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Fresno honors the people preserving Fresno history

Bee photographer John Walker is a winner of the city of Fresno’s 2016 Historical Preservation Awards for his Historical Perspectives series.
Bee photographer John Walker is a winner of the city of Fresno’s 2016 Historical Preservation Awards for his Historical Perspectives series. The Fresno Bee

The city of Fresno on Tuesday announced the winners of its 2016 Historic Preservation Awards.

These are the developers, architects and designers with a passion to transform decades-old buildings or long-vacant land into modern working properties.

The honor goes to people and community groups that have demonstrated excellence in restoring historic buildings or leadership in preservation planning and neighborhood revitalization, the city said.

Nominations were taken from the public and staff and reviewed by a panel before given to Mayor Ashley Swearengin for approval.

The winners will be recognized in a ceremony during the Fresno City Council meeting at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Here are the winners:

▪ Outstanding Rehabilitation of a Residential Property: Steve Walter for the restoration of an American Foursquare-style house built in 1902 at 934 E. Mildreda Ave. in the Lowell neighborhood, just north of downtown Fresno. AFREI LLC., an Assemi family company, for the restoration of 1320 P St., a neoclassical cottage built in 1902, a block and a half northeast of Fresno City Hall.

▪ Adaptive Reuse of a Historic Property: Jake Soberal, Will Dyck and Henderson Architectural Group for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the James Phelan Building, 700 Van Ness Ave., for Bitwise South Stadium. The garage and automobile dealership was vacant for years before it was gutted and transformed into a technology hub.

▪ Outstanding Rehabilitation of a Non-Residential Property: Reza Assemi for the restoration of the PG&E (Theatre 3) Building on Fulton Street in the Mural District. The building was constructed in 1929 as a customer service center and office for Pacific Gas and Electric. It was used for several years by a local theater company. The building is now home to the Jeffrey Scott Agency.

▪ Best In-Fill Building Project: Terance Frazier, Marvin Armstrong, Kiel Schmidt and the Fresno Housing Authority for 541 at South Tower, on Fulton Street, just south of the Tower District. The 31-unit affordable housing project was designed with art-deco architecture and has seven live/work units.

▪ Community Preservation Award, individuals: Patricia Haun (South Van Ness Industrial District), John Walker (The Fresno Bee) and Tim Schulz (Revive Industries).

▪ Community Preservation Award, group: The city’s Historic Preservation “Swat Team” of Howard Lacy, Jesse Morrison and Kevin Watkins; Edward Smith and the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition for their co-sponsorship, since 2005, of Bike Through History.

▪ Horizon Award: Christopher Rocha for his website and advocacy for the preservation of the Hotel Fresno.

▪ The Russell and Pat Fey Memorial Preservationist of the Year Award: Robert Boro, landscape architect for leadership and support of historic and cultural causes over the past 25 years.

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee

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