The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) announced this year’s Preservation Awards at its May 11 regular meeting. Though not able to gather and celebrate this year, the HPC did take time to acknowledge recent and long-term preservation work.

Each year, Preservation Excellence Awards are given for recent work on historic properties that exemplify historic preservation principles.

♦ Preston Snyder for the rehabilitation of the cottage at 703 Billups Avenue. Snyder has returned the exterior to its original state by removing the later applied asbestos siding. Now back to the original wood Dutch-lap siding framed at the base with a restored skirtboard, the house exhibits the rich texture that graced the home when Knox Shouse built it in 1938.

♦ Ed Freeman for the rehabilitation of the storefront at 164 S. Main Street. Not only was the stucco failing but the entrance called for a more appropriate treatment. Freeman’s work to correct these items along with a new color scheme has really made the building shine.

♦ Preston Snyder for restoration of the Old/New South sign at 1240 Eatonton Road. This is a rare remnant of the mid-20th century travel industry in Madison. Being outside the historic district, this sign has no protections which makes Snyder’s restoration of it that much more appreciated. 

The annual Preservation Partner Awards are named by local preservation organizations in honor of Madisonians who have been instrumental in the preservation of the community’s history.

♦ The Mr. & Mrs. Floyd D. Newton Award for Outstanding Preservation Stewardship Award, named by the Historic Preservation Commission, was presented to Alvin White. This award recognizes a continuous commitment to protecting and maintaining a historic asset in Madison. The White family has maintained this small downtown building, first as a tenant then as owner, for 70 years. Cecil White ran White’s Modern Shoe Shop here from the 1951 to 1986. Alvin, his son, bought the building in 1979.

Karen Robertson, Madison’s Main Street director, noted, “The commitment of long-time owners such as the White family as well as new owners like Ed Freedman to the upkeep and improvement of our historic downtown buildings ensures that Downtown Madison will continue to be a unique and desirable destination for visitors and residents alike.”

♦ Dr. Josephine Brandon-Carol Hart Award for Outstanding Preservation Leadership, named by the Morgan County Landmarks Society, was presented to Steve Schaefer for his years of service on the Historic Preservation Commission, including serving as Chair. During his Chairmanship, the Historic Preservation Commission weathered its share of difficult projects. His steady hand and diplomatic demeanor helped the Commission stay the course.

♦ The Col. Dan & Hattie Mina Hicky Award for Outstanding Preservation Intervention, named by the Morgan County Historical Society, was presented to Butch Crook, Becky Vickery, and the Hewatt Family for the rehabilitation of the cottage at 524 Foster Street. Old houses are always a challenge, but doubly so after a long period of neglect. This small cottage is once again livable and an asset to the neighborhood. The project is a fitting tribute to Butch Crook’s legacy as a builder in Madison.

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