Two extraordinarily restored buildings on Western Reserve Academy’s campus – President’s House and the school’s iconic Chapel – have been honored with Preservation Awards from Hudson Heritage Association.
The inaugural awards were announced and presented at HHA’s annual members-only celebration on May 10 inside WRA’s Chapel.
Created in 2017, the Hudson Heritage Association Preservation Awards recognize, honor and celebrate historic Hudson properties, buildings and landscapes that have been preserved or restored within the last five years.
Nominated properties are reviewed by independent judges who tour the site and review documentation to ensure the integrity and historical accuracy of the restoration/preservation and that the project followed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. Recipients of the award receive special markers that commemorate the projects.
“For generations, historic buildings in Hudson have been carefully and lovingly restored to their original beauty and character,” said Inga Walker, HHA co-president. “The Preservation Awards allow Hudson Heritage Association to make sure these incredible projects and the people behind them get the recognition they deserve.
“It’s fitting that the first-ever HHA Preservation Awards are going to projects at Western Reserve Academy,” she added. “The campus has been the anchor of our town’s architectural magnificence for more than 180 years.”
President’s House, built in 1830, is the oldest building on the school’s campus. A complete interior and exterior renovation of the stunning federal-style structure was completed in 2017. The reborn building now serves as the “front door” to Reserve, housing the admissions office and welcoming students to one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.
“This building is a gem of inspiration along beautiful Brick Row,” remarked the Awards judges. “The project could be used as an example of how reuse projects can be executed without seriously impacting a structure’s original historic character.”
The Chapel, Western Reserve Academy’s most recognized building, was built in 1836. The building’s exterior brickwork was completely restored in 2015, with red paint removed. The Chapel’s windows were also repaired.
“This is a tastefully simple job of restoring the Chapel to its original character,” the judges said. “Through the reconditioning process, the original brick has retained its original color and texture, with little to no damage. Masonry repairs were also completed with a mindful eye that mimicked original mortar color and texture. … The result is a great example of a successful historic restoration.”
The Chapel and President’s House are both listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.
Judges also awarded an honorable mention for the ongoing work to restore the Case-Barlow Farm Victorian bank barn.
“While the project is not complete enough for an award,” the judges stated, “the structure does deserve an honorable mention for work completed and the approach being used to preserve the structure.”
Nominations for the 2019 Hudson Heritage Association Preservation Awards will open later this year. For more information, visit HudsonHeritage.org.