2023 Michael Hardy Preservation Initiative Award
For his tireless advocacy of the preservation of the built environment in West Philadelphia and for his legacy as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s renown preservation program, this year’s Preservation Initiative Award goes to Aaron Wunsch.
In many ways, Aaron has pushed UCHS to take a more proactive preservation role within our community. This led UCHS in 2016 to pursue our first nominations of properties on the 4000 block of Chestnut Street. Since then, UCHS has protected more than 160 properties from demolition through a series of individual nominations and four small historic districts.
Photos, clockwise from upper left: Andrew Fearon, Emily Orr, Amy Lambert, Libby Hawes, Harrison Haas.
Aaron has taught countless students in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Penn, including two current UCHS board members and numerous UCHS members. At Penn, Aaron has led the core courses of Documentation, Site Analysis, and American Architecture which are the foundations of Penn’s preservation curriculum.
Aaron has been heavily involved with the preservation of vulnerable resources such as St. Peter’s Church of Christ on Kingsessing Avenue and Frank Furness’s 19th Street Baptist Church in South Philadelphia. He was a part of a robust team of preservationists who oversaw the successful, local designation of the Powelton Village Historic District. And for years, he served on the board of the Woodlands, a gem of a historic site in West Philly and an early example of the 19th century rural cemetery, a landscape that has inspired much of his research.
Aaron has tirelessly stuck his neck out when others would not…pushing the Philadelphia Historical Commission to take a stronger stance on preservation, and calling out his own employer, the University of Pennsylvania, when their preservation initiatives went awry. He has inspired his students to the same activism and fearlessness when it comes to preservation.
We thank Aaron for his dedication to preserving West Philadelphia’s heritage in all its forms, for fighting the good fight and for leading by example to show that preservation is an invaluable tool in shaping the future of our city. Congratulations, Aaron, and thank you!
Check out our online video of the 2023 Award Ceremony here.
Outstanding Preservation Award
Eleanor and Thomas Ewing (47XX Chester Avenue)
Roof Restoration and Carpentry: Schoppworks. Masonry by Knapp Masonry. Stained Glass Restoration: Hope Yaffe. Exterior Carpentry: Joe Taraborelli. Exterior Paint: Keu Painting
Geoffrey Hale and Alison Parker (46XX Springfield Avenue)
General Contracting: Hanson Fine Building. Slate Roof: Topline Construction. Carpentry: Kelsanf Wanghal, LLC. Masonry: Matt Nichols, LLC. Painting: Michael Brandt
Michael Hardy Preservation Award
For his tireless advocacy of preservation in West Philadelphia and his legacy as Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gift to the Street Awards
U3 Ventures (2X S 40th Street)
Contractor: Columbus Construction. Architect: ISA
Kyle Cassidy and Jennifer Summerfield (2XX S 46th Street)
Selina Morales and Aaron Spector (2XX S Melville Street)
Xin-Gang Huang, Zu-Tao Luo, and Chu-Fang Huang (2XX S 46th Street)
Work overseen by Herman Huang. Decoration by Zu-Tao
Maureen Prewitt (2XX S 46th Street)
Cheryl & Bruce Reid (5XX S 44th Street)
Design: Kristin Reid. Roofing: Jeff Marmelstein. Painting: Matt Broomfield and Terry Fields
Kate Springer and Chris Gladd (5XX S 46th Street)
Painting: Paint Philadelphia
David Han Zhang Liang and Keriann Shalvoy (5XX S 46th Street)
Kristin & Cheryl Reid (5XX S 46th Street)
Andrea Kirsh and Andrew Morrough (8XX S 48th Street)
Preston Hull (10XX S 49th Street)
Iron Cresting Restoration: By Owner. Roofing: Kurtz Construction
MMAG Properties LLC (34XX Baring Street)
Roger Wing and Elaine Lander (34XX Hamilton Street)
Woodwork: Louis Tannen. Paint and Stripping: By Owner
Anna Weesner (35XX Hamilton Street)
Painting: Matt Broomfield, Terry Shields, Sud Torchio, Devin Abrams
Madis Coffee & Roastery (35XX Lancaster Avenue)
Owner: Savvas Navrodsidis
Raymond Ricketts and William Bissell (36XX Hamilton Street)
Painting: Oscar Tabares
Stephen Schmid and Stephanie Schimpf (4610 Spruce Street)
Dana Reed and Wayne Haris (46XX Osage Avenue)
Mary Yee (47XX Hazel Avenue)
Painting: Keu Painting. Roofing: Kurtz Construction
Jessica Baumert and Nathan Johnson (48XX Florence Avenue)
Mary Anne Lucey and Patricia Warner (48XX Windsor Avenue)
2074 E York LP (4813 Springfield Avenue)
Roofing: Nasip Exteriors
Jay and Elaine Case (48XX Windsor Avenue)
Elizabeth Rich and David Richards (48XX Windsor Avenue)
Painting: Paint the Town. Roofing: Kurtz Construction. Brick Pointing: Stephen Morris. Glass Mosaic: Linda Hawke.
Patrick Bayer (53XX Baltimore Avenue)
Work Performed by Owner. Metal Ornamentation: WF Norman Company. Paint Material: Earth & Flax. House Number: Hand over Fist Signs.
To view GIFT TO THE STREET award winners from previous years CLICK HERE.
The Gift to the Street Award is one of three awards UCHS hands out annually at our Annual Awards Ceremony, held in February. This awards ceremony continues the legacy of our Valentine’s Tea, which UCHS retired after more than fifty years. The awards honor the historically sensitive improvements neighbors make to their houses: window restoration, a new paint scheme, the replacement of a character defining feature long lost, such as roof finials or porch balusters, and gardening efforts. There are countless improvements to our historic housing stock that can make the list. We want to celebrate the smaller triumphs outside of full building restoration and give credit to the weekend warriors, the old house lovers, and those proud of the neighborhood’s character.
Accepted year round. If you know an exceptional project in your neighborhood that you would like to nominate, please send information to email@example.com.