Preservation at Work
Historic Salem hosts a variety of educational and fundraising (and both) events throughout the year. Upcoming events include:
Historic Salem, Inc. invites community members to nominate recently completed renovation projects for a Preservation Award. Awards for projects that have furthered the preservation efforts in Salem will be presented at Historic Salem’s Annual Meeting.
Properties throughout the city, not just in the historic districts, completed within the last five years are eligible for nomination. The categories for nomination are:
We encourage you to look around your neighborhood and our city for projects worthy of recognition. We are particularly interested in projects that go beyond normal maintenance (ie, painting) to inspire the preservation of cottages, mansions, downtown buildings, or entire streetscapes. Please submit your nominations to Historic Salem by April 15, 2015.
Download nomination form here:
Call for Nominations – Pres. Awards 2015 (word doc)
Mark Meche, the chief architect for the YMCA Ames Hall renovation award received a 2014 Preservation Award from Historic Salem, Inc. on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at the Annual Meeting. The event, held at Ames Hall itself, also showcased four other Preservation Award winning projects in Salem.
Ames Hall was orgininally designed by architect Walter J. Paine in 1896 and was supported by a generous bequest of $40,000 from Colonel George L. Ames to aid construction. As a tribute to his generosity, the YMCA named the Hall in memorial to him. The building was embraced by the community with enthusiasm and quickly became an integral part of Salem’s daily life. With the restoration of Historic Ames Memorial Hall to its “turn of the century” vision as a performance venue, the Salem YMCA will provide future generations of youth on the North Shore with a beautiful space to call their own. “Mark’s work is spectacular,” says HSI President Sandy Dickson. “The care and detail that went into the project deserve more than an award. He has created a legacy for the Y of the North Shore and for the City of Salem.”
Dan Beauvais, of Beauvais Builders, received an Honorable Mention for his advocacy and craftsmanship in work done on 1 Harrington Court. As a result of Dan’s countless, and at times unpaid, hours on the details of this house the building owner agreed, in many cases, to go above and beyond both his intentions and the grandfathered features of the house to make sure the building appropriately fits the context of the neighborhood. This concern for doing the job right, not just working for the money, is what sets a good builder apart from the rest.
Mark Pattison of Salem Village Carpentry received a Preservation Award for his craftsmanship in constructing a fence for 81 Essex Street for owners Chris Thomson and Tim Kendall. Thomson and Kendall have undertaken many restoration projects on this 1750s house and the very visible jewel of this work in the fence they commissioned Mark Pattison of Salem Village Carpentry to build. In particular, the dramatic carved urns were developed after hours of researching, designing, and learning new techniques. The result is a fence that suits the character of the house and neighborhood so well that in the weeks after installation passersby often asked themselves, puzzled, “has that fence always been there?” It is too beautiful to go unnoticed, but too well-suited to be “new”.
Prior to this restoration by Ricardo Garcia, owner of RS Design and Construction, the house at 138 Bridge Street was in danger of being beyond repair. However, Garcia appreciated the details and proportions of this Greek Revival and began renovations with the intention to flip the house as two condos. Eventually though, this appreciation led to intensive restorations of the wood work and a decision to retain one of the units as his home. Preservation Manager Emily Udy says, “Projects like this one are a real pleasure to give recognition to because, as useful as major infrastructure projects are, such a the MassHighway’s work on Bridge Street, it is really through individual projects the Bridge Street will continue to regain it neighborhood quality. Projects like this lead by example for individual building owners. That is what makes the real difference in neighborhood-scale historic preservation in Salem.”
In a city with a wealth of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1941 Salem Diner is unique in location, building type, and era. And of course, with late Johnny Pesky as a regular, this building meets the National Register criteria of having historical significance. After six decades of being owned by various members of one family the Diner was purchased in July 2013 by the University Assistance Corporation. Now the Salem Diner may be the only historic diner operated by a university food services group; as a result, there is an upcoming young and hungry user group to mix with the “old-timers” that have been eating there for decades. That is an award-winning recipe for historic preservation.