Historical Society Honors Four Organizations for Preservation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Historical Society has announced four winners for this year’s Historic Preservation Award: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, Lewis House, St. Patrick Church and the Peter Allen Inn. The winners will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting June 20.

Winning the Commercial Revitalization Award was the Peter Allen Inn & Event Center in Kinsman, which opened last year after a three-year renovation process. Originally built in 1821 as a home for Dr. Peter Allen, the first doctor in Kinsman, the building was in serious need of repair when Dick and Rhonda Thompson bought the building.

Their work included leveling the house by relaying foundation stones, rebuilding the fireplaces to code, rebuilding the roof with historically accurate slate, restoring the wooden façade, restoring the original windows, installing a geothermal HVAC system and refurbishing the original woodwork.

“This was an innovative and sensitive repurposing of a property that posed a number of significant restoration challenges,” said Tom Leary, a history professor at Youngstown State University and a member of the judging panel, in a release. “It is also, in my opinion, one of the most important buildings in the Western Reserve, and probably the most significant project that has ever received a Historic Preservation award.”

The three remaining organizations will be presented with Community Revitalization awards.

Built between 1908 and 1913, Mount Carmel completed a project last year to repair and refinish the building’s original exterior woodwork, brick, terra cotta, granite and limestone.

St. Patrick Church last year completed an eight-year project to restore its stained-glass windows. All of the church’s windows, ranging from one-foot-by-three feet windows on the side of the church to a larger piece that occupies most of the front façade, were sent to Studio Arts & Glass in North Canton for repair and leading. The window frames were also replaced and new protective coverings and vents were install to ensure the windows will last as long as possible.

The Poland Preservation Society has spent years renovating the Lewis House after saving it from demolition in 1996. Among the exterior work, they have installed a new roof, replacing the siding with historically accurate wooden hardy board and removing a modern porch attached to the house. Inside, the society repainted, put in new plumbing, repaired plaster and installed a new furnace.

“The project is important because it illustrates how grass-roots concern and initiative can change an outcome. It also shows that preservation can be achieved through education and dialogue,” said judge Mark Peyko. “The house is a small, but significant, example of successful grass-roots preservation.”

All four will be honored at the history society’s annual meeting 5:30 to 8 p.m. June 20 at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center. Tickets cost $28 for members and $32 for nonmembers.

For more information about the awards or to purchase tickets, call 330 743 2489 or visit MahoningHistory.org.

Pictured: Dick Thompson, along with his wife Rhonda, spent three years restoring Kinsman’s Peter Allen House. They were among the four winners of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Historic Preservation Award.

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