PHW Celebrates the 2019 Preservation Awards

Preservation of Historic Winchester’s 55th Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, June 23 at Carter Hall, the home of Linda Ross Gibbs and Tommy Gibbs. At the conclusion of the business meeting, eight people and projects were recognized with awards by Preservation of Historic Winchester.

Six of the awards were for Awards of Merit to recognize rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of buildings that contribute to improving the character of their neighborhoods and maintaining the overall historic fabric of the city. The recognized projects were:

221-223 South Loudoun Street, The Guitar Studio Building, 106, LLC

This circa 1945 building recently completed a façade update to better bring the building in line with its modern construction by Daniel Brereton, the manager of the 106, LLC group.  It is also a notable project for being able to keep the Guitar Studio in their longtime place of business.

119 West Leicester Street, Nancy Murphy and Miguel Reyes

Nancy Murphy is carrying on the tradition of PHW’s revolving fund by honoring our vernacular houses and giving them a second chance at life. Miguel Reyes, who completed most of the work on the house, will be purchasing the property as his home.

414 North Braddock Street, Thomas Ritter, II

This circa 1890s folk Victorian had long been a property in decline. The recent rehab kept the exterior in line with is historic appearance, and many of the historic pieces in the house were reused and repurposed. The house is Mr. Ritter’s first project in Winchester but not his first rehabilitation project in the area. The project was featured in the Winchester Star.

411 North Loudoun Street, Fort Loudoun Condominiums, Stan and Janet Corneal

While this is not the first major overhaul of The Fort, this was the first major overhaul of the building since the mid-1950s when Irvan O’Connell bought the former school and converted it to apartments. The Fort began a new phase of life in 2016 with a renovation to convert the apartments into luxury condominiums. The apartments have original fireplaces, high ceilings, gourmet kitchens, marble bathrooms, wonderful upstairs views.

501 North Loudoun Street, Pizzoco, Karen Darby

This adaptive reuse of a former gas station to a pizza parlor was a project that had faced almost insurmountable odds finally came to fruition this spring. Much of the work on this project was going through the permitting process and working with neighbors to mitigate concerns in addition to the building rehabilitation. The award celebrates the completion of the building and the opening of Pizzoco, the neighborhood pizza parlor.

13 East Pall Mall Street, GinTon, LLC

This shotgun house from the early 1900s was a blighted and derelict property. By utilizing the local ten year real estate tax abatement program and discounted building permit fees, GinTon, LLC was able to completely rehabilitate the building. The house retains most of the original framing and floors while receiving new electricity, plumbing and HVAC.  While not a traditional preservation project by many measures, it is hoped the efforts of GinTon, LLC will help turn over a new leaf for the historic properties in the neighborhood.

The Elsie Rosenberger Award was presented to Frances C. Lowe. This award is named in honor of Elsie Rosenberger, who volunteered behind the scenes in the 1970s and 1980s. The award recognizes the unsung volunteer or volunteers who selflessly contributed to the activities of PHW. Mrs. Lowe volunteered to read over the retyped Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture manuscript for accuracy, grammar, and fact checking. The project took place behind the scenes at PHW from January to May.

The final award presented at the meeting was the Patron’s Award. This award recognizes a person or business which has been an outstanding supporter of the goals and programs of PHW. Elizabeth G. Helm was the mastermind behind the republication of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture. Discussion of the republication and how it would be tackled had been discussed for years. It was Mrs. Helm’s push that spurred the project to completion in 2019 to coincide the republication with Winchester’s 275th anniversary.

Congratulations and thanks are due to all our award winners for helping to maintain the historic character of Winchester and promoting the goals and educational aims of Preservation of Historic Winchester. We are also deeply indebted to Linda Ross and Tommy Gibbs for opening their home and garden to us for the event on Sunday. It was a beautiful setting and perfect weather for a garden party.