From Harford County government:
The Harford County Historic Preservation Commission has announced its 15th annual award recipients during a breakfast ceremony at the Historical Society of Harford County on Main Street in Bel Air.
Presented each May in honor of National Historic Preservation Month, the awards recognize individuals and organizations that have demonstrated their commitment to stewardship of the County’s cultural and historic resources. Mr. James Chrismer, chairman of the Harford County Historic Preservation Commission, acted as master of ceremonies.
Special Preservation Awards acknowledge groups or individuals whose programming, activities, publications, exhibits, demonstrations, or presentations advance historic preservation to the general public. This year a Special Preservation Award was bestowed upon the Historical Society of Harford County in honor of its 125th anniversary. Mr. Phillip Brundrett, Historical Society President, and Ms. Maryanna Skowronski, Director, received the award on behalf of the members. Mr. Chrismer commended the Historical Society, the oldest local historical society in the state, for its decades of dedication to “the advancement of history education and its overall commitment to the promotion of the heritage of Harford County and its people.”
Preservation Project Awards recognize significant achievements in preserving, restoring or finding a sensitive adaptive re-use for the County’s built environment. This year the Commission identified three outstanding historic rehabilitation projects. The first was the restoration of the signature cupola atop the former Bel Air Post Office, now the Historical Society headquarters. Mr. Gene Brackins of Seneca (NY) Woodworking, Ms. Skowronski, and Mr. Brundrett accepted the award. Mr. Chrismer applauded Mr. Brackins, a Bel Air native, for his outstanding craftsmanship, and commended the Society’s dedication in caring for its landmark facility, constructed as a New Deal project in 1936.
The second Preservation Project award project honored the congregation of Calvary United Methodist Church for undertaking the restoration of the historic slave gallery at its church building on Calvary Road in Churchville. Mrs. Joan Betzold, treasurer and guiding force, received the award on behalf of the members. Mr. Chrismer praised the congregation’s efforts in revitalizing the historic gallery and for its “on-going dedication to the cause of historic preservation in Harford County.” Founded in 1821 by the Reverend Richard Webster, Calvary Church is the oldest building in continuous use as a Methodist Church in the state of Maryland. The congregation enclosed and removed the gallery from use at some point in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. Francis Construction Company was the restoration’s prime contractor.
The third Preservation Project Award for 2010 recognized Decker Contracting of Elkton and the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation for their work in restoring and replacing the chimney and the original roofing at Tudor Hall. Ken Blomquist and Tony Townley of Decker Contracting; Mrs. Arden McClune, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Mr. Bill McKean of the Department of Public Works were present to accept the award. Mr. Chrismer commended the recipients for their cooperative efforts in ensuring the integrity of the 1850s home of Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth, America’s pre-eminent actors of the Nineteenth Century. Archival photos from the collections of the Historical Society helped in guiding the sensitive restoration.
The final award of the day, the Preservationist Honor Award, went to The Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse. The Preservationist Honor Award is given to individuals, museums, organizations or businesses whose work and vision over a prolonged period have sustained the richness of the county’s heritage and promoted the cause of historic preservation in Harford County. The 2010 award pays tribute to the Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse for their devotion to restoring, protecting, and maintaining Havre de Grace’s 1827 Lighthouse and the nearby Lighthouse Keeper’s dwelling. The Friends group has labored for over 30 years as stewards of these irreplaceable structures, and has lobbied for open space and preservation of the Havre deGrace historic waterfront. Mrs. Marsha Jacksteit, daughter of one of the group’s founding members, and several current members of the Friends, accepted the award.
The Historic Preservation Commission, an eleven member board of appointed volunteers, works closely with the Department of Planning and Zoning to advocate for historic preservation of the county’s cultural resources. Commissioners meets monthly and are responsible for recommending properties to the County Historic Landmarks list, assisting property owners on the physical and financial aspects of preservation, and cultivating community support for the preservation and promotion of the County’s historicand cultural heritage.
For more information about Harford County’s Historic Preservation Program, visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/PlanningZoning/index or please contact Sarah Corey, Historic Preservation Planner, at (410) 638-3103 ext. 1369 or firstname.lastname@example.org