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2017 Griffin Awards Recognizes Preservation Projects in Buncombe County

starnes Avenue - Restoration51 Starnes Avenue after

This Montford house, at 51 Starnes Avenue, received a Griffen Award this year for restoration efforts.

The efforts of property owners, contractors and architects across our community are the keystone to preservation in Asheville & Buncombe County. Each year in May, National Preservation Month, PSABC brings together our community to recognize these significant projects. The Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County (PSABC ) announced the 2017 Griffin Awards for Historic Preservation with a presentation. Members and guests met at the historic Asheville Masonic Temple to learn of this year’s stellar examples of rehabilitation and restoration in the area. The Preservation Society likes to recognize the efforts of some in the community, who work to sustain the heritage and the sense of place that is Asheville and Buncombe County.

The category, Adaptive Reuse, recognizes efforts to sensitively alter historic places to allow for a new use. The Patton Parker House at 95 Charlotte Street, Buxton Hall Barbecue, the new 12 Bones in the River Arts District and the Swannonoa Valley Museum all received honors in this category.

Rehabilitation is the preservation practice of lightly modify a historic house in a manner that respects integrity of age while allowing for modern-day conveniences. 51 Starnes Avenue in Montford, 14 Club Street in Chicken Hill, 178 Sunset Drive in Black Mountain and 51 Lawrence Place of Grove Park were recognized as significant rehab projects for 2017.

The Albemarle Park Manor-Grounds Neighborhood Association was honored by PSABC for an outstanding body of work in replicating historic street lighting, restoring a brick-lined walkway known as Hillside Walk, the production of a new neighborhood website and the restoration of two stone gateway pillars to the historic districict.

Buncombe County Government was recognized in the Stewardship category for the long-term care and maintenance of the Smith & Carrier Office building, currently housing the Register of Deeds Office. This building, built in 1923, stands in the shadow of both the new courts building and a modern office building at the College Street roundabout.

In the Education category, The North Carolina Room of Pack Library was honored by their highly regarding program series highlighting Down Town Asheville in the 1980’s. The Sandy Mish communities effort in creating the Farm Heritage Trail was also awarded a Griffin in the Education category.

Restoration is the seldom used practice of accurately reviving a historic place to a certain period of time from the past. The Vance Monument and the Montreat Gateway were both recognized for exacting efforts in restoring these key historic resources of our community.

The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County (PSABC) was formed in 1976 with interest in preservation, sparked by observance of the U. S. Bicentennial, and in response to threats to local buildings and sites posed by neglect, insensitive alteration, and large-scale transportation projects. Jack Thomson joined the Society as Executive Director in 2011. In its 40 years of service to the community, PSABC is known for creative solutions to difficult preservation problems, and for local leadership in public and private stewardship of significant buildings and places. For more information about their many activities or to become a member, go to

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