Wednesday, November 14, 2012. St. Petersburg Preservation has announced the winners of its 2012 St. Petersburg Preservation Awards of Excellence. The awards are given every other year to those who have undertaken exemplary work restoring, rehabilitating or maintaining historic buildings and to individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion or preservation of St. Petersburg’s historic resources. St. Petersburg Preservation, founded in 1977 , seeks to preserve the best of St. Petersburg’s past and the special sense of place that serves to make St. Petersburg such an attractive place to visit or to live. In addition to the Preservation Awards, St. Petersburg Preservation offers weekly walking tours and sponsors Movies in the Park each May and October.
The award winners and their respective category are:
Residential Rehabilitation: Maureen Stafford, 756 Bay Street NE
While developers coveted the property for land on which to build condominiums, Maureen had a vision of rehabilitating the home and carriage house. After four years of intensive interior and exterior rehabilitation, including floors and wood salvaged from nearby homes, matching wavy glass and brick, relaying Cuban tile, and reconstruction of rafter tails, Maureen’s vision was realized with this splendid home.
Commercial Rehabilitation: Saunders Construction , Mecca Apartments, 916 1st St. N.
Saunders construction rehabilitated the historic Mecca Apartments in the Old Northeast Neighborhood with the use of the City’s Ad Valorem tax incentives. The 1920’s Spanish Revival apartment building was in extremely poor condition. Doors and windows were replaces with period-appropriate replacements, and exterior details such as the pent roof and lanterns were retained and repaired. Because of Saunders Construction’s attention to detail the apartments are once again considered a jewel of the neighborhood.
Adaptive Use: Constance Coleman, 2091 1st Ave N.
Built in 1920, the building is one of the oldest properties in Historic Kenwood. The two-story prairie style house is now a striking example of creativity, respect for the heritage of the building, and the steadfast commitment of the owner to complete a very ambitious project. Today the home which once had no kitchen, original knob and tube wiring and a striking fireplace, is now a beautifully restored, professional office with seven tenants.
Residential Stewardship: Rothman Residence, 1018 Park Street
The Rothman Residence was built in 1960 in the style of the Sarasota School of Architecture. It is a classic example of Mid-Century design. The hexagon-based floor plan and the interchangeable use of interior and exterior materials blurs the distinction between the inside and out. Thelma Rothman, the original owner, has done an outstanding job of maintaining and preserving the residence for future generations. She is responsible for designating this residence as a St. Petersburg local landmark and nominating it to the National Register of Historic Places.
Residential Stewardship, Honorable Mention: Flori de Leon Apartments
Over the past 3 years the Flori de Leon cooperative apartment owners have undertaken major construction to preserve their historic building. The 85-year-old building was suffering from serous water intrusion and balconies, which had deteriorated to the point of danger. After these repairs, the building was repainted in period appropriate colors to show off its architectural features. Despite significant costs, the owners of the Flori demonstrated stewardship of the building by reaching deep into their pockets to see its beauty and history preserved.
Preservation Education: Ken Breslauer
Ken recently published “A Guide to the Historic Sites and Architecture of St. Petersburg,” a wonderful illustrated guide to the historic architecture of the city. This resource is exceptional in its coverage of high style buildings, as well as the more unassuming mid-century structures and unique roadside attractions that are so rapidly disappearing from our urban landscape. Ken also has a very active social media, Facebook page highlighting historic structures and ephemera from St. Petersburg.
Preservationists of the year Lynn Jeffery & Bob Jeffrey
Beginning in 1990, Bob Jeffrey and Lynn Jeffrey have played an unequalled role in the rehabilitation and preservation of Historic Kenwood, and they continue with unwavering stewardship of properties in the neighborhood. With a total of over 20 properties, encompassing 60 units, Bob and Lynn have not only rehabilitated but maintained these properties at a high level, setting the bar for others. Their influence in Kenwood has been transformative for not just the work they have done, but for the example they set both personally and professionally. Their buildings set a standard of maintenance for the neighborhood. Additionally, Bob is dedicated to the profession of preservation and neighborhood development, teaching at Eckerd College and presenting at many workshops. Much of what Bob does, could not be done without the partnership of his sister Lynn, often behind the scenes, managing the projects.
For more information or photographs of the award winning buildings, contact Peter Belmont, President (727) 463 4612 or Emily Elwyn, Chair Judging Committee (727) 515 4509.