2010 Awards

Award-Winning Preservation: Easements and Acquisitions Protect Historic Landscapes

Posted on: February 1st, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation celebrates the best of preservation by presenting National Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in historic preservation. This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting 2010′s winners.

The Land Trust for Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn.
Award Type: Honor Award

In the brief decade since its founding, The Land Trust for Tennessee has protected over 52,000 acres and become a leading force for preservation across the Volunteer State.

Do you know of a deserving individual, organization, agency, or project? We are now accepting nominations for the 2011 National Preservation Awards. Learn more »

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

 

Written by Charles M. Engberg

Southeast View of Milwaukee City Hall. The $65.9 million exterior restoration of this 1896 National Historic Landmark took four years to complete and will preserve this community treasure for many future decades. (Photo: Eric Oxendorf)

Southeast View of Milwaukee City Hall. The $65.9 million exterior restoration of this 1896 National Historic Landmark took four years to complete and will preserve this community treasure for many future decades. (Photo: Eric Oxendorf)

The historic Milwaukee City Hall recently garnered an Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation at its Annual Conference in Austin, TX. For eight years prior to that event, the Milwaukee City Hall was the focus of our preservation planning, design, and execution. Once we were selected to be the design team for the landmark building’s exterior restoration, our collective team prepared the city leaders and the general public for what lay ahead, what was already in process, and what they could expect when the City Hall’s exterior was restored to its original grandeur.

The initial and informal forecast of work ahead was delivered to me while serving as Chairman of Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Commission. Then-Mayor John Norquist said,“Chuck, the City Hall tower is seven inches out of plumb at three hundred feet in the air, and we are beginning to find pieces of the building on the street. I can only guess at what that means.” He suggested that I speak with the DPW commissioner who was about to commission the initial forensic building report. I walked around this 394 foot tall building the next day and saw evidence that either “the sky was falling” or that the mayor’s concerns were more than warranted.

When you discover pieces of your favorite historic structure at your feet, as we did, these measures are suggested:

First steps taken should be with a person of authority walking the building perimeter to see where the trouble spots are located. If the danger level of falling material is minimal, take the time to discover what is happening under different climatic conditions over a period of months. The major culprit in most deterioration will be water, so discover where and how it is getting into your building.

Public safety issues should be quietly attended to with more severe exfoliation. Provide a sidewalk cover of sufficient width and length to protect passers by. Get netting installed to keep additional debris from falling.

Public relations messages should be crafted with a focus on the historic and present value of the building knowing that eventually your project will be a community feature on the news. Milwaukee handled most of the public relations on their own creating a professional quality video shown several times on the city's public access channel, at meetings of preservation groups, and at service club luncheons.

Engineering reports about the building’s material condition and the magnitude of the distressed areas must be the basis for any remedial work. Milwaukee had the foresight to engage two nationally known forensic engineering firms that repelled from the top down testing every material at the building’s surface and “sounding” the entire building envelope to test for solidity and material bonding.

Peer review of the engineering findings can be the best way to begin a preservation plan from the perspective of common sense, building science, and proven technologies. Milwaukee City Hall, with multiple building materials at all levels, proved to be a national laboratory for formulating methodologies and restoration techniques integrated by our architectural and engineering team when we eventually secured this amazing commission through a competitive interview process.

Other actions include the refining of planning, construction, and schedule contingencies. Public relations should be geared to pique the public’s curiosity and push expectations as the construction process builds momentum. When the process is thorough and open, and you have qualified design professionals with you all the way, your success is assured and your preservation ethic will remain intact.



Milwaukee City Hall Exterior Restoration, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Award Type: Honor Award

Charles M. Engberg, AIA, NCARB, is a partner in Engberg Anderson, Inc.

Do you know of a deserving individual, organization, agency, or project? We are now accepting nominations for the 2011 National Preservation Awards. Learn more »

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

Left to right: original 1926 theatre, during the reconstruction, the restored theatre in 2008

Left to right: original 1926 theatre, during the reconstruction, the restored theatre in 2008

By Michael Pagano

Last October, as a member of a delegation that traveled from Worcester, Massachusetts to Austin, Texas to accept a Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of what is now known as The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, I had a sudden flashback to the route we had taken to get there.

I vividly recalled the day I toured an abandoned, dark, dirty hulk of a structure in downtown Worcester. At one time this building had been a magnificent Poli Palace designed by renowned architect Thomas Lamb. But as I stepped over debris and peered around walls designed to create four separate movie theaters in the late 1960s, I could scarcely find a trace of its original grandeur.

I had always loved the challenges involved in restoring historic buildings. But this building? Could it be saved? And what would it take to pull it off?

Enter the community: The local leaders who stepped forward to form a nonprofit group. The corporate, foundation, and individual donors who funded the $31 million renovation. The teams of designers, contractors, artisans, and engineers who found a way to incorporate modern systems into their restoration of the original design. And a management team that has brought Broadway plays, comedy shows, opera, and other performances to more than 400,000 enthusiastic patrons since the grand opening in 2008. Working together, they accomplished what many had considered impossible.

Today, Worcester and the surrounding communities are enjoying top-tier performances in an awe-inspiring setting. But the benefits don’t stop there. The spin-off effect is being felt in local restaurants. New investment dollars are being earmarked for downtown economic development. And the city is taking a fresh look at the possibility of restoring other historic landmarks that are underused or abandoned.

In Worcester, we embrace this award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. And we encourage other cities and towns with shuttered historic theaters to take a fresh look at the community spirit as well as the economic vitality that can flow from the restoration of these architectural treasures.

Michael Pagano is president of Lamoureux Pagano Associates of Worcester, Mass., the architectural firm that oversaw the restoration of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation celebrates the best of preservation by presenting National Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in historic preservation. This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting 2010′s winners.

Written by Matthew S. Greer

Our firm, Carlisle Development Group, had the honor of receiving a 2010 National Preservation Award for the rehabilitation of the 1923 Royalton Hotel in downtown Miami, Florida. Part of our mission is to help our partners leverage community assets as a means of achieving preservation, sustainability, neighborhood revitalization, and social and economic development goals. While the renovation of the Royalton was unquestionably a monumental task involving complicated financing and a full historic rehabilitation, it was also a true public-private partnership, with extraordinary support provided at the city, county, state, and federal levels. Furthermore, this project exemplifies the substantive impact tax credits and other creative financing tools offer in achieving long-term social benefits and urban regeneration.

The Royalton hotel is an 87-year-old building located in the heart of Miami’s Downtown Central Business District and designated Historic District at 131 SE First Street. In its heyday, the hotel was a prestigious landmark in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. With the exodus from the city to the suburbs, which began in the 1950s, many buildings in the Central Business District were left vacant, and the Royalton, too, was left to fall apart. The disappearance of a vibrant business district also resulted in the steady increase of chronically homeless individuals living on the streets of downtown Miami.

In 2004, Carrfour Supportive Housing, a not-for-profit dedicated to developing permanent supportive housing for the homeless, identified the Royalton as a possible location for its next supportive housing project. Lacking the financial capacity to acquire the building, Carrfour subsequently approached us to not only secure the necessary funding but also to oversee the more complex development activities that were outside of their core expertise.

By the time we completed construction in 2008, we had transformed the former hotel into 100 single-room-occupancy units for the formerly homeless, while providing shared public facilities including a community center, library, and computer lab. In the process, we were able to restore the Royalton to its original grandeur, incorporating carefully recreated period-accurate windows, doors, floors, and light fixtures among other efforts.

The only way we were able to establish the Royalton as an economically-viable project was by utilizing creative and complex deal structuring that took advantage of six different funding sources. Funding for the $18.5 million project included $9,673,000 in 9% Housing Credits; $3,000,000 through a Florida Housing State Apartment Incentive Loan; $2,250,000 through a Miami-Dade County SURTAX Loan; $2,330,000 in HOME Loans by the County/City; and $750,000 provided through a Homeless Housing Assistance Grant.

The project has remained a success even after the physical rehabilitation. A building that used to be a run-down hotel and the last step before homelessness is now the first step after homelessness; our partner, Carrfour, who oversees the management, has a wait list of formerly homeless individuals wanting to rent; and we also have an award-winning, beautiful building that has helped contribute to the redevelopment of a historic downtown district while also serving community needs. As a result, we are talking to several other cities about similar structures and partnerships that not only help to preserve historic character but that also seek to benefit a full spectrum of citizens and neighbors.

The Royalton, Miami, Florida
Award Type: Honor Award

Matthew S. Greer is chief executive officer of Carlisle Development Group, one of the nation’s largest tax credit developers. In 2010, he was named Multi-Housing News’ Executive of the Year, honored in part for his social entrepreneurship philosophy and commitment to long-term sustainability.

Do you know of a deserving individual, organization, agency, or project? We are now accepting nominations for the 2011 National Preservation Awards. Learn more »

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

Award-Winning Preservation: An Iconic Building's Lobby is Reborn

Posted on: January 18th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation celebrates the best of preservation by presenting National Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in historic preservation. This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting 2010′s winners.

Empire State Building Lobby, New York, N.Y.
Award Type: Honor Award

The lobby of the world’s most famous office building has been restored to its original Art Deco grandeur and outfitted with the latest in tenant services and security technology.


Do you know of a deserving individual, organization, agency, or project? We are now accepting nominations for the 2011 National Preservation Awards. Learn more »

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.