Historic Salisbury Foundation hosts Preservation Awards Dinner

The event was held at the historic Salisbury Depot.
The event was held at the historic Salisbury Depot.(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 9:51 PM EDT

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - For the first time in five years, the Historic Salisbury Foundation held its Preservations Awards dinner. The event took place on Thursday night at the Salisbury Depot.

“Fifty years ago one hundred thirty-three people met to form the foundation,” said Executive Director Kimberly Stieg. “This group was deeply concerned by the ongoing loss of irreplaceable and historically significant architecture and neighborhood appeal. Tonight, we are gathered here to recognize the efforts by many of you to ensure that Salisbury and Rowan County continue to embrace its beautiful historic properties both residential and commercial thus aiding in continuing neighborhood revitalization.”

“This is the first time in five years that the foundation has presented the preservation awards so the nominees’ work is representative of the past five years,” said Sada Stewart Troutman. “Nominations in six categories were made by the public. These nominations were shared with the committee and reviewed. After reviewing the nominations in each category the committee members voted and the votes were tallied.”

The category Commercial Revitalization through Historic Preservation recognized excellence in commercial or industrial revitalization through the use of historic preservation in the rehabilitation or adaptive reuse of an existing structure. The winners were Diane and Michael Young for the O.O. Rufty Building, 126 East Innes St. This building was originally built by the Rufty family between 1922 and 1924 for the O.O. Rufty General Store. Diane and Michael purchased the building in 2017 and after an investment of 1.4 million in rehabilitation cost, the building is now 100 % leased with retail space and six apartments and twenty four climate – controlled mini-storage units in the basement.

The Private Preservation award recognizes excellence for private preservation projects, substantial changes towards more original features or appearance through the application of the Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with emphasis on restoration. The winners were Meredith and Russell Hudson for the home at 600 Park Ave. The Hudsons restored this home and created an asset to the on-going progress of the neighborhood.

The category for Neighborhood Revitalization recognizes efforts by an individual or organization for positive efforts impacting neighborhood stabilization and/or revitalization. The winner in this category was Michael Cotilla of Salisbury Code Enforcement. Cotilla, along with his department, apply pressure to property owners to act, to either fix or to sell to someone who can. Through his diligence and hard work, Cotilla is credited with inspiring people to invest and rehab their properties thus improving our community.

The category of Preservation Education and Publication recognizes either individuals or projects that have made an outstanding contribution to preservation through education of the public or by publication of scholarly works on history, genealogy, historic architecture, or historic preservation. Pete Prunkl won this award for his book Beyond The Hedges, that chronicles the history of the Historic Salisbury Foundation. Prunkl spent almost three years interviewing some 50 people, researching and writing a 25 chapter book that was published in 2020. He cited 80 letters and unpublished documents, 22 books, 188 articles from the Salisbury Post , 49 articles from the Foundation’s newsletter and 26 other periodicals.

The Preservation Craftsmen and Professionals Award recognizes a craftsman or professional, through their body of work, whose actions and leadership exemplify an understanding of an effective professional practice in working with historic building and sites. Nick Bishop was the winner in this category. Nick has been a member of the Spencer Historic Preservation Commission serving as the Vice Chairman from 2018 until 2022. Nick has made significant contributions to growing Spencer’s historic district. Due to his help with Spencer’s goal setting, investment in the residential areas and the downtown has been seen.

The Long Time Preservation Leader Award recognizes an individual who, through their body of work, has demonstrated a long-term commitment to historic preservation either through service to Historic Salisbury Foundation, their neighborhood, or a specific project. For this award, two winners were chosen.

Susan Goodman Sides served as president of the Historic Salisbury Foundation twice, both at critical times when the foundation was without an Executive Director. Susan initiated the following:

-The book on the history of Historic Salisbury Foundation, Beyond the Hedges

-The archive room with the idea of preserving our records and providing information to the public on our historic houses starting with the West Square houses.

-Susan protected the character of our landmark Railroad Station by stopping the plan for monstrous towers with the walkway.

-Susan was a proponent of the revolving fund and pushed to save the Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless House on South Main Street.

The second recipient of the Long Time Preservation Leader is Randy Goodman. Goodman has worked on Salisbury’s historic buildings for forty plus years. He’s been a huge asset for our city, often unnoticed and behind the scenes. His quality work has been difficult ranging from foundation stabilization, masonry repairs, woodworking, all things that preserve the historic features of Salisbury’s beautiful historic buildings and homes.

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