2010 Historic Preservation Awards


*See end of page for Photo Gallery*



Location:  11 First Street
  Ronald & Carrie Yamaoka
Architect:  Tom Giordano
Designer: Bill Emerson Design & Drafting
Contractor:  Vitus Construction

Ron and Carrie Yamaoka had a dream; they dreamed about moving to Ashland and opening up a restaurant with attached living quarters. They bought the former Grizzly Roasting Company building at 11 First Street and employed Architect Tom Giordano and Bill Emerson of Emerson Design & Drafting to make their dream a reality. They first considered remodeling the existing building, but soon realized after many design ideas were thought through that their dream couldn't be realized by remodeling.  They made the decision to remove the existing building and build a new one in its place that would meet their needs and make a statement to good design.

Giordano and Emerson designed a three-story mixed use building for the site. Before completing the working drawings for this building all parties realized that the building was going to run way over the initial cost estimates and the building was scaled down to a two story building which quickly was approved by the Historic and Planning commissions.

At this point Vitus Construction Company came into the picture and started construction as general contractor. The overall design and details Giordano and Emerson envisioned were followed closely resulting in the beautiful building you see today. The design blends beautifully with existing downtown buildings, but stands apart as a unique statement.  Although its design is very traditional there is no mistaking it for an old building.  The exterior building materials of plaster, brick, glass and metal were combined to create a very harmonious design. 


The Yamaoka's dream became not only a reality with the Red Hibiscus Restaurant on the first floor and two residences on the second floor, one of which is their own, but proof that when owners, contractors and builders work together the result can be wondeful!




Location:  132 Fifth Street

Owner:  Lynn Carmichael
:  Anna Bjernfalk
Contractor:  Eric Laursen


This Railroad District residential property has a long history of change. On September 18, 1888, John & Mary Banks purchased the lot from the Oregon & Transcontinental Company.  Ten days later, the Tidings reported that construction of a new dwelling had been started on the site as well as a small rental cottage nearby. The cost of both buildings was $1100.00.


Present owner Lynn Carmichael bought the house in 1998 after many years of ill conceived remodeling by previous owners. Lynn hired Bill Emerson to design a restoration from historic photos provided by Terry Skibby. In late 1999, builder Eric Laursen finished the remodel that won a historic award in 2000.


Lynn again called upon designer-builder Eric Laursen and designer Anna Bjornfalk to fashion a vacation cottage behind the main house for Lynn to use until she retires from work in the Bay area. The simple “L” shaped floor plan of 762 square feet has steep pitched gable roofs with a low pitched covered porch and entry. The architecture, the bold colors, and a beautiful landscape by David Chasmar welcomes visitors from the alley entrance to an unexpected sense of place and home. Anna and Eric fashioned exquisite original details from inexpensive modern materials that are historically compatible without being an imitation. The interior has high pitched open ceilings adding volume to the small footprint. The home was included on the recent solar and green tour for its many energy efficient features.


Owner, Lynn Carmichael put together a creative team effort for this cottage, so much so I’m sure she will find it very difficult to move into the larger main house upon her retirement.


Ashland School District #5
Juli DiChiro, Superintendent

Albert Einstein said once said that “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”


Today we honor the forward-thinking community members and leadership of the Ashland School District, who stood together in partnership to build, renovate, preserve and expand many of the school facilities that will serve the students of today and tomorrow, and respect the historical resources of our community.


The project is remarkable in scope, touching nearly every school property. Today we honor the aspects of the project that embraced and preserved history, and brought some great buildings back to life.


At Bellview Elementary School, the original early 19th century school building was preserved and renovated, inappropriate previous construction additions were removed, and a new, wonderful school facility was constructed that will serve the community for many years.


The beautiful, yet simple art deco façade of Walker Elementary School was enhanced by the architecturally appropriate addition to the school library, landscaping and a remarkably stunning paint job that brought the entire project together and returned the school to its status a neighborhood anchor. 


At Ashland High School, the façade of the original gymnasium was preserved and the inside of the gym was completely reconstructed, preserving and enhancing the Mountain Avenue entrance as a new public gateway to the school grounds. The project was a wonderful fusion of historic preservation and new construction that created a stellar facility that will serve the community for many more decades while offering a respectful nod to a building that lives in the memories of thousands of students.


Please join me in congratulating District Superintendant Juli Di Chiro, members of the Ashland School Board, project architects DLR Group and Ogden Roemer Wilkerson, project manager HEERY, general contractor Adroit Construction for Bellview School and Ashland High School,  Ausland Builders for Walker Elementary School and finally the citizens of the Ashland School District who worked together in passing the bond act and showing that once again historic preservation is an important aspect of any community project-public or private.


Joe Peterson

Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America book series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country using distinctive pictures and stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. 


Joe Peterson teaches history and education courses at Southern Oregon University and trains local teachers in how to teach history. Mr. Peterson took on the project of presenting the history of Ashland by focusing on the lives of average people and how Ashland has reflected the "national pageant" of cultural beliefs and changes instead of simple listings of chronological events. 


He gathered historic photographs primarily from the extensive private collection of lifelong Ashland resident Terry Skibby to transport you to that time and place. The book includes more than 200 photos of the town covering 157 years, including rough pioneer days, the revolutionizing effect of the railroad, the beginnings of attempts to create a cultural mecca with the Chautauqua and Lithia Park, the improbable birth of a Shakespeare festival in the middle of the Great Depression, the city's stain of racism and the gentrification of the last 40 years.


Mr. Peterson has shown that by understanding the history of a place we can begin to appreciate what has been achieved and treasure how the City of Ashland has evolved into a vibrant, walkable historic city with an entrepreneurial spirit, a deep appreciation of cultural heritage and a commitment to diversity.




Kathleen (Kit) Leary & Amy Richard


From Arcadia Publishing and local authors, Kathleen F. Leary (Kit) and Amy E. Richard is “Oregon Shakespeare Festival”, the latest volume in the popular Images of America series celebrating the history of American communities using archival photos.


Kathleen Leary, also known as Kit, has been Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s archivist for the last 24 years. She learned early on about history in her native Wisconsin when her father stopped the car at every historical marker along the way. Inspired, Kit received a Master of Library Science with an Archives specialization from the University of Wisconsin in 1976, and a Master of Science in Media Technology in 1977. She has worked all over the country (and Algeria) for educational institutions, historical societies, public libraries and for the Festival.


Amy Richard has spent twelve years as the media and communications manager for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She grew up on the East Coast and in 1990 moved to Ashland, where she discovered that she really “is a West Coast woman.”  Soon after moving here, she landed a job as Arts and Entertainment Editor at the Ashland Daily Tidings. Through her writings about the Festival and interviews with company members, as well as attending many Festival performances, she fell in love with the organization.


The publishing of this title coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and features more than 200 images which Ms. Leary pulled from the Festival’s extensive archival collection, the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Terry Skibby Collection, capturing 75 years of change. Ms. Richard wrote the copy.


The authors strived to answer the long-time mystery of “how a nationally-renowned theatre came to be located in rural southwest Oregon and to take readers on the journey from the first Chautauqua tabernacle, to the First Annual Shakespearean Festival, to one of the oldest and largest regional theatres in the country.” 


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