LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia announced this year’s historic preservation award recipients at its annual awards banquet at the Clingman Center for Community Engagement in Lewisburg.
Each year, the alliance solicits public nominations and votes on award winners that represent the most outstanding and exemplary historic preservation projects around the Mountain State. Preservationists, supporters, and friends gathered with the Alliance’s board of directors and staff on Saturday to celebrate the 2023 award winners.
President of the Greenbrier Historical Society, Janice Cooley, said, “The Greenbrier Historical Society is pleased and excited that the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has recognized one of our projects and one of our own through this year’s West Virginia Historic Preservation Awards.
Clifford Gillilan is a valued member of our board of directors and lends his exceptional expertise to the planning of many of our projects, as well as the ongoing work of maintaining our facilities. He is currently a member of our Library/Enslaved Quarters planning group as we work to restore those buildings as significant historical assets in Lewisburg. We are happy to have his abilities recognized across the state.”
Rodney Collins Preservation Achievement Award
Clifford Gillilan, Lewisburg
Gillilan has been a major force for decades as the contractor in charge of restoring and maintaining many of the earliest homes in the Lewisburg area including the historic Renick House (1780s), Lewisburg Hotel, and the Old Stone Church where he oversaw the roof replacement and significant updates to the adjacent education building. Gillilan also saw that every inch of the historic Montwell home, a Jefferson Street landmark in Lewisburg, was touched lovingly and skillfully in the two-year project. Thanks to Gillilan, Oak Terrace and Merry Hill, two well-known, arge homes of the early 20th century, have also been carefully preserved. Without knowledgeable, ambitious, skilled artisans like Gillilan, many of Lewisburg’s unique cultural resources may not have been preserved.
Cooley also said, “The Friends of the Blue Committee, as an arm of the Greenbrier Historical Society, has pursued the restoration of the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion for 10 years. It was a monumental project to renovate this exceptional remnant of the sulfur springs culture of the 1830s to the 1850s in this area. We are excited to be able to open it to visitors as well as for scheduled events. The members of this Committee are very deserving of this award.”
Most Significant Save of an Endangered Property Award
The Friends of the Blue Committee for the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion Restoration Project, Alderson
The Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion, located in Blue Sulphur Springs near Alderson, was listed as an endangered property by the Alliance in 2013 at the request of the Greenbrier Historical Society (GHS). Rebecca Lineberry donated the structure and surrounding property to the Greenbrier Historical Society during March of that year, leading to the formation of the GHS’s Friends of the Blue Committee, which led the restoration under the auspices of GHS.
Friends of the Blue Committee members are Alex McLaughlin as chair and Cathy Bolt, Irma Smith Cadle, William “Skip” Deegans, Margaret Hambrick and Ray and Lynn Tuckwiller. The Committee has remained intact throughout the project and committed 10 years to seeing this project completed.
Many other experts and funders contributed to the project success including the Mills Group, an award-winning architecture firm in West Virginia, which was selected to conduct the historic structure report and all subsequent design and contract oversight work. A successful Kickstarter campaign raised over $25,000 from small donors all across the country.
Grant support included the State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, Randall Reid-Smith, curator, and Susan Pierce, deputy director, provided financial and moral support, as well as technical guidance. The James F.B. Peyton Foundation through Angus Peyton donated greatly toward the effort.
Contractors included Allegheny Restoration, Buckeye Construction and Schleiff Construction. Kim and Stephen McBride lent their archaeological expertise. The final result is the breath-taking restoration of the 1838 Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion that was completed in 2023.
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