Madison’s Historic District Review Board (HDRB) recognized several property owners and their preservation projects Monday night by presenting the city’s annual awards for preservation achievement for 2021.
The projects ranged from multi-million dollar restoration and repurposes like the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott at the former Eagle Cotton Mill on Vaughn Drive to the Riverside Tower Lofts Apartments at the former Tower Tack Factory as well as recognitions like a lifetime achievement award for ongoing preservation.
Josh Wilber, chairman of the HDRB, said the awards are a way for the city to recognize some of the most impactful historic preservation projects annually and thank those property owners and developers for investing time, effort and money in the city while embracing the mission of HDRB and the city’s goals for protecting its historic district.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Tony and Phyllis Steinhardt and the Steinhardt family for their decades of work in preservation.
Tony Steinhardt said that after growing up in Madison in a family that not only lived and worked in the city’s historic district, a respect and love for Madison’s historic buildings came naturally as did the desire to preserve the historic district.
While the Steinhardts represent a born and raised love of Madison’s historic district, many of the other award winners are transplants who landed in a community that grew on them and discovered buildings they wanted to preserve.
Ron Bateman, head of the Riverton LLC investment and development group that bought and resurrected the former Eagle Cotton Mill as a Fairfield Inn, is such a transplant retiring to Madison and then involving his partners to save the former industrial site from years of decay and turn it into a boutique hotel overlooking the Ohio River. The 85-room, $22 million project, completed earlier this year, was awarded the HDBR’s Commercial Award.
Meanwhile, the HDBR recognized the Riverside Tower Lofts Apartments as the Best Rehabilitation Project in the Historic District after the Denton Floyd Real Estate Group invested millions to renovate the former tack factory into an apartment complex with 42 one-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom units for residents 55 years and older.
Wilber noted that the project faced special complications in the fact that soil contaminated by chemical leaks required a great deal of cleanup prior to renovation and construction but the finished product is not only an asset in terms of aesthetics, repurposed preservation and senior housing but makes for a safer city for neighbors now that the contamination is removed.
Other award winners included:
— Best Residential Award to John and Linda DeLuca for their renovation and restoration of their home at 210 West Second Street.
— Gold Standard Award to Ronald and Barbara Frazee for their work to salvage and renovate the Hitz House located at 829 West Main Street after the business and apartments were gutted by fire in 2020.
— Best New Infill Award to developer Betty Sexton and contractor Brian Martin for their work to plan and build four single family homes in the 800 block of West First Street in downtown Madison. Although, modern and non-contributing to the historic district, Wilber said the design and appearance of the homes is aesthetically pleasing and fits in well with the surrounding historic neighborhoods.