German Village Gazette

Caretakers of a Legacy

Honorees examples of why Village is a special place

We celebrated on May 14 our Caretakers of a Legacy Awards, noting four more leaders in our local preservation efforts.

The Caretakers of a Legacy awards program was established to honor people, projects and organizations that contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the historic fabric of German Village.

The event belongs to the German Village Commission, our partner in preservation in the neighborhood.

Caretakers of a Legacy is, in fact, a trademarked phrase of the German Village Society, making the award event one of our most mission-centric nights for the Society's historic preservation and education efforts.

The Commission gave two commendations and the Society and Commission shared a special award.

The Preservation Award was bestowed on Mary and Jeff Jablonski of 874 City Park.

They purchased their German Village home in December, and quickly realized it required a new roof.

Slate roofs can last upwards of 50 years and many of the homes in German Village are on only their second roof. Because of age, however, many of these are falling into disrepair.

Instead of replacing their slate roof with asphalt shingles, the Jablonskis were determined to preserve the architectural integrity of their home and had a new slate roof installed.

The Commissioners' Award, given to 213 E. Beck St., is in the middle of an addition project by owners Vijaya Iyer and Jeff Smith.

Additions are difficult sometimes to consider in German Village, but many of the smaller homes require them to be inhabitable.

Iyer's and Smith's addition is an exemplary example of how a modern addition can work in an historic district. Visit it yourself during this year's Haus und Garten tour.

A Certificate of Merit was presented to Salon 644 and owner Mindy Coffey.

In 2011, Coffey moved her salon from 53 Stewart Ave. to 644 Pearl St., not only changing location, but also the name of the salon from Head of the Park to Salon 644.

Coffey not only improved the exterior of the structure through fresh paint, and modifications to fit her business, but by creating a vegetable garden, which is tended to by both staff and clients. Excess produce grown in the garden is donated.

Each year, the Society bestows during the event the President's Award.

It's meant to be someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the historic, architectural or aesthetic character of German Village and to the community's way of life.

Ann Lee Lilly is the 2014 President's Award recipient.

Ann is a well-known, beloved member of our community and she has been an historic preservation activist for at least 40 years -- an impressive record of passionate engagement as both a volunteer and a leader, both formally and informally.

Ann has devoted a major part of her life to German Village and to our collective efforts to retain our historic properties and our neighborhood's historic integrity.

As both a mindful property owner and a member of the Commission for 14 years, Ann has been masterful in balancing often competing views and desires in the revitalization and preservation of historic German Village.

Importantly, Ann's tenure spanned the formative years when German Village experienced more development than the community had seen in many, many years.

There were NO written guidelines at the time to assist either property owners or commissioners. Ann later served on the task force that wrote the first guidelines.

Courtesy and clear communication became hallmarks of Commission hearings with Ann's leadership. A fellow commission member remembers Ann's approach and leadership as "a firm grip in a velvet glove."

Both on and off the Commission, Ann has been an effective, informal advocate and leader for historic preservation. For this dedication, all of us who love German Village and, surely those who forever come afterward, owe a big THANK YOU to you for all she has done, and continues to do, for the good of German Village.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.

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