Historic Landmarks Foundation announces southern Indiana preservation awards
Contact: Greg Sekula, Director, Historic Landmarks Southern Regional Office, Jeffersonville, 812-284-4534
Photos available from Mike Wiltrout, firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-639-4534
For immediate release
Historic Landmarks Foundation singles out owners of four southern Indiana landmarks for recognition with preservation awards. The awards will be presented Friday evening (July 17) during a program and “Moveable Feast” in Bedford.
“The awards honor people in southern Indiana who’ve worked wonders with historic buildings,” says Marsh Davis, president of the statewide private foundation. “The winners have recently transformed history in its most public form—landmarks that add richness to the environment all of us enjoy.”
“Historic Landmarks Foundation is giving four Rosemary Prentice Awards recognizing high-quality restoration,” said Greg Sekula, director of the foundation’s southern office in Jeffersonville. The office helps people in fifteen counties who want to preserve historic places, while the foundation’s southeast office in Aurora, serves four counties. The awards are named for the late Rosemary Prentice who spearheaded an aggressive local preservation organization and was responsible for leading Historic Landmarks Foundation to open an office in Jeffersonville.
The Jennings County Historical Society – Our Heritage, Inc. won an award for saving and rehabbing a unique one-room structure in Vernon. The 1880s Eldo Hicks Railroad Office was slated for demolition until the organization moved the tiny structure to a site next to its museum in Vernon. Restored and furnished in keeping with its Victorian-era origins, the building is open to museum visitors. The society’s president Pat Hicks will accept the award.
Tony Moravec won recognition for his restoration of a beloved Indiana treasure, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Columbus. Known far and wide for its authentic vintage interior, the institution closed in 2006 after 106 years in operation and the community mourned. Moravec stepped forward to redress the loss. He not only refurbished the interior’s walnut and oak woodwork and onyx soda fountain, he also recreated a nineteenth-century storefront to replace the 1950s façade that didn’t match the authentic interior. He even bought back the 1908 Welte organ that had been sold to a California collector when the place closed. Washington Street was closed for the day and a long line trailed down the block when Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum reopened in June 2009. Moravec will accept the award at Historic Landmarks Foundation’s honors event in Bedford.
The River City Winery won an award for rescuing the vacant Baer Block in New Albany. Gary and Melissa Humphrey and Allen and Rosie Bryant, the firm’s partners, restored the Pearl Street building and adapted it from the cellar up to house the winery. The partners took care to preserve original features, restoring the tin ceiling and repainting the elaborate metal cornice with an eye-catching multicolor paint scheme. They also rehabbed the original wood windows in the structure, built in 1900. The River City Winery opened in May 2009.
For the restoration of the 1878 Laughery Creek Bridge, Historic Landmarks Foundation will present a Prentice Award to the Dearborn and Ohio County Boards of Commissioners. Known locally as the Triple Whipple, the 302-foot structure is the only triple-intersection Whipple truss bridge known to exist in the world. Closed to traffic in the 1970s, the span was listed by Historic Landmarks Foundation as one of Indiana’s 10 Most Endangered places in 1993. Dearborn County won a federal transportation grant and both Dearborn and Ohio counties chipped in to cover the matching requirement in restoring the bridge as part of a recreational trail system under development between Aurora and Rising Sun Although the gala ribbon-cutting will occur in August, the bridge renovation was completed this spring.
Special recognition will also be given to the Harrison County Cemetery Restoration Team for its volunteer efforts to restore numerous cemeteries in Harrison County.
Sponsors of Historic Landmarks Foundation’s Southern Regional Honors and Moveable Feast in Bedford include the Lawrence County Tourism Commission, Indiana Steele and Engraving, and the law office of W. Brent Gill. In-kind contributors to the event include the venues for the serial courses—Bedford Elks Lodge #826, City of Bedford, Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society, and Bedford Revitalization, Inc.—and Bedford Federal Savings Bank, Gray & Pape Cultural Resources Consultants, Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, and Wildflower Dining and Catering.