain its original maple floors. Exhibiting oil stains and
  imperfections, the floors are a reminder of the mill’s industrial history.

• Campus Theatre, Lewisburg (Union County)
  Opened in 1941, the Campus Theatre remains the iconic, cultural hub of Lewisburg, PA. An art
  deco masterpiece, the theatre was designed by architect David Supowitz, who tied the theatre to
  the community by using Bucknell University's orange and blue color scheme along with athletic and
  floral motifs. The Campus Theatre, Ltd. purchased the building in 2011, intending to restore it and
  re-establish the venue as an active centerpiece. The University now owns the theatre and leases it
  to Campus Theatre, Ltd. for $1 per year, allowing for continued preservation of the structure. Since
  the restoration was complete, nightly cinema events have doubled its patronage.

Special Historic Properties
• Medallion Garden, Laurel Hill Cemetery (Philadelphia)
  As the first cemetery in the United States to be designated a National Historic Landmark, Laurel
  Hill Cemetery has been a keystone example of the role of burial places in our nation's history. As
  an early answer to the effects of urbanization, the cemetery was landscaped beautifully and served
  as an early model for our nation's public parks. However, as the cemetery filled up because of its
  popularity, fewer graves were purchased and a lack of funds led to a deterioration of Laurel Hill
  including the Medallion Garden. Established in 1978, the Friends of Laurel Hill worked to restore
  the cemetery as a retreat from the city while respecting its historical integrity. Landscaping efforts
  restored the cemetery's greenery to its original form with focus on evergreens, shrubs and vine
  species from the 19th century records. On June 7, 2011 the Medallion Garden was rededicated
  after a restoration of its marble statues, gravel paths, and flora.

• Calhoun Street Bridge (Bucks County)
  The Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
  underwent a preservation and enhancement project to improve its poor physical condition, increase
  capacity, and upgrade safety features. The seven span, 1884 wrought iron Phoenix column
  through truss bridge underwent a sensitive rehabilitation involving one uninterrupted four-month
  shutdown from May to September 2010. Focus was on long-term stability and durability, as well as
  safe use by pedestrians and drivers using the bridge. Though the project caused short-term
  economic hardship to local businesses, long-term benefits may be reaped by Trenton and
  Morrisville from bridge improvements. The retainment and restoration of the Calhoun Street Toll-
  Supported Bridge has renewed the sense of place and history for local residents and reflects the
  Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission's motto, "Preserving Our Past, Enhancing Our
                                           INITIATIVE AWARDS
Community Involvement
• Deane Center for the Performing Arts (Tioga County)
  Funded by a $1 million bequest by Mrs. Ivah Deane, the Deane Center for the Performing Arts in
  Wellsboro, PA is the result of a generous donation by two long-time Tioga County residents and
  patrons of the arts in combination with a large-scale community effort. Selecting an empty furniture
  store on Main Street, the Deane Trustees embraced the community's need to reinvest in and
  reinvigorate a blighted downtown. With commendable efforts by local businesses and over 6,600
  volunteer hours, the circa 1890 buildings have been restored to provide productive use in
  downtown Wellsboro. The 17,000 square foot Center has already been used in a multitude of
  ways, including: Community Meeting Rooms, Music Practice Rooms, Small Rehearsal Rooms,
  Community Group Office Space, and Administrative Space.
• Alice C. Wiltzie Performing Arts Center, Hazleton “Castle on the Hill” School (Luzerne
  Constructed in 1926 and abandoned in 1996, the Hazleton High School auditorium survived
  multiple demolition threats which ultimately led to its listing on Preservation Pennsylvania's 10 most
  threatened buildings list by 1999. The ornate 1,250-seat auditorium was loved by former students
  and residents who wished to see it renovated for community use. Efforts resulted in a 5 year, 3-
  phase process which culminated in the creation of the Alice C. Wiltsie Performing Arts Center. The
  building is now leased to a non-profit which showcases family-friendly live performances.

• Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation – Career Program (Allegheny County)
  In 2011, at the request of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks
  Foundation created a career awareness program introducing students in grades 4-12 to the
  "People Who Work to Improve our Communities". The program features a "preservationist" career
  and includes discussions about historical and architectural significance of local schools and
  neighborhoods. In 2011 and 2012, the program was presented on 35 occasions and received
  overwhelmingly positive reviews. As an innovative and exceptional preservation and heritage
  education program, the project has been awarded a Preservation Pennsylvania Historic
  Preservation Award.
Local Government
•   Elizabethtown Train Station (Lancaster County)
    Using TEA-21 funds, the Borough of Elizabethtown began a rehabilitation of their Train Station in
    the fall of 2009. As projected costs went up, the train station’s rehabilitation was in jeopardy until
    funding was secured through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an economic
    stimulus package investing in infrastructure, health, education, and energy. With the ARRA
    funding in place, the project was able to be completed in early 2011. The project focused on
    improving the functionality, safety, and aesthetic qualities of the circa 1911 building. Efforts were
    made to meet ADA standards, improve parking, and add on a bus terminal to make the Borough a
    more attractive option to commute to the larger metropolitan areas of Harrisburg and Lancaster.
    With the renovation of the train station, the Borough wanted to convey to arriving visitors that
    Elizabethtown both respects its history and sense of place, but also is firmly devoted to 21st
    century development and prosperity.

•   Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) and Representative Robert Freeman (D-

    On July 2, 2012, Pennsylvania became the 30th state to offer a state historic tax credit thanks to
    the efforts of Senator Smucker and Representative Freeman. More importantly, this award calls
    attention to a 16-year effort to establish this program that will be a great economic development
    tool in Pennsylvania. With Pennsylvania as one of the most prolific users of the federal historic
    tax credit, the state credit will work as a companion program allowing even more projects to be

                                          ADDITIONAL AWARDS
Certificate of Merit
•   Rapps Dam Covered Bridge (Chester County)
•   Henry Avenue Bridge (Philadelphia)
•   Cope’s Bridge (Chester County)

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Visionary in Historic Preservation
•   Ira Beckerman, Ph.D., RPA

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards are presented annually by Preservation
Pennsylvania. Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth's only statewide, private non-profit,
membership organization dedicated to preserving Pennsylvania’s historic places through creative
partnerships, targeted educational and advocacy programs, special projects and technical assistance.

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