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West Chester Historic Preservation Awards 2011

September 27, 2011

A. Roy SmithWest Chester, PA -- The West Chester Downtown Foundation (WCDF) awarded seven winners of the First Annual West Chester Historic Preservation Awards Program for 2011. The winners were selected from fourteen nominations for projects that reflect outstanding historic preservation practices within the Borough of West Chester. Each were honored at a breakfast reception on October 18, 2011 at the Chester County Historical Society.

A. Roy Smith was chosen as Preservationist of the Year. He is being honored "because of his consistent and very valuable efforts to preserve both the fabric and the history of West Chester," wrote the nominating committee for the WCDF. "Moreover, because of the strength of his commitment to preservation, he has helped to foster the importance of retaining and restoring our historic fabric. It is an understanding that is slow to develop and needs the reinforcement of advocates like Roy."

Six other projects are also being recognized. They include five Bricks & Mortar Preservation Awards that recognize construction projects of exceptional quality that have made a positive impact on the preservation of West Chester's historic fabric. Those projects are:

West Chester Public Library, 415 North Church Street -- chosen because the restoration of the 1888 building was superbly accomplished while successfully addressing the need for more usable interior space.

Village Record Building, 15 North Church Street -- chosen because it is an excellent restoration and adaptive reuse of one of West Chester’s oldest (1833) and most historic buildings, and one whose continued existence was doubtful before the restoration was undertaken.

Mercner-Wood Building, 116-118 West Market Street -- chosen because it is a carefully designed new building (2006) that has been sensitively integrated into its historic streetscape without sacrificing its modern integrity.

Residential Expansion, 316 South Darlington Street -- chosen because of the excellence of the design and the exceptional attention to detail employed in the substantial expansion of their turn-of-the-20th century house.

William H. Wells House, 315 North Matlack Street -- chosen because of the accurate architectural detail, and the use of both original and carefully matched material, in replacing an ordinary back porch attached to the 1912 Colonial Revival house with a breakfast room that reflects the style and proportions of the house.

One Preservation Service Award, awarded to individuals and organizations in recognition of projects that promote a better understanding of the history of West Chester and the need to preserve the physical evidence of that history, was given to:

West Chester Comprehensive Preservation Plan -- chosen because the breadth of the research undertaken to establish the borough's current historic resources, identifying those resources that are most at risk of deterioration or demolition, and recommending what steps can be taken to preserve such resources makes this plan an authoritative guide to future preservation efforts in the borough.

The winners will be honored at a breakfast reception on Tuesday, October 18, 8:00am, at the Chester County Historical Society, corner of High & Chestnut Streets in West Chester. Parking is available at the Chestnut Street Parking Garage, 14 East Chestnut Street.

"The purpose of the preservation awards is to raise awareness of West Chester's historic character and to encourage the preservation of its historic integrity," said Jane Dorchester, Architectural Historian and chair of the awards committee. "We intend to make this an annual awards program."

The awards are presented by the West Chester Downtown Foundation, the non-profit arm of the West Chester Business Improvement District. Nominations are for projects and properties located in the Borough of West Chester, Pennsylvania.


Arthur Hall Insurance


  Van Grofski LP

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Susquehanna Bank
15 East Gay Street

27 West Gay Street

West Chester Historical & Architectural Review Board
Borough of West Chester

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For more information, contact Malcolm Johnstone, West Chester BID, 610-738-3350.



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Call 610.738.3350 or fax 484.843.2250