BRISTOL, Tenn. — Some of Bristol’s best examples of architecture from the late 19th century and early 20th century were on display at Bristol, Tennessee’s second annual Historic Preservation Awards Program on Thursday evening.
The ceremony was held at the Bristol Renaissance Center on Shelby Street, the restoration of which, along with the Bristol Post Office and Custom House also on Shelby Street, netted owner Joseph Gregory the stewardship award. Gregory was also presented with a mason’s level found during the restoration of the Bristol Renaissance Center.
The awards ceremony recognized the best historic preservation work in the city and the individuals behind it. There were five categories of awards: one each for properties in three districts — the Bristol Downtown Commercial Historic District, Fairmount Neighborhood Historic District and the Holston Avenue Neighborhood Historic District — as well as a citywide award for historic properties anywhere in the city and a stewardship award for careful attention to detail.
Roughly a dozen nominations were submitted for this year’s awards, and each was judged by a committee based on how well the exterior of the buildings were preserved through sensitive renovations, repairs and/or compatible building additions; the quality of the work; the positive impact the building has on the community; and the example it sets for other historic preservation projects in the city.
The downtown award and citywide awards were presented to J. Allen Hurley II for his work on the 620 State Building, which was built in 1898 as a department store and the City Centre building at 100 Fifth St., which was built in 1888 and was the original site of the Bristol YMCA.
“It’s as costly to revitalize these buildings as it is to build new ones, but we lose history when we lose these buildings,” Hurley said.
Nedra and Phil Hartley took home the Holston Avenue award for their Victorian Queen Anne-style home on Holston Avenue. They have been restoring the home for 10 years, and work is ongoing. The Fairmount award was given to Christa McClellan for her work restoring Lynwood Cottage, her 1917 American Arts & Crafts- style home on Lynwood Street.
Prior to the awards there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bristol Renaissance Center, built in 1920 as the E.W. King Building and is now a mix of retail and office spaces. The ribbon-cutting celebrated the move-in of its final tenant.