2008 Historic Preservation Awards


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Location: 150 Lithia Way
Owner: 145 Main Street LLC, Bob Kendrick

Architects: John Echlin, Sera Architects; Jac Nichols & Tom Lamore, Architectural Design Works

Contractor: Corey Vitus, Vitus Construction


As the Lithia Way section of Ashland's Downtown Historic District begins yet another stage of planning and growth, today we honor a project that while new, is a strong and inviting addition to the streetscape of downtown. When Bob Kendrick began the planning process for his building in 2004, he sought first to design a building that was respectful of the downtown national register district, but had its own individual identity.


Calling first on the design talents of SERA Architects of Portland and later upon Architectural Design Works of Ashland, Kendrick and his partners have realized their vision. 150 Lithia Way is a three story structure with commercial businesses on the first floor and residential use on the second and third floors. Drawing on the industrial cues of the neighborhood, this poured concrete structure is accented with aluminum clad windows, attractive mesh railings and a simple color scheme. The businesses on the first floors front both Lithia Way and the alley of Will Dodge Way, activating the streetscape and bringing interest to a space that was lacking visual interest for a very long time. The addition of two new residential units in the downtown dramatically furthers the twenty-four hour presence of residents and the sense of place already inherent in this very special part of the city.



Location: 264 Fourth Street  

Owner: Bill Welch & Darlene Beckett


This October 2008 will mark the 100th anniversary of this historical fire station – the Ashland Hose Company No. 2, built in 1908 to store two horse drawn engines.  In 1945, Archie and Carrie Haskins re-established it as Haskins Garage, an engine repair and gas station until Archie’s death in 1976 when it was sold to Wally Cannon. Today, as guests of the new owners, Bill and Darlene, we find ourselves celebrating National Historic Preservation Week in this beautifully restored building, now an annex of their business, Deluxe Awning Company.


Wally Cannon, the previous owner for 30 years, was proprietor of W. C. Cannon Classic Engine Rebuilding.  The interior of Wally’s machine shop and parts inventory was an “eye-popping” jump into the automotive historical past.  After ten years of work, the shop was an impeccably organized and detailed display of original auto parts in original boxes; a true labor of love.  After Wally’s sudden and unexpected death, his wife Eva and daughter, Linda, sold the building with its rich history to Bill and Darlene, knowing it would be in good hands.  The automotive equipment and inventory was given to Bruce Harshman, who was mentored by Wally for many years.


After consulting with preservation specialist, George Kramer, the first order of business was to restore the “Miracle Block” masonry exterior.  Ashland Plaster Company painstakingly reproduced the molded texture on the extensively broken and crumbling façade.  Jay Treiger, historic window specialist, restored the large original wood window sashes and again making them operational.  On the interior, the aluminum corrugated ceiling was black from decades of coal burning in a pot belly stove and automotive grease.  The shine is back, adorned with new lighting and an exposed duct heat system. The 1920 gas pump restoration, just completed after 14 months of work, sits proudly on the sidewalk and a new period fire bell is again on top of the building that now houses many of the historical items from the firehouse, railroad and garage that were passed from Archie to Wally to Darlene and Bill.


Bill and Darlene’s dedicated efforts to both the building restoration and the ongoing historical display are a wonderful and inspiring example of preservation and why “places like this matter”.



                        Location: 175 North Main Street

Owner: First United Methodist Church

Designer: Jac Nichols & Beverly Thruston, Architectural Design Works

Contractor: Corey Vitus, Vitus Construction 

The First United Methodist Church building has been a significant architectural and cultural landmark in Ashland.  This first permanent church was originally built in 1875-1877. It is important to note that it remains the oldest continuously used religious structure in Ashland and for over a century and a quarter has served its congregation.


A number of changes and additions have occurred through the years as the congregation has grown. The current addition and renovation, which includes classrooms, administrative offices and storage was completed this year.  Both the owner and architect worked with the Historic Commission from the initial design concept to the refinement of architectural details.  The addition and renovation visually complements the beautiful historic church as well as providing a bridge between the non-historic assembly hall and the original church building.  The design of the addition is nicely in scale and proportion with both the original church as well as the Skidmore/Academy Historic District.


As our significant historic homes and buildings advance in age, it is important that our community recognizes the work that retains and preserves their historic architectural features, their sense of design, proportion and detail, while modernizing them for the needs of today’s community.


We applaud the Congregation of the First United Methodist Church, the team of architects, and the contractor for making the effort to design and build such a high quality project that will communicate the historic architectural styles of the past and still answer the needs of the current church community.


 Location: 155 Susan Street

Owner: Brian & Ruth Ann Almquist  

Architect: Joyce C. Ward

Contractor: Sean Downey, Downey Construction


In the single family residential category, the Ashland Historic Commission is pleased to make an historic presentation award for 2008 to the new residence at 155 Susan Lane. This location was originally part of a larger parcel at 128 Wimer Street that was once owned by H.A. Ellison, an early Ashland resident who planted the large cedar tree still existing on the Briscoe Elementary School grounds. After dividing this parcel, the owner, Brian Almquist, used his architectural background to design this Craftsman style residence, taking steps to insure that it remained compatible with the other residences on Susan Lane and nearby High Street. The architect, Joyce Ward, who designed the roof on Pioneer Hall, gave extensive assistance to Mr. Almquist in this design.


The residence was built by its contractor, Sean Downey, to comply with Earth Advantage standards, making it noteworthy for its environmental features as well as its historical features. The use of sustainable cut wood, super installation and low water usage are three such environmental features. The house used a green and brown color scheme consistent with its environmental character. Three inch hardy plank was used, as well as metal clad wood windows, to enhance beauty and historical compatibility. This 2451 square foot house seems to be a perfect fir for this location. One can not help but be impressed when viewing this new residence by how attractive it is and how well it blends into this historic neighborhood.



Location: 253 Almond Street

Owner: Larry & Debra Wolfson

Architect: Richard Wagner

Contractor: Davis Construction

The Historic Contributing McCoy house in the Skidmore Academy Historic District is a fine example of the bungalow form. It is a one and a half story dwelling with a low pitched gable roof, prominently augmented by a dormer and projecting bay. It was built by well known Ashland banker J. W. McCoy in 1910. 


Working with architect Richard Wagner and Davis Construction the homeowners, Larry and Debra Wolfson, extensively restored the home. In addition to their dream retirement home the owners wanted a workshop and office for master woodworker-hobbyist Larry.  They had a large lot with plenty of space behind the home and alley access which enabled them to build a workshop with an office and bath on the second floor.  Not an easy project considering the slope of the lot, but again the owners, architect and contractor were up to the challenge and the result turned out to be a structure which duplicates most of the details of the original home. The windows, siding, corbels, and even the gutters are authentic in every way possible. Upon completion stone retaining walls, a waterfall and extensive landscaping were added which seamlessly ties the two structures together. Congratulations to the homeowners, architect and contractor for setting such a fine example of what can be done when the owners love and respect their historic home and work with skilled professionals.



Location: 762 B Street

Owner: Robert & Claudia Law

Contractor: Jeff Hamlett Construction

Originally built by D. Sherman Powell as a rental house, shortly after his 1913 purchase of the lots, the house is one of the finest examples of the bungalow style in the Railroad District.  It is a one-story wood-frame building with “elephantine” stone porch pillars, and other typical Craftsman details such as horizontal massing and wide overhanging eaves.         


The owners of this classic home have done a superb job of creating an addition that fits seamlessly with the original structure.  From the roof pitch to the eaves brackets to color and material, the details carry out the bungalow theme.  Careful attention was paid to such details as lighting fixtures, window massing and gable venting.  Rock-work in the landscaping around the addition helps tie it to the original structure’s chimney and porch pillars. The addition transitions smoothly to the earlier accessory unit at the back of the lot, and the off-set placement creates interesting outdoor spaces, as well, making good use of the over-sized lot.




George Kramer

It can be said that historic preservation is a movement of individuals-individuals who inspire communities to feel and to act. Today we honor an individual who perhaps has no peer with regard to his dedication to the architectural and cultural resources of Ashland. George Kramer has served this community and beyond as an Ashland Historic Commission, an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Preservation League of Oregon and currently as chair of the Oregon 150 Board of the Oregon Heritage Commission.


As principal of his preservation consulting firm, Kramer and Company, George has worked tirelessly to preserve some of Oregon’s most treasured historic resources including Ashland’s Carpenter Hall, The Ashland Public Library, the Ashland Springs Hotel, the Winburn Way Community Center and the list goes on and on. George actually has worked on projects in 21 of Oregon’s 36 counties and has documented over 7500 historic resources for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

George created the original application and documentation for the listing of Ashland’s four National Register Historic Districts, unleashing countless benefits for the city’s citizens and visitors and fostering the sense of place so important in our cities today. In no uncertain terms, Ashland’s National Register Districts are truly examples of which we can be very proud.


George continues his proactive advocacy outside of Ashland, working with the citizens of Medford to preserve their historic Carnegie Library as well as the beautiful yet threatened historic schools, Roosevelt and Jackson.


George, we thank you for your years of service and dedication to Ashland and for your vision in helping us to move forward by looking back to our past and preserving the best of who we are as a community. Please join me in honoring George Kramer, the recipient of this year’s Individual Preservation Honor Award.



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