Friday Roundup: 59th Annual Meeting Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Annual Meeting last Sunday! We managed to get the outdoor portion of the event in right after a short rain. We send out a warm welcome to Ben Ford, a new addition to the Board of Directors, as well as saying thank you to our retiring Directors Callie Fitzwater, Dan Whitacre, and Jim Stewart.

We were pleased to announce the fruition of one of our older ongoing projects this year, a scholarship fund in memory of Sherry Bosley, who passed away in 2019. She had been a behind the scenes volunteer at PHW for fourteen years. If you received PHW flyers in that period, there’s a good chance she was the one who proofread it, folded the letter, stuffed the envelope, put stamps on it, and made sure it got to the post office. She never sought recognition for her invaluable contributions of time, energy, and labor and was always willing to help with any task.

In August last year, we finalized the selection criteria for the scholarship and set the payout amount at $2,000 a year. PHW is honoring her legacy by supporting a student who exhibits academic excellence, volunteerism without expectation of accolades, and interest in pursuing a career related to historic preservation. We are pleased to announce the first student selected by Handley High School is Lucas Mamana.

Lucas has placed his top picks at Appalachian State University, Shepherd, and WVU for universities and wants to major in History Education. His goal is to become a full-time teacher. Congratulations, Lucas, and may you enjoy much success in your future endeavors!

The other main draw of the event was the dedication of the James and Barbara Laidlaw Amphitheater in the back yard of the Hexagon House. Many of you may know the Laidlaws, but in case you are new to PHW and our shared history, here is the story of how our amphitheater came to be:

Barbara Laidlaw and PHW President Bruce Downing stand beside the new amphitheater.

Jim Laidlaw was president of PHW 1974-76, the formative years of the Jennings Revolving Fund. He oversaw the negotiations to purchase the first house through the fund – the Simon Lauck House at 311 S. Loudoun St. Barbara Laidlaw served as PHW’s Secretary 1974-75, and a Vice President for PHW twice, once from 1980-82, and again from 1992-96. Both Jim and Barbara remained active with PHW affairs even after their time on the board, such as the Holiday House Tour, the Jennings Revolving Fund, and the Kurtz Cultural Center. In 2003, both Jim and Barbara were nominated to PHW’s Honorary Council to recognize the longstanding commitment they shared with the organization.

When Jim passed away in July 2021, we were honored to be one of the organizations named to receive contributions in his memory. Along with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, PHW was always near and dear to his heart. We did not know exactly what we would do with the funds, but we hoped to continue this partnership with the MSV to collaborate on a project in his memory.

After much discussion, we had several ideas for exterior improvements to the Hexagon House. While the Hexagon House is PHW office space, it is also owned by the MSV, so it was a natural way to collaborate with the two organizations closest to the Laidlaws’ hearts. The PHW board came up with a list of ideas, which we then shared with Dana Hand Evans, Perry Mathewes, and Barbara Laidlaw to see what might be possible. PHW had been using the back porch as an impromptu amphitheater for some time. The memorial funds allowed us to level off a small patch of ground and add a retaining wall for built-in seating. With the design of the MSV and the work of Reading Landscape, we now have an outdoor space suitable for events. We welcome you all to enjoy this space, and we encourage you to recall the generosity of the Laidlaws to Winchester as a whole when you visit.

PHW was then pleased to present our annual Preservation Awards and turn the floor over to the people doing the hands-on work of preservation. This year, we recognized ten projects in Winchester and Frederick County:

Awards of Merit:

These awards recognize renovations of houses or buildings that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city.

Winchester Public Schools, Old Frederick Douglas School, 598 N. Kent St.: Winchester Public Schools has been working to convert the building to its administrative headquarters since 2016. The oldest parts of the school were adapted, while some selective demolition allowed for a building expansion to take place. A museum honoring the history of the Black community will be opening soon in part of the building. Howard Shockey & Sons was the project’s general contractor, with design by CJMW Architecture of Lynchburg.

The Clowser Foundation: The Clowser Foundation has continued their work preserving the historic Clowser House in Shawneeland with a roof replacement project, probably the largest improvement to the house since work began in 2017.

Randy Sprouse, 115 E. Cecil St.: This is a log house that may have been moved to or reconstructed on Cecil Street in the 1880s – its exact origins are not known, but the first people to live in the structure at its Cecil Street location were Robert and Lydia Henry. The building, which may contain logs once used in the construction of Fort Loudoun, was in disrepair when purchased by Randy Sprouse about two years ago. He has since renovated the structure, retaining the log portion while removing some severely dilapidated additions.

Vibrissa Beer and North Kent Properties, 2 N. Kent: Winchester’s Vibrissa Beer is the second location opened by Tim and Kerry Barnhart. It is located in the former home of the Winchester Star, in the press room additions to the north side of the structure. It boasts a large production brewery, taproom, full service kitchen, indoor/outdoor seating, and an eye-catching mural. Lisa Dallolio, a local architect, was instrumental in the conversion.

Joshua Feltner, 309 N. Kent St.: This row house has been completely renovated on the interior, with new electrical and plumbing systems, modern heating and cooling systems, and an updated kitchen. The original hardwood floors, staircase, windows, and doors were restored to keep a sense of the home’s history. A clawfoot tub, latches, locks, and knobs were all restored and retained. The approximately two year process was documented on Instagram at Va_Lane.

210 South Cameron, LLC, 210 S. Cameron St.: This ca. log cabin retains its visual history on the exterior, but has been modernized inside in a blend of old and new. Now part of the Merchant Suites, the historic home has been subdivided into three apartments for short and long term rent.

Katherine G. Rockwood Award

This award is named in honor of Katherine G. Rockwood. PHW’s past is filled with women who believed in Winchester’s architecture and sought to improve the quality of our historic downtown. Perhaps none did more for PHW in our founding years than Katie Rockwood. Before PHW had an executive director, it had Katie, who worked tirelessly coordinating the original publication of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture, the 1976 architectural survey of Winchester that guided the National Register of Historic Places listing for Winchester’s Historic District, PHW’s targeted areas for the Jennings Revolving Fund, and Board of Architectural Review decisions. Much of the basis of the historic walking tours of Winchester still in use today came from her pen. Schools benefited from her knowledge and enthusiasm for Winchester’s buildings in their teaching curricula. She coordinated countless events and touched countless lives as she moved with grace and dignity through the trials of saving important places for fifteen years.

PHW and Winchester lost Katie at the tragically young age of 44. To help keep her memory alive, a memorial fund was started in 1991. In 1996 PHW named its preservation award for outstanding work on a Jennings Revolving Fund property in her honor.

609 S. Cameron, restored once more.

JMMB Properties, LLC, 609 S. Cameron St.: The Jennings Revolving Fund acquired 601- 609 South Cameron Street in 1981. This building was constructed circa 1860 for Christopher Funk, a bricklayer. The home was successfully restored the first time in the 1980s. Disaster struck in April 2020, when a fire originated in one of the units of this building. In a rarely-taken step, PHW exercised its right of first refusal to repurchase the property when it seemed likely a developer would raze and construct a new building on the lot. PHW then sold the building to the team of Scott Moore and Tommy Beavers who vowed to retain as much of the historic building as they could in the rebuilding process. The Christopher Funk home was partially rebuilt to the rear and the front restored close to its appearance before the fire.

Ben Belchic Award

This award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. He came to Winchester in the midst of the 1930’s depression, teaching 20 students at the one-room schoolhouse at Lamps in Frederick County. Stashing away documents was a passion with Ben, who had the entire archives of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society in the shoe room at the back of the Workingman’s Store before they found a forever home in the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives. Rod Sirbaugh, his brother-in-law, said “The old homes in Winchester and the surrounding area, that was his whole life.”

Ben Belchic was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours.

Shenandoah Valley Batllefields Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum “One Story…A Thousand Voices”: The overhaul of the museum in the Old Frederick County Court House with the new exhibit “One Story…A Thousand Voices” has made the experience of this contentious period in US history more accessible, incorporating three thousand artifacts into an immersive – and currently free for local residents – experience. While covering the major battles and events, it also humanizes the story with more personal, everyday touches of the people who lived through this tumultuous period, the post-war era, and the efforts to preserve that history today. The exhibit design and construction work was undertaken by Riggs Ward, a nationally recognized firm.

Patron’s Award

In light of Barbara Laidlaw’s outstanding support of PHW, it seems natural to commemorate her work on behalf of PHW with a Patron’s Award. This award recognizes a person or business which has been an outstanding supporter of the goals and programs of PHW.

Lucille Lozier Award

This award is named in honor of Lucille Lozier, a founding member of PHW and president of the organization in 1969. She led PHW during the final year of the fight to save the Conrad House and laid the groundwork for the Historic District and Board of Architectural Review as we currently know it. Much of her work called for championing “antique buildings” and retaining them in an appropriate setting – a holistic approach to save not just an important building but the surrounding that gave it context and the landscaping that enhances its attractiveness. The Lucille Lozier Award is one of our highest honors, awarded for the renovation of a significant structure retaining 75% of the historic architectural fabric.

Jennifer Wolgamott, 202 S. Washington St.: The J. B. Russell House has had a number of significant upgrades, including repairing the slate roof; installing new copper valleys and ridges; rebuilding four brick chimneys; resetting front entry steps; relaying the brick front walkway and installing brick floors at the dirt basement. The historical appearance was improved by removing eight window air conditioning units and installing central air conditioning; upgrading the electric system to include underground service from Cork Street; replacing broken glass panes with restoration glass; restoring the Juliet Balcony and repairing and painting all exterior woodwork. With these critical repairs complete, 202 South Washington will continue to contribute to preserving the unique and irreplaceable resources of the Winchester Historic District.

Friday Roundup: Annual Meeting and Public Hearing

First, this Sunday, June 25, is PHW’s Annual Meeting. We will be meeting in the rear yard of the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St., starting at 3 PM. Parking is available at the top of the hill; you may also park in the driveway in front of the house. We are watching the weather for the outdoor portion; so far it appears we’ll be partly cloudy with low chance of precipitation. We have limited outdoor seating, so you may wish to bring your own folding chairs. We hope to see many of you there!

Second, the public hearing for the neighbors’ appeal at 119 S. Washington St. is scheduled for City Council on Tuesday, June 27, beginning at 6 PM. Public comments at City Council are limited to 3 minutes per speaker; alternatively you can write your thoughts on this matter and submit them through the City’s online form prior to noon on Monday, June 26. We will remind our readers that the piers have been removed from this appeal item, as the procedural error that spurred that portion of the appeal has been resolved at the Board of Architectural Review. The appeal as will be considered only concerns the modification of the fence (set back from the adjoining fence and addition of a concrete base as the primary visual changes from the street). The agenda documents for this public hearing item can be found on the City’s website if you would like more clarity on the sequence of events and facts of the case.

Friday Roundup: Quick Updates

Found! Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Chet, we are 99% sure the unidentified Indian Alley building posted last week is 218 S. Indian Alley. The building is much more obscured now that the Indian Alley extension behind the Discovery Museum is blocked off and a new privacy fence installed, but we feel relatively confident it is the same building.

Mark your calendars! The PHW Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, June 25, 3 PM at the Hexagon House. Join us in celebrating preservation projects around the city, as well as the first recipient of PHW’s Sherry Bosley Scholarship and the dedication of the James and Barbara Laidlaw Amphitheater. This event is free to members and invited guests – and if you need to renew your membership, you can do it that day on site, too.

119 S. Washington St.: The Board of Architectural Review tabled an application at yesterday’s meeting for a modification of the piers. However, because there is a pending appeal filed on the April 20th approval the application was tabled to allow the appeal time to play out before the application is reconsidered to be fair to both the applicant and the board members. The appeal is set to be on the City Council agendas for late June and early July. We do not expect further action will be taken at the BAR level until after the appeal works through the City Council process. Part of this will include a public hearing, likely on June 27. This was an unusual situation procedurally, but we are hopeful that this means the BAR will be course correcting from this point forward.

Do you recognize this street? We believe the image dates to the late 1970s to early 1980s. We have been unable to pinpoint its location in the Winchester Historic District, so it may be in a surrounding area that experienced growth in the early 20th century. It also appears to be near a school based on the shape of the street sign visible. As this image was digitized from a slide, we can also not rule out the image is mirrored. If you have any suggestions on areas to check, drop us a note!

Preservation Award Winners for 2022

PHW 58th Annual Meeting
Mary Beth Shaver poses with Bruce Downing after accepting the Award of Merit for Centenary Reformed United Church or Christ.

PHW is thrilled to recognize the following people and projects for their work in maintaining and enhancing Winchester’s neighborhood character and historic fabric of the city. All of our projects this year fell into our Award of Merit category. In alphabetical order by street, the projects were:

Maroo Property Management LLC, 918 Amherst Street

This late Folk Victorian was constructed circa 1900 on the Northwestern Turnpike, now known as Amherst Street. The single-family dwelling has changed uses through the years, serving for a time as the Green Gables Tourist Home in the 1930s to becoming the Calvary Baptist Church office. For the first time in many years, the building has a new owner and has been given some much needed TLC inside and out, including restoring color to the façade in keeping with its Victorian heritage.

Beverley Byrd, 124 West Boscawen Street

This outstanding Federal-style single-family dwelling was constructed circa 1835 by Thomas Phillips, a successful merchant based in Winchester. The building has seen many uses over its lifetime, including a music school during the late nineteenth century, office space, commercial first floor use, and most recently as the Frances Barton Event Center. The residence has been turned into two condominium units, using Foreman Builders and Jackson-Park Design as the contractor and designer respectively. The floors were retained where possible and replaced to match where impossible to salvage, and the original mantels and other character-defining woodwork were restored.

Centenary Reformed United Church of Christ, 202 South Cameron Street

The stained-glass windows at Centenary Reformed Church have been in place for more than 100 years, but few of us were able to enjoy their beauty from the outside. The previous plastic safety covering over the windows had yellowed and obscured the openings. Epiphany Studios worked with the congregation to restore the stained glass windows. On the exterior, the yellowed plastic was removed and replaced with clear safety glass to protect the windows and retain a view of them from the exterior. This is a long-term three to five year project to tackle all twenty windows, but the improvements are already visible on the main facade facing Cameron Street.

James Green & Wendy Oesterling, 611 South Cameron Street

This house was built circa 1925 by James N. W. Funk, one of the members of the Funk family involved with the Funk & Ray’s funeral business. The house was involved in the April 2020 fire that originated next door at 609 S. Cameron St. The owners have restored the home after the catastrophe. From the exterior, the home appears just as it did before the fire.

OTW, LLC—Coe Eldredge & William McIntosh, 100 and 114 North Loudoun Street

These two properties were restored separately by the same group. The Old F&M Bank was constructed ca. 1902 while the Clowser Building was a ca. 1950 adjoining addition. Both structures have now found a new life after the separate adaptive reuse projects. The Old F&M Bank retains much of its interior character as a bank, such as the vault doors being left in full view through the new downstairs restaurant. The Clowser Building work in part removed changes such as dropped ceilings and fluorescent lights installed in the 1990s and revealed the original brick walls, steel beams, and subfloors which now provide architectural character to the extended stay apartment units. Learn more at and see some interior apartment images at

Ronald McGehee, 186 North Loudoun Street

The second bank reuse project recognized this year is the former Commercial and Savings Bank Building, ca. 1922. The project was an adaptive reuse of the space as an event center now functional as The Monument, focusing on live music and performances. The first floor space can host about 420 people in a setting combining the classic architectural features of a bank with modern lighting, technical equipment, and even a disco ball. As part of the project, work continues on the complementary sports bar and basement speakeasy. Find them online at

TEJ Builds & Four Square Architects, 301 North Loudoun Street

The ca. 1926 firehall has seen a number of uses since its time as a fire station drew to an end, including a bicycle shop and laundromat. The building is now the hub of an adaptive reuse and redevelopment project that adds residential use to its storied history. The firehall now houses four apartments in the upper levels, with ground floor commercial space. Find them online at

The Godfrey Miller Center, 28 South Loudoun Street

The Godfrey Miller home is one of about twenty surviving limestone homes from the late 18th century. This project focused on safety concerns and sensitive repairs to the exterior, including repairs to the porch, repairing and repainting the wood shutters, and repairs to the historic windows themselves. This exterior work helps the building present its best face to the Loudoun Street mall and address potential safety concerns from lead paint and decaying stair treads. Simultaneously, the home is being freshened on the inside as well. Find them online at

We took a few photos of the outdoor portion of the event, which can be seen on our Flickr. If you see projects taking place around you that deserve similar recognition, let us know! Our award form is available online and stays relatively consistent year to year. Award nomination forms should be submitted to PHW preferably in late May to the first week of June for a consideration of an award, but we will take nominations at any time through the year.

The Annual Meeting is This Sunday!

Fingers crossed, it looks like our Sunday afternoon event will be dry, cloudy, and on the hot side. We will have cool drinks ready at the beginning of the event to keep you hydrated. Should we have another unexpected downpour this year, we will be able to move inside.

If this is your first time visiting the Hexagon House at 530 Amherst St., we have a small parking lot at the top of the hill. Our outdoor meeting space is in the back yard, using the porch as our stage area. Extra parking can be found along the Hawthorne Drive side of the building or the surface lot across the street.

Remember to bring your own seating for the event and dress for the weather. We anticipate being outside for no more than an hour for the business meeting and award presentations, but the rear yard could be in sun.

After the event, stay around to socialize, pick up a brochure on the Hexagon House and enjoy a self-guided tour of the first floor, and check out our “book nook” with art prints and historically-themed reading material.

Mark Your Calendars: PHW’s 58th Annual Meeting

Another year has flown past – it’s time for our Annual Meeting! Join us in the rear yard of the Hexagon House at 530 Amherst St. on Sunday, June 26 at 3 PM to celebrate our “maple anniversary” of preserving history and architecture in Winchester. The Annual Meeting is a member-only event hosted every June by Preservation of Historic Winchester. We gather and review the past year, elect the board of directors, and renew old acquaintances.

Enjoy some cool beverages, hear preservation success stories, and learn about our next challenges at our gathering. Please dress for the weather and bring your own seating. RSVPs are not required. Tours of the first floor of the Hexagon House and our new brochure on the building’s history will be offered after the meeting.

PHW members will receive a mailed invitation with the list of preservation award winners for 2022 and PHW board of directors nomination slate. Like last year, we have included a membership form detailing the last date we have on record for your dues renewal (membership dues are good for one year). New to PHW or need to renew a lapsed membership? Credit card renewals will be available in-person the day of the meeting, or a check and a membership form can be returned to the PHW office anytime. For questions, please contact the PHW office, (540) 667-3577 or

See you then!

Congratulations for the Annual Meeting!

Despite an unexpected afternoon rainstorm and our own surprise at having double-booked so many of our members with other activities and services on the same day and time, we still managed to pull together a successful annual meeting.

If you were unable to attend, you can catch up with the official portion of the meeting and the presentation of the awards on our YouTube:

If this is a bit long for you to watch, you can find an album with images at our Flickr. We would especially like to recognize the 2020 and 2021 award winners, as follows:

Awards of Merit:

These awards recognize renovations of houses or buildings that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city. In order of nomination:

  • Nancy Murphy, 126 West Leicester Street
  • Stephen Von Fange, 501-507 North Cameron Street
  • Karen Darby, 417 Fairmont Avenue
  • Betty Laws, 416 South Cameron Street
  • Stephen P. Williams, 212 North Kent Street
  • GinTon, LLC, Henkel House, 316 West Boscawen Street
  • Beverley Byrd, 312 West Boscawen Street
  • David E. Mitchell, 123 East Cork Street
  • The Clowser Foundation, Clowser Family Cemetery, 152 Tomahawk Trail
  • Scott Bessette, Philip Williams House, 25 West Piccadilly Street

Belchic Award:

This award is named in honor of Ben Belchic, a founding member of PHW. Ben Belchic was also an active member of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, so the Belchic award recognizes a significant contribution to understanding Winchester’s history. These awards are generally presented for written texts, such as books, maps, National Register nominations, and guided tours.

This year we were proud to recognize the work of Mike Robinson, who has been bringing Winchester’s history to a wider audience through his Facebook page Winchester Tales, that have subsequently expanded into five-volume set of books, with more on the way.

Patron’s Award:

This award recognizes a person or business which has been an outstanding supporter of the goals and programs of PHW. This award usually recognizes a financial component.

This year, we were honored to recognize Margaretta Barton Colt, who has long been a supporter of the history and architecture of Winchester. Her involvement with PHW started in our Kurtz Cultural Center days during the publication of Defend the Valley, for which she commissioned the painting “Winchester & Frederick County, Virginia” by Page Huff Dillon. That may sound familiar, as the painting has reentered our day to day lives again through the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project, which recreated the painting in needlework. Most recently, you can find out more about the tapestry and the houses included in it at

One of our award winners, David Mitchell, was unable to attend in person on Sunday. He did, however, provide a note on his work to his porch at 123 East Cork Street. You may remember the painstaking work and the scaffolding and tarps installed to protect the porch while it was under repairs. We are happy to report via David that “all original salvageable 1800s heart pine used in the original construction was stripped of paint and restored. Most of the original porch flooring is still present. Both ends required replacing with 1 1/8 inch tongue and groove, copied and milled to match. I found three of the original balusters and copied them . . . for the porch. . . . The woodwork was all preceded by rebuilding the stone foundation of the porch damaged by water on the east end, where there was an inch wide crack from the east corner to the left of the first floor window sill, and stones falling out from loss of mortar.” This specialized work was undertaken by Hicksville Planning Mill and Marshall Adams Stonework, along with the use of a product called Rot Doctor for wood preservation. David truly went above and beyond in the care he took to preserve and restore his porch.

Due to the rain, we also omitted the official announcement of our newest Honorary Council member, Ed Acker. As you may remember, he served as the VP of Education at PHW and spearheaded the Lunch and Learn lecture series. We have reproduced Ed’s note on this recognition in its entirety below:

Dear Members of PHW:

I want to thank the Board of Directors of PHW very much for this appointment to the Honorary Council. I was totally surprised and appreciate its significance very seriously.

I hope to see the very necessary educational function of PHW continue with renewed vitality, perhaps not in its most recent form, but being able to take advantage of new electronic communications technologies that have come on stream since the Covid pandemic. Also, I had always wanted to get more PHW involvement with K-12 children, which can instill in them the seed of a lifetime interest in history and preservation.

Professionally, I have been involved in historic preservation since 1963 when I had a summer architectural job and worked on an award-winning adaptive reuse project at the State University of NY Merchant Marine Academy, converting an old mess hall winding through the gigantic 7-foot-thick granite walls and arches of Fort Schuyler into the school’s library, pictures of which are still proudly displayed on the school’s website. Later that year I partook in an architect’s march to protest the planned demolition of the wonderful McKim, Mead and White Pennsylvania Station building, the event which many mark as the beginning of the modern preservation movement.

My last historic preservation project was to design the structural rehabilitation of the walls and granite recladding of the 110-foot-tall facades of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Ventilation Building. This octagonal building is located at the northern tip of Governor’s Island, sitting quietly and mostly unnoticed in the middle of New York harbor.

When Sherry Nay Acker and I moved to Winchester in June 2011 it was the twilight of both of our careers, she as a history professor and I as an actively practicing  architect. But neither of us played golf, so what would we do? Sherry met Warren Hofstra, in fact at the exact time of the great Virginia earthquake at his Abram’s Delight office, who then put us in contact with Mark Lore, who introduced me to PHW, and the commitment to become Chairman of the Education Committee.

Sherry’s interest in her family’s genealogy went into overdrive. She knew that her great grandfather had been injured and taken prisoner at Halltown, WV in the Civil War. His West Virginia regiment had been retreating north and fought at Kernstown Two, Rutherford Crossing, and Halltown. Some of her Ohio ancestors were at the 2nd Battle of Winchester. And she was related to the Scotch Bruce’s who had owned one of the original Winchester city lots at the SW corner of E. Piccadilly and N. Cameron Streets. So having not been here for a long time, we now have some real historical ties to Winchester.

I arrive at this time of this year with a jumble of emotions which is reflected in this piece. June 24th will mark the one-year anniversary of Sherry’s death and our family and friends still miss her so much. June 30th and July 7th are the birthdays of our wonderful daughters, Alexandra, and Amanda respectively and we will gather in Denver to both remember and celebrate. And our grandchildren aged 5, almost 12, and 15 have some of their own milestones – Abe will start kindergarten in August; Hudson graduated elementary school, will start middle school, and is in scouting; and Sawyer is in high school and heading to Eagle scout, and is now learning how to drive.

I guess an underlying theme tying all these jumbled thoughts together is Resilience – Rebirth – Renewal, which can apply to our individual lives, our homes and workplaces, our neighborhoods, friends, and associations, and our entire communities.

Resilience – to have the toughness, flexibility, and canny skill to endure the hard knocks; Rebirth – to realize survival and to start anew; and Renewal – to establish a sustainable path to endure and thrive into the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve the PHW community.

This Weekend Is Annual Meeting!

Old Town Fountain
It seems like a toasty weekend is on hand, so you might want to envision the cooling water droplets from the Old Town Fountains while at our meeting on Sunday.

We’ve been keeping an eye on the weekend forecast and it appears we will be all set for a rain-free weekend. We hope you will join us on Sunday, June 27 beginning at 3 PM in the Hexagon House yard for our 57th Annual Meeting. We are happy to report the cicadas have moved on to the less amorous phase of their lifecycle and we will not be competing with their dulcet tones. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

We ask that guests who are able to walk up the hill to leave our limited parking lot at the top of the hill available for our older guests. If you are a designated driver and find the lot is full, you may drive your guests up the circular driveway in front of the house to let guests out on even ground.

We will have our small tent in the yard as a check in area for those renewing or joining PHW and picking up copies of the Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book. We will also have a few other architecture and history-adjacent books out for sale, and a few plants for those who want to grab an offspring of the PHW African violets. We hope to be able to process credit cards, but as the WiFi has been spotty recently we are not sure we will quite be able to manage processing credit card transactions that far in the yard. You may wish to bring a check as fallback.

If you want to nominate someone to the PHW Board from the floor, remember your nominee must be in attendance and be a PHW member in good standing.

A limited amount of chairs are available for guests, but if possible, please provide your own seating.

The yard will be mostly in sun at the time of the event. Wear your sunscreen, bring parasols or hats, and stay safe. Plan to be at the business and award portion of the meeting in the yard for about an hour. Cold bottled drinks will be on hand for attendees to help you stay hydrated and cool.

Following the meeting, limited tours (suggested group size of five to six) will be available of the downstairs of the Hexagon House. We strongly encourage mask wearing inside for your safety.

Thank you all for your continued interest in PHW. We hope to see many familiar faces on Sunday to help us celebrate the accomplishments of our local preservationists!

PHW’s 57th Annual Meeting

The meeting approaches! Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 27 at 3 PM to visit the Hexagon House. Mailed invitations are at the Post Office for the award recipients and PHW members, but for our other followers, here is a heads up on the event:

The meeting will be held outside at the back porch of the Hexagon House. We will not be rescheduling for inclement weather.

Please bring your own seating if possible. You may also wish to bring parasols or hats if the day is sunny, as the back yard is fairly exposed at this time of day.

You do not need to RSVP in advance, as we do not have a capacity limit this year. However, we strongly encourage anyone not fully vaccinated to continue social distancing and mask-wearing.

We will be able to process member renewals or new signups at the event. You may wish to bring a check just in case we have difficulty with the credit card payments with the machine at a distance from the WiFi.

Copies of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture will be available for pick up at the membership renewal table.

While we will not have snacks after the meeting as in years past, we will have an assortment of cold beverages to keep you hydrated during the meeting.

The cicada boom seems to be dying down at the Hexagon House, but be prepared for some insect party crashers.

If you have not had a chance to tour the Hexagon House, we will be available to take guided tours through the downstairs following the meeting. We strongly encourage mask wearing inside the building during tours.

Repair work at the Apple
Oh no! The giant apple in front of Kimberly’s has been peeled! We hope to see the familiar shiny red skin back on this landmark with its stem reattached soon.

Friday Roundup: Behind the Scenes Prep Work and Friday Photos

First, we did a bit of cleaning up of our MailChimp mailing list during the lead-up to the Annual Meeting. A few new member emails have been added (hello and welcome!) and a section of bounced and unsubscribed emails have been archived. If you know someone who is not receiving the weekly emails and wants to stay informed, remind them to sign up in the opt-in form. If you unsubscribe from our mailing list, we cannot add you back in manually at the office, as it needs your confirmation you want to receive emails again. This is done in compliance with anti-spam laws through MailChimp. Thank you for understanding!

Second, next week will be a busy one for the office as we prepare the snail-mail Annual Meeting invitations in advance of the June 27 meeting, as well as some out of the office meetings. Please remember to call or email ahead of a site visit to the Hexagon House, as we may not be in the office.

We hope to help you find out what you member renewal status is with this Annual Meeting mailing, as we know last year we lost all sense of time. Look for your member renewal date (to the month of your renewal) in the membership form block in the Annual Meeting invitation and check its accuracy. Don’t receive a mailed invitation? That means you have fallen off our recent membership list. We hope you will chose to renew and catch up with old friends and familiar faces at the Annual Meeting, which will be our first real event since Holiday House Tour 2019(!).

Third, if you would like to join PHW or renew your membership, remember we are offering copies of our reprinted Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book (a $25 value) as a thank you for your continued support. Copies can be picked up at the Annual Meeting or by arrangement through the PHW office. The reprinted edition was lovingly remade from the original to be as faithful as possible to Walter Kidney’s text and James R. Morrison’s photographs. The revisions and updates were limited to correcting errors and expanding on some omissions from the first publication (like a much-needed index). The book is a perfect introduction to Winchester’s architecture and broad history of development patterns. It may especially appeal if you are new to town, or want to share your appreciation of Winchester with someone less versed in architectural history.

Fourth, we were thrilled to be able to visit the Clowser House in Shawneeland last weekend to see all the progress made at the site. If you were not able to attend, you can catch photos of the event at our Flickr album. The Foundation is doing an amazing job documenting the history of their site and the family connected to the homestead, and PHW is proud to have helped them begin the journey five years ago to preserve their ancestral home for generations to come.

Clowser Foundation Memorial Service
Blaine Dunn and Ruth Perrine, two of the people who stepped up to help save the home from demolition, at the Clowser Memorial Service.