NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION WEEK
This year's Historic Preservation Individual Award goes to Brad Roupp. It is an award for individuals or groups who have shown tremendous effort and fortitude towards historic preservation in Ashland. The recipient of this award is someone who has incredible vision and belief that an old building can have value beyond monetary value. In Brad's case, he has stepped up time after time to not only save a threatened building, but to amaze us with its restoration and final outcome.
Since Brad moved to Ashland in 1991, he has saved and/or restored 12 buildings, 10 within the Railroad District and 2 in the Skidmore-Academy District. His most recent project, currently under restoration at 291 Oak Street, may be his best effort yet, as the house is one of the oldest houses in town, and possible THE oldest. Brad rescued it from eminent demolition and moved it across town.
One of Brad's most notable projects included the moving and restoration of the old Post Office and an older home which used to be on the Southern Oregon Pacific Railroad property and served as the manager's quarters. Both structures are now sitting at the rear of 287 and 291 Oak Street. In addition, Brad has restored the modest home at 134 North Second Street and the small buildings behind Big Al's off North Main Street.
Beyond his mastery of restoring old houses, Brad also excels in forging iron and sculpting metal. Brad grew up on a farm in Kansas and learned the important values of family and hard work. Brad is married to Julia and they have two kids - Jaimie & Nate. Brad is a very caring husband and father. If he's not on the job, he can always be found on the soccer field with his kids.
The Historic Commission is proud to honor Brad Roupp for the many years of keeping history alive and providing artistry in preservation for the City of Ashland.
Location: 240 Laurel Street
Renovation and Addition to the Beach/Goode House
Rob McGrath and Jim Lewis
Rob McGrath and Jim Lewis acquired the Beach/Goode house at 66 North Second Street from Trinity Episcopal Church, knowing that it would have to be moved. The church owns the property and was anxious to clear the site to make way for public space at the corner of North Second and Lithia Way. In March of 2001, Rob and Jim moved the house to its current location at 240 North Laurel and set to work.
Built around 1895 by Ashland contractor Baldwin Beach, the house was a one-story wood frame structure of the eclectic Queen Anne style. It was likely built as an investment property. In 1905, David Good, then Ashland's fire and police chief, and his wife, Nettie, purchased the house and they lived there through 1911. Until Rob and Jim moved the house, it was one of the last surviving single family dwellings in Ashland's downtown.
Since its original construction, the house had been the object of inappropriate additions and remodels and had fallen into disrepair. The house needed plenty of work to regain its prior personality. Rob and Jim demolished several inappropriate additions to the rear of the house. By removing false ceilings that had been dropped to eight feet and reading the "shadows" of former building components, they were able to identify trim and other elements and restore the integrity of the original building. They made a small addition to the rear of the house in keeping with its historic style and character. By summer of 2002, Rob and Jim had completed this thoughtful restoration and salvaged yet another Ashland jewel.
The process of renovating a house brings out the curious in people. In the course of moving and restoring the house, Rob and Jim heard many stories from folks who, at one time or another, had lived in the house. Just recently, descendants of the Goode family returned to visit Ashland with photos of the house dating from around 1905 in hand. Rob, who currently resides in the house, and Jim are delighted to have a source of early photos and stories to enhance the living history of the structure. Jim says that, in some ways, he doesn't own the house but is merely a current caretaker.
The sympathetic approach that Rob and Jim brought to this project is true to their longstanding interest in historic preservation and restoration. Jim is a former member of Ashland's Historic Commission and received awards in 1989 for restoration of Pioneer Hall on Winburn Way, in 1992 for restoration of his residence at 640 "A" Street, and in 1998 for his contributions as an individual to further historic preservation in Ashland. Jim has rescued 5 or 6 vintage Ashland buildings by moving and renovating them.
Location: 39 Fourth Street
Architect: Allen Crutcher
Owners: Sarah and Shady Challman
Co-Owner: Jean Moseley
Contractor: Jay Pricer, Allegro Construction
Sarah Challman and Jean Moseley are sisters who wished to provide a local home for their mother, Hannah Richards, in order that she could return to Ashland and be close to three of her daughters who live here. Hannah had been a long-time Ashland resident who longed to return. Sarah and Jean saw an opportunity to create an accessory unit behind Sarah and her husband Shady's residence at 39 Fourth Street in Ashland's historic Railroad District.
Allen Crutcher resourcefully worked with the program and the limited but well-located site to create a small but delightful abode for Hannah. He met with Ashland's Historic Commission numerous times to understand its concerns, design a structure scaled to match other structures in the immediate vicinity, and incorporate design elements prevalent in the historic district. In order to match the eaves of the existing home on the property, he reduced the attached garage from a two-car to a single-car facility.
In the course of designing the new structure, Allen also worked with the City to eliminate an encroachment by removing an existing dilapidated single story accessory residence that extended beyond the property line onto the alley right-of-way. By capitalizing on non-conforming setbacks of the previously existing structure and by proposing improvements to the non-conforming conditions, Allen provided a design that improved the livability of the immediate neighborhood by providing greater vision clearance at the intersection of two adjacent alleys.
The result of Allen's design is a home that is consistent with other accessory buildings scattered throughout the Railroad District alleys, conforms to target uses of the area, is similar in bulk, scale and coverage to nearby dwellings and is stylistically compatible with other residential buildings in the immediate vicinity. It is a fine example of an outcome that fits and compliments the neighborhood. Jay Pricer and Allegro Construction made worthy contributions to the project by respectfully managing the permit process and making sympathetic and constructive suggestions.
The Historic Commission is proud to honor those who had a role in this project for their efforts to create compatible design and infill in our historic districts.
Location: 51 Winburn Way
Owner: City of Ashland
Project Manager: Paula Brown
Architect: Jack Berry
Contractor: Andy Turner
Not all of today's award winners win an award for "just" their design compatibility or restoration efforts, but they also win for the intangible elements that support our community's historic preservation efforts. This year's Civic award goes to the City of Ashland for the new Community Development & Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way.
In 1998, the City Council made a conscious effort to keep its expanding government services downtown in order to maintain its strong commitment and presence in the heart of the community. After much public debate, the City purchased the little used "Hillah Temple Building" from the local Shriner's fraternal organization for $600,000 and immediately started the planning and eventual construction of a major remodel and addition costing approximately $2,000,000.
What started out as a 1950's non-descript and under utilized building with surface parking in the front and a limited streetscape presence, the building is now a compatible, attractive and active participant in Ashland's vibrant downtown. It houses the Planning, Building, Conservation, Engineering and Public Works Administration offices.
From the beginning, the project was debated by some downtown merchants, nearby residents and a few citizens. Issues raised included lack of parking, design compatibility, retention of a historic public walkway, view protection from adjacent residents and many other concerns, including a need for more public restrooms. There was also debate the new offices should be constructed on property already owned by the City near the fringe of the city limits.
Innovative solutions to these issues included converting a number of "City" parking spaces to "public" parking spaces and after a parking analysis, improving the time management of the parking spaces downtown. Other resolutions to issues were also resolved. Today, the new building boasts a comprehensive design and layout that is compatible in design to other buildings found downtown, it has improved neighborhood views by eliminating rooftop equipment, the historic Alice Piel Walkway has been retained, and of course, eight new public restrooms have been added.
The City of Ashland and the Ashland City Council deserve this year's Civic award for their efforts. In an age when projects of this type are typically built near the city fringe - fragmenting any potential relationship to downtown businesses and the community - the City Council stood firm and clearly understood the importance of keeping its vital services in the downtown area. The decision to not locate on a site outside the downtown area is clear leadership for future developments in the City.
The recipient of this award goes to Paula Brown, City of Ashland Public Works Director, who was the Project Manager.
Location: 871 B Street
Owners: Bill and Laurie Danley
Designer: Peter Cipes
Contractor: Gary Dorris
Bill and Laurie Danley's single story wood frame house at 871 "B" Street was built in 1948. The original footprint was a simple rectangle of about 800 square feet with a gable roof, siding and window mullions emphasizing the horizontal lines typical of this period. Over the years, various additions of about 600 square feet were attached to the rear under a low sloping shed roof, where some ceilings were as low as five feet. Bill had lived in this run down home for some 20 years, wondering if it was worth remodeling or if he should just sell and move on. Last year, the commitment to stay and remodel was made.
Bill and Laurie worked with designer Peter Cipes and builder Gary Dorris to help realize their dreams of a major remodel project. A new 600 square foot addition replaced the incompatible additions at the rear of the house. The interior floor plan was marvelously transformed and updated. The exterior architecture, detailing and materials matched the original construction perfectly.
At the front of the house, an appropriately scaled, covered porch was added to replace a small entry roof so the front yard and "B" Street could be enjoyed comfortably under cover. Here facing the street where the historical impact is most apparent, the owners, designer and builder went to great pains and expense to custom build new thermal pane wood windows and an entry door to match the original horizontal mullion patterns.
The result of this kind of commitment and team effort is a wonderful example of historically compatible design and construction for a residential addition.
Location: 200 Helman Street
Owners/Designers: Wes and Lucinda Vail
Contractor: Steve Asher
This year's Commercial Award goes to Wes & Lucinda Vail for their efforts on the new mixed-use building located on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Helman Street.
The design and function of the new building is reminiscent of many historic buildings found in the Bay Area with commercial space below and residential space above. The corner building is traditional in appearance with a strong sense of entry, human scale massing, balanced window pattern and decorative capping. The building has a number of off setting walls that help limit the mass along the street and provide interest to the building's façade.
Probably the most challenging aspect of this project was the small and irregular shaped lot. The lot is 3,411 square feet and triangular shaped with Van Ness Avenue and Helman Street on two sides and the railroad tracks on the other side. Compounding the site's difficulty was a TID easement that traversed through the front half of the parcel. Many creative solutions and adjustments were necessary in order to make the project work.
In the end, the Vails were able to construct an attractive mixed-use building that will set the tone for the area's surrounding employment-zoned land. The adjacent sites will also likely be a challenge, but not as much as this building.
The Historic Commission is grateful to the Vails for their efforts to listen and incorporate the Commission's ideas into the project. The building is a fine example of commercial infill, mixed-use development and creative thinking between private and public entities.