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Renovators get a pat on the back from group

Even buildings that don't qualify as historic renovations get a Silk Purse award for their efforts.

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 3, 2002


Extensive renovations on a house they own at 1920 Dekle Ave. earned Marsha and Harry Hurst the Silk Purse award from Tampa Preservation Inc.

The couple replaced the original wood siding and jalousie windows. The metal awnings were removed. But the presence of an aluminum-screened breezeway behind the 76-year-old house eliminated the Hursts from any other category of awards recognized at the April 26 Preservation Celebration ceremony at the University of Tampa.

"The Silk Purse is given by discretion of the board to work that wouldn't qualify as a historic preservation project," said Nootchie Smith, who helped oversee the awards program.

"We still award the efforts as an example of keeping and utilizing a building."

Since 1982, Tampa Preservation Inc. has singled out outstanding rehabilitation and preservation efforts as part of its mission of identifying and protecting historic structures and neighborhoods of Tampa.

"We used to drive around and canvass the neighborhoods," recalled Becky Clarke, executive director and past-president.

Now the process calls for nominations in February and March. The properties do not have to be in a historic district.

"Anyone can nominate themselves or friends and neighbors," Clarke said.

The group's judges follow standards set by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Renovation must be appropriate to the character of the building.

"So if it was a bungalow and they tried to turn it into something else, that wouldn't work," Clark said.

Only the exterior is evaluated.

Finalists receive a banner to display outside their house, along with a certificate. If they sell the property, the banner stays with the house, said Clarke.

This year, eight residential and commercial properties were selected from 23 nominations.

Two organizations were honored for promoting historic preservation. The Bank of Tampa sends clients Christmas cards illustrated with historic Tampa structures. And Hyde Park Preservation Inc. produced a video called "Photographs and Memories -- A Hyde Park Story."

Berkeley Preparatory senior Jennifer Sasso earned an individual achievement certificate for her portrayal of Ena Bernadina, a teenager visiting the Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1890s.

In addition to the Hurst home, the winners are:

Residential Banners: Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Prieto, 810 W Amelia Ave.; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Everingham, 1903 Bayshore Blvd.; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Whitmore, 3111 Hawthorne Road; and Barbara Farrar, 203 W Powhattan Ave.

Residential Honorable Mention: Vic Granowcz, 1815 Fifth Ave.

Nonresidential Banners: Dale Swope, 1234 Fifth Ave.; Kari and Brad Souders, 115 S. Fielding.

Nonresidential Honorable Mention: Phillip Gerardi, 1604 N 19th St.

- Amy Scherzer can be reached at 226-3332 or scherzer@sptimes.com.

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