Tracey Clark and Ben Riddleberger purchased the 1885 gas valve building historically known as the Chesapeake Gas Works in 2005 to house their architectural salvage business, Housewerks. Over the past five years Riddleberger and Clark have stabilized and restored the long vacant building (also known as Bayard Station) and have highlighted its many fine details. These include ornamental plaster and woodwork, fireplaces, 10 foot high Palladian windows and a granite walls on the lower level. They extensively researched the history of the building and proudly display early images throughout their store. In addition, they worked with the Pigtown neighborhood in 2006 to have the building included on the National Register of Historic Places. With more than a little sweat, the building now is a centerpiece in a quickly changing industrial part of South Baltimore.
Originally the summer home of industrialist and abolitionist Elisha Tyson in the early 1800s, 732 Pacific Street is a classic Federal style house built with native granite two feet thick. Among many other accomplishments, Tyson helped finance the very profitable Falls Road Turnpike in 1805 and reportedly established safe houses for runaway slaves along the route. The building on Pacific Street was later owned by the Mount Vernon Mill Company and used as a superintendent’s house for the mill complex. Robyn Lyles and Mark Thistle (also a Baltimore Heritage board member) purchased the house in 2005 and finished renovations in 2009. The rehab project included archeology work by the University of Maryland, painstakingly saving windows including the original antique glass, and disassembling and reassembling the porch to save the original materials. 13,000 hours of work later, the finished product is a masterpiece of historic preservation.
The award goes to owners Robyn Lyles and Mark Thistle, SMG Architects, and contractor Traditional Builders. For more information check out this great feature in Urbanite Magazine with a slideshow on the house and a profile on Elisha Tyson. You can also enjoy a few photos from our recent Behind the Scenes Tour of Mount Vernon Mill No. 1, just around the corner from the Elisha Tyson House.
Today’s post is the beginning of a new category for our 2010 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Award winners. The Restoration and Rehab Award recognizes that restoration or rehabilitation of historic commercial, institutional or residential buildings that have maintained the basic historic function of the building. Our first award-winner in this category is the Hampden Residence of Ezra Hercenberg at 3415 Falls Road.
With new vinyl siding on the front and every single window missing, the building at 3415 Falls Road appeared an unlikely candidate for any type of historic preservation project. Undaunted, the owner, Ezra Hercenberg, and his architect Julie Tice, charged in. They removed the vinyl to reveal original German siding, which they preserved in place. They repaired the porch, saving as much original material as they could, and they even were able to preserve the original cornice. The end result is a wonderfully restored historic structure that brings new life to the Hamden historic district.
The University of Baltimore’s Liberal Arts and Policy Building at 10 W. Preston Street originally housed the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal secret society founded in 1894 and the first such society to be incorporated under an act of Congress. The co-educational institution, University of Baltimore, acquired the building and undertook an extensive renovation project in which the original stained glass and spiral stairs were restored, as was the limestone fronts along Charles Street. The work even uncovered the original tile floor, which was cleaned and reused. The University of Baltimore is the owner and Cho Benn Holback + Associates was the architect.
Originally constructed as the “Medical Arts Building” in 1927, the Professional Arts Building at 101 West Read Street served as offices for medical personnel until it saw a decline in occupancy in the 1990s. The large 110,000 square foot building was left more than seventy-five percent vacant for a decade prior to its rehabilitation in 2009. Restoration work included repairing the original terra cotta balustrade, refurbishing the main lobby and elevator lobbies in the upper floors, and restoring the storefront on Cathedral Street. Kann Partners was the architect and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse were the builders.