After taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oil Region Alliance is back to award area organizations with the 2021 Historic Preservation Awards.
Among those selected, the Titusville area had several award winners, including local organizations and individuals recognized for their contributions to historic preservation.
Titusville area winners of the award are: Benson Memorial Library for preservation stewardship of the library building; the City of Titusville for its preservation education/initiative for the Titusville, Pa. Design Guide for Historic Structures & Features; David Weber for historic appreciation for years of research of the Oil Region’s history and the Windfall Rod Shop for the reconstruction of the Sun Oil Co. Gas Station.
“After cancelling last year’s event because of the pandemic, I’m pleased that we are holding the Oil Region Historic Preservation Awards in 2021,” said Jennifer Burden, Oil Region Alliance Heritage program manager.
The ORA has given more than 150 Historic Preservation Awards since 1997 with the exception of 2020 when no awards were given because of the pandemic. The awards program recognizes appropriate preservation, restoration and rehabilitation projects and individuals and groups committed to historic preservation.
Titusville City Manager Neil Fratus spoke with The Herald about the award. “It’s an honor,” said Fratus, “Hats off to Rhonda Clark and the City planning commission.”
The City won the award for a guide it created that helps homeowners take care of their historic homes.
“Now we have guidelines to educate residents on how important historic homes and buildings are,” said Fratus. He mentioned that after the Colonel Drake Hotel was torn down, the City wanted to make sure no more of its history was lost.
Another local recipient was the Benson Memorial Library. The library was given the award based on work done to its windows. The library recently carried out work to install windows in the building that match the historic design of the original architects from 1902.
“We are really excited to have recognized our efforts to maintain the building’s historic character,” said the library’s Executive Director Jessica Hilburn.
Her organization hopes that through its efforts, the library can continue to maintain its historic roots.
“We hope to still be in this building for decades to come while having it look as beautiful as it did when built,” said Hilburn.
Winners will be presented their awards by their nominators during a private ceremony at the Transit Building in Oil City, which will be filmed and broadcast over local cable and available via streaming media. The ceremony will premiere on Thursday, May 20.Details on how to view the ceremony will be available on the ORA Facebook page.
“Though the ceremony will be held virtually, it’s important to recognize and celebrate historic preservation efforts throughout the Oil Region,” said Burden.