City Honors Winners of 2017 Historic Preservation Awards
Friday, May 26th, 2017
The City of Valdosta honored the 2017 Preservation Award winners at the May 25th City Council Meeting, as part of the city’s observance of National Historic Preservation Month. The 9th annual awards program recognized property owners who go above and beyond the regulations set forth by the city to protect and preserve buildings within our local Historic District.
The theme for National Historic Preservation Month is “This. Place. Matters.” which encourages people across the country to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and their communities. The following people and organizations were recognized by city leadership for embracing the historic value of property in our community:
· Albert Slone received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the rehabilitation of the buildings located at 101 N. Patterson Street in Downtown Valdosta. He transformed a rather plain commercial box into a dazzling Art Deco themed multi-story 18,000 square foot event center. The Patterson has become a focal point for Downtown activities and events. The center is comprised of two 9,000 square foot levels equipped with furnishings, catering kitchens, elaborate dressing areas and restroom areas, staging areas with sound systems and beautiful tables and chairs.
· An Outstanding Achievement was awarded to Keira Moritz-Johnson for the rehabilitation of the old Alamo Theater building that was in danger of being demolished. She bought it and rebuilt the wall structure inside to create Birdies Market, which is a retail store and restaurant on the bottom floor with an event space on the second floor. The retail store is filled with items for the home and stomach and the café boasts a full menu in addition to specialty coffees offered by Grassroots Coffee.
· Dr. Alex Alvarez and Joel Grimes received the Distinguished Merit Award for the transformation of 502 N. Patterson Street from a non-contributing building to a Contributing Historic Resource for the Local Valdosta Historic District. They removed vinyl siding, replaced windows and decorative details, and re-opened a significant closed-over porch on the front of the building. The exterior of the building is dramatically more attractive and beautiful as a result, and the historic character now shows through.
· Langdale Ford Motor Company was awarded the Distinguished Merit for the architectural update to the Dealership Building and to their Used Car Sales Building and for the construction of the Fast Lane Building. The rehabilitations and new construction have all met the Design Guidelines as the company desires to be a cooperative community player. Landgale Ford has neatly fit its upgraded buildings into the fabric of the Local Historic District.
· The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce received the Distinguished Merit Award for the rehabilitation of their office, the E.R. Barber House. The Chamber has occupied and maintained this beautiful Neoclassical Historic Home, but it was in need of major system improvements. The Chamber raised over $200,000 to not only replace the systems but to thoroughly rehabilitate the entire house on the interior and exterior. The Barber House and Chamber of Commerce can now enjoy each other’s company and the house serves as a local example of Neoclassical Architecture.
Excellence in New Construction
The Wesley Foundation at 1601 N. Patterson Street was awarded the Excellence in New Construction for the Discipleship House, completed in 2015. The Wesley Foundation has resided in the historic two-story Prairie Style house on N. Patterson Street. The new Discipleship House was constructed to the rear of the historic building, uses the same red brick, and has some finishing details that nicely reflect the character of the historic building.
Harold Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award
Bruce Green, a true Valdosta native, was awarded the Harold M. Bennett Lifetime Historic Preservation Achievement Award for his contributions to Valdosta. Before preserving historic buildings was fashionable, Bruce and his mother purchased a two-story Victorian Era house on River Street and turned it into a quaint B&B and Tearoom. Adjacent to the house, Bruce hand laid thousands of antique bricks to form a street. He was also involved in the creation of the Valdosta Heritage Foundation and the Valdosta Main Street Program. Most recently, Bruce has helped place Valdosta on the Camellia Trail and has worked with the Heritage Foundation to save and promote the Robert’s House. Historic Preservation in Valdosta is due in large part to the work of Bruce Green.
“The city applauds all of this year’s Historic Preservation Award winners,” said James Horton, Valdosta’s Historic Preservation Planner. “Their significant accomplishments help the city preserve the most irreplaceable treasures in our community and make Valdosta a unique place for citizens and visitors to enjoy.”