Home Local News: Asheville and Hendersonville Sondley Award given to John William ‘Bill’ Bell, Jr.

Sondley Award given to John William ‘Bill’ Bell, Jr.

2001
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The Restoration of the stained glass windows done at Trinity Episcopal Church received a Griffin Award from the Preservation Society of Asheville Buncombe County. Photo courtesy of Ken Wilson.

By Dasha Morgan – The Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County awarded John W. (Bill) Bell, Jr., the Sondley Award. The Sondley, named after F.A. Sondley, is awarded to an individual or individuals who by word or deed has kindled among the citizenry of Asheville and Buncombe County an appreciation for the history or historic resources of the area. The Award was given to John W. (Bill) Bell, Jr. of Biltmore Property Group,LLC, for his many accomplishments. Bill had been a pioneer in the preservation and the re-development of Historic Biltmore Village.

Thirteen Griffin Awards were presented by the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County to individuals and outstanding projects that further the goals of historic preservation in Asheville and Buncombe County. Each year PSABC bestows awards to draw attention to the good work being done in this community. These recipients found ways to preserve amazing buildings, often in quite a creative way, so they could continue to grace the area.

Other awards:

Adaptive Reuse, Curate Expansion – Expansion of the ever popular Curate Tapas Bar into the neighboring space at 13 Biltmore Avenue while celebrating the building’s 1920s history.

Adaptive Reuse, 14 Riverside Drive: Arts & Culture Center – Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building was donated to the City of Asheville by PSNC Energy and will now be used as an Arts & Culture Center after being unused for over 50 years.

Adaptive Reuse, Jargon – Neglected to the point of condemnation, owner Sean Piper used his life savings to save this property listed on the National Register of Historic Places and open Jargon.

Adaptive Reuse, The Bunn House – When for sale, the property was marketed with plans to convert the home into office space and add dense development to the 1.3 acre site, however, the current owners saw an opportunity to preserve and honor the history of the house and neighborhood by converting it to a Bed & Breakfast.

Adaptive Reuse, Charles George VA Medical Center – With holes in the roof and nature taking over, historic Building # 9 was once slated for demolition, however, with community support and encouragement, the Veteran’s Administration made the commitment to save Building # 9 from being lost forever.

Adaptive Reuse, White Labs Asheville – This project is special because they were able to take a building that was over a century old, that in most cases would have been torn down, and give it new life, as well as providing a growing area with a new business.

Rehabilitation, 21 Dyer Drive – Abandoned for more than 15 years and considered by many to be a tear-down, Patricia Mabe and Jesus Ortiz were determined to give this home life again.

Rehabilitation, 97 Broad Street – Built in 1908 by C.C. Willis, the proprietor of the Asheville Fish Market, new homeowners Jo Stephenson and David Larsen had to deal with a failing foundation before rebuilding the home from the inside out.

Rehabilitation, Hedden House – The date of the original home is unknown, but it is believed that the home was rebuilt in 1929 after a fire, which is supported by a number of fire damaged bricks found on the property and a copy of an Atlanta Journal newspaper dated November 17, 1929, found in the attic wall during the rehab project.

Rehabilitation, New Gunston Hall – This meticulous rehabilitation in Biltmore Forest went so far as to locate the still-in-business brickyard for the 1920s home and using the original invoice, have them replicate the brick to use in repairs.

Rehabilitation, Possum Trot Cottage – This rustic Shingle Style home is a contributing structure in the Albemarle Park Manor Grounds National Register Historic District and current owners Will and Amy Hornaday have ensured that it will continue to be a special place on the hillside of Albemarle Park for decades to come.

Restoration, Trinity Episcopal Church – Funded through memorial gifts to honor Greg Byrd, Christopher Byrd, Phillip Byrd and Jackelyn Kulzer who died in an Atlanta plane crash, the Church’s stained glass windows by famed glass artist Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast have been lovingly restored.

Education, Kieta Osteen-Cochrane – PSABC Board member and Education Committee Chair, Kieta Osteen-Cochrane, was recognized for the outstanding education programing she has facilitated for the community over the past several years.

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