Historic Preservation Awards
The Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Awards have been awarded each year since 1997. The awards program was created to: recognize projects that represent appropriate standards of preservation, restoration and rehabilitation; acknowledge individuals and groups for initiatives, services, or commitment to the preservation of historic structures; to create an advocacy for historic preservation through a greater public awareness of the built environment; and to enhance a region-wide preservation ethic in both the public and private sectors.
Sponsors of the awards are the Crawford County Historical Society, Oil City Heritage Society, Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism, Titusville Historical Society, Titusville Renaissance, Inc., Venango County Historical Society, and the Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry. Each sponsoring organization provides a judge for the team which reviews submitted nominations (especially “before” and “after” photographs or other documentation,) examines the relative merit of each nomination in relation to the eligibility criteria, and decides which nominees should receive awards.
Awards may be presented in the following categories:
- Adaptive Reuse – A process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their historic features.
- Enhancement Projects – Restoration and/or rehabilitation of exterior elements and appropriate use of colors, signs, awnings, and other exterior amenities.
- Preservation Education/Initiative – Service or commitment by an individual, group, or business which promotes the preservation of the built environment.
- Preservation Stewardship – Sensitive long-term care of an historic structure.
- Reconstruction – Restoration or substantial rehabilitation of an historic building.
- Residence – Restoration or rehabilitation of historic single or multifamily residences.
- Structure – Restoration or rehabilitation of an historic resource that is not a building. Example: bridges, fountains, gardens, statues, etc.
- Anyone may submit a nomination. To do so, complete a nomination/application form and mail it to the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism, along with supporting documentation, such as “Before & After” photographs.
- Any individuals and structures in the Oil Heritage Region are eligible. This includes all of Venango County, the City of Titusville, the Borough of Hydetown, and Oil Creek Township in Crawford County.
- Eligible structures include commercial, residential, industrial, public, religious, or other properties.
- Structures must be at least 50 years old. They need not qualify for “National Register” listing but must be of recognized historical or architectural value. Interior work in public buildings and/or exterior work is eligible.
- Construction or enhancement projects must have been completed in the last five years to be eligible.
- Once a project has received a Historic Preservation Award, it is not eligible to receive another award for five years.
- Awards are announced in April and presented in May, which has been designated as Preservation Month.
Congratulations to the 2013 Award Recipients
Will be announced soon – –
Previous Recipients of the Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Awards
2012 Winners Presented on May 17, 2012 at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, PA.
- Electralloy Corporation for the restoration of the Oil City Armory at the corner of State and East First Streets in Oil City.
- James L. Love, for the Prudential Insurance Office at 103 West Main Street in Titusville.
- Lynne R. Stover, for the Titus Ridgway House at 12558 Main Street in Hydetown.
- Rev. Martha Ishman, Pastor, for the St. James Episcopal Church at 112 East Main Street in Titusville.
- Titusville Woodlawn Corporation, for the Drake Memorial at Woodlawn Cemetery on Route 8 North of Titusville.
- William “Bill” Black of Franklin, for conducting and promoting digs and the organization of the Venango County Archaeological Society.
2011 Winners Presented on May 11, 2011 at Asbury Hall at Grace United Methodist Church in Oil City, PA.
- Rehabilitation & Enhancement—AmaZing Foods Catering Company; Judy Susi Grandelis and Henry Grandelis, owners. This home located at 1327 Elk Street in Franklin was built in the early 1900’s. It is now a restaurant and catering business. The garage became a pantry, the kitchen was completely renovated, and rooms were opened up, but the fireplaces and other architectural details were retained.
- Preservation Stewardship – Grace United Methodist Church; Rev. Byron Myers, Pastor. Located at 100 Central Avenue on Oil City’s South Side, this church was built in 1892. Over the years, the heat and cold weakened the lead in the stained glass windows, causing them to shift and crack. The restoration project was divided into ten phases. The third phase is nearly complete. The congregation raised more than $200,000 for the work done to-date.
- Reconstruction – Liberty Galleria; Franklin Moving Forward, Inc., owner. The Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Franklin Industrial and Commercial Development Authority and purchased a vacant building at 1255 Liberty Street in downtown Franklin to be used as a business incubator. It has been extensively renovated, inside and out. Nine businesses now occupy space on the ground floor.
- Preservation Initiative – Robert Billingsley. Bob Billingsley’s love of local history has led to extensive research about the County’s iron furnaces. The results were published onto two DVD’s which are now offered for sale at the Venango County Historical Society.
- Rehabilitation of Residence – James P. & Ida Butterworth Thomas House; Dr. James B. and Jane L. Wilkens, owners. This grand old home is located at 224 West Main Street in Titusville and has had only four owners since it was constructed in 1890. The money to build the home came from Edward A.L. Roberts, the inventor of the petroleum torpedo. It is being lovingly restored to its original luster.
- Restoration of Residence – The James B. Robbins House; Tim and Amy Chaney, owners. This grand old home at 901 Elk Street in Franklin was constructed in 1904. Previous owners had converted it into a duplex. When returning it to a single-family residence, quarter-sawn oak flooring was discovered under the carpeting and a fireplace mantle was found in a closet.
- Reconstruction – The Old Emlenton Mill; Paul and Nancy Newbury, owners. In 1875 the Old Emlenton Mill was built at 201 Main Street as a steam-powered grist mill. It ran for 100 years, and then sat vacant for 25+ years. Many volunteers helped to reconstruct it so that now it can be used for art classes, an antique shop, an ice cream shop, and a hostel for bicyclists, canoeists, and group retreats.
- Preservation Stewardship – The Commons at Franklin; Gary and Sandra Baker owners. This Queen Anne style building located at 1340 Liberty Street was originally constructed in 1887 as a private residence. Two years later it became a private social club more recently known as “The Franklin Club.” Purchased in 2009 by Gary and Sandra Baker, it has been restored and renamed “The Commons at Franklin.” It is open seven days a week for weddings and gala parties.
- Rehabilitation of Residence – The Fertig House; Robert Dahle, owner. This Italianate style home at 602 East Main Street in Titusville was built c. 1873 by John Fertig. It is located across the street from the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville and was the residence of the President-Joseph Ball, until his retirement in 1986. It sat vacant for many years and was scheduled to be torn down and salvaged when purchased by Robert Dahle, who had lived in the house across the street as a child. He has repaired, replaced and restored the home to the showplace he remembered from his youth.
2010 Winners presented on May 24, 2010 at Perry Street Station in Titusville, PA.
- Preservation Stewardship – St. Michael the Archangel Parish, for the long-term stewardship in the care of the church located in Emlenton
- Reconstruction – Keith & Beth Bromley, for the reconstruction of Bromley’s Hillhurst Bed & Breakfast located at 701 North Perry Street in Titusville
- Enhancement – Keith & Beth Bromley, for the porch on their personal residence at 518 North Perry Street in Titusville
- Enhancement – Vantage Health Care, for the exterior rehabilitation of their Franklin facility located at 13th and Liberty Streets
- Preservation Stewardship – the Haskell family, for the long-term stewardship in the care of the W.H. Abbot House located at 215 West Main Street in Titusville
2009 Winners presented on May 9, 2009 at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville during the Tenth Annual Victorian Architecture and its Preservation Conference.
- Preservation Stewardship – Trinity United Methodist Church, for the long term stewardship in the preservation and care of the church at 2 Center Street in Oil City.
- Residence – Saeed and Ambrin Dubas, for the restoration of their residence at 501 North Perry Street in Titusville.
- Preservation Initiative – Kathy Newson, for her 30+ years of service to the Titusville Historical Society and for researching information for a book on Titusville’s first cemetery “Pioneer Park.”
- Residence – John & Nicole Phillips, for the preservation and enhancement of the exterior of their home at 1504 Liberty Street in Franklin.
- Preservation Initiative – Dr. Chris and Lauren Wigton, for the reconstruction of the building at 1200 Buffalo Street in Franklin that is now known as the Corner Cupboard Bulk Food and Deli
- Preservation Stewardship – Kathy Coffaro, for the restoration of the Connely-Holeman House at 317 Chestnut Street in Pleasantville
- Residence – Dale and Celia Adams, for the preservation and rehabilitation of the Howland-Adams House at 219 North Brown Street in Titusville
2008 Winners presented April 10, 2008 at the Barrow-Civic Little Theatre in Franklin
- Reconstruction – Daryl O. & Dianna J. Hicks, for their reconstruction of the DayDia Building at 228 Seneca Street in Oil City
- Residence Restoration – John “Skip” and Suzanne Homan, for the restoration of their residence at 304 Orange Street in Oil City
- Preservation Initiative – Robert J. Finch, of Franklin, for a lifetime of service in the preservation of the history of the local area
- Preservation Stewardship – Timothy & Michelle Hartle, for the rehabilitation of their home and the Hartle Funeral Home in Franklin
- Preservation Initiative – Lynn Cochran, for her initiative as Chair of the Preservation Committee and especially for her efforts on behalf of the Oil Region Alliance in the acquisition of the Tarbell House in Titusville
2007 Winners presented May 16, 2006 at DeBence Antique Music World
- Reconstruction — Rev. Robert Guy, Pastor, Barkeyville Church of God; for the restoration of the former Barkeyville Academy
- Residence Restoration — Duane and Wendy Sheatz; for the work on their home at 1040 Elk Street in Franklin
- Preservation Initiative — Wendell E. Schwab; for the work underway restoring and then furnishing the former Kapp School House in Pinegrove Township
- Preservation Stewardship — Bob and Kathy Grossman; for the work on their residence and the other apartments in their building at 207 South Park Street in Franklin
- Reconstruction — Farmers National Bank; for the rehabilitation of the bank headquarters building at 612 Main Street in Emlenton
- Honorable Mention for Rehabilitation of a Structure — Allegheny Valley Trails Association; for the innovative work on the Sandy Creek Tunnel in Venango County along the East Sandy Trail, involving building a smaller tunnel inside the original and lining the gap between with recycled tires
- Honorable Mention for Preservation Initiative — County of Venango; for the interior restoration and enhancements of Court Room #1 of the Venango County Courthouse on Elk Street in Franklin
2006 Winners presented May 4, 2006 at Titusville Towne Square
- Initiative — Ronnie Beith, Penny Minnick, and Joyce Neidich of Franklin; for the Franklin Walking Tour Brochure
- Initiative involving Youth — Darlene Fescenmyer; for her instruction of Christian Life Academy students at Seneca in the art of stained glass construction and repair
- Reconstruction — Bob and Sandy Fry; for Short Street Motor Cars building at 119 East First Street in Oil City
- Residence — Gary and Sandy Baker; for the work on their home at 504 Fifteenth Street in Franklin
- Rehabilitation — Titusville Redevelopment Authority; for the work on Titusville Towne Square at the intersection of West Spring Street and South Franklin Street in Titusville
2005 Winners presented May 2, 2005 at Drake Well Museum
- Enhancement — Faith Holiness Church; for exterior work at 1101 Buffalo Street in Franklin
- Initiative — James Moltz of Oil City and Don Heeter of Venus; for the documentation and restoration work at cemeteries and iron furnaces throughout Venango County
- Initiative — Lynn Pacior-Malys of Oil City; for multiple preservation projects involving artwork, historic buildings, and commemoration of projects throughout the Oil Heritage Region
- Initiative — David Weber of Pleasantville; for researching, documenting, and writing histories of historic buildings, events, people, and companies throughout the Oil Heritage Region
- Reconstruction — Amy Whitehill; for work on Amy’s Closet at 203 Main Street in Emlenton
- Honorable Mention for Reconstruction — Regis Brick; for the work on Brick’s Antiques at 5434 Pittsburgh Road in Barkeyville
- Honorable Mention for Reconstruction — Mike and Cathy Irwin; for the exterior and interior work on Bluegill Graphix (former synagogue) at 318 North Franklin Street in Titusville
- Structure — Brian T. Best of Emlenton; for work restoring the Beringer Cemetery
2004 Winners presented May 10, 2004 at Drake Well Museum
- Reconstruction — James E. Thomas; for the work on the Brundred-
Thomas Bed & Breakfast at 315 West First Street in Oil City
- Reconstruction — Thomas and Kelly Sauber; for the work on the interior of Four Sons Brewery Restaurant at 113 South Franklin Street in Titusville
- Historic Structure — Grove Hill Cemetery Association; for the gate and fence enhancements at 131 Cedar Avenue in Oil City
- Preservation Stewardship — Emanuel Lutheran Church at 220 West Elm Street in Titusville; and Arthur W. Carlson, III, Supervising Professional for exterior and interior work on this building
- Preservation Stewardship — First United Methodist Church at 1100 Liberty Street in Franklin; and Scott Greene, Supervising Professional for exterior and interior on this building
- Preservation Initiative — Bureau of Forestry, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; for restored Oil Engine House in Kennerdell Tract of the Clear Creek State Forest in Venango County
- Preservation Initiative — Lois S. Minnigh of Franklin; for multiple historic building, vintage clothing, historic preservation events, and projects concentrated in Franklin
2003 Awards presented April 24, 2003 in the Quality Inn at Franklin
- Historic Structure — County of Venango; for decking Dotter Road Bridge
- Residence — Glenn and Linda Grose; for work on their home at 2386 Millbrook Road, Kennerdell in Irwin Township
- Enhancement — Terry and Charlene Ruot; for exterior rehabilitation of Charter Plastics, Inc. multiple buildings in Titusville
- Reconstruction — Samuel and Pamela Dockery; for the Galena-Dockery Building at 1140 Liberty Street in Franklin
- Preservation Initiative — Richard Castonguay and the Venango Economic Development Corporation; for multiple community revitalization projects incorporating preservation practices throughout Venango County and the Oil Heritage Region
- Preservation Initiative — Carolee Michener of Franklin; for multiple research, documentation, writing, and educational projects incorporating the preservation of buildings, historic sites, artifacts, and events throughout the Oil Heritage Region
2002 Winners presented on May 13, 2002 at Drake Well Museum
- Residence — Dennis and Nancy Clifford; for the work on their home at 415 West Second Street in Oil City
- Residence — Emerson Place; for the work on this nursing home building at 701 North Perry Street in Titusville
- Residence — T. George and Suzanne G. Ingham; for the work on their home at 309 West First Street in Oil City
- Residence — Reed Johnson and daughter Willow Johnson; for the work on their home at 204 West First Street in Oil City
- Residence — James and Areta Johnston; for the work on their home at 1152 Elk Street in Franklin
- Residence — Dale and Mary K. “Kathy” Wilson; for the work on their home at 1158 Elk Street in Franklin
- Residence — William Wilson and George Thompson; for the work on their current law practice office, in a former residence at 1162 Elk Street in Franklin
- Enhancement — Cynthia and Mark Hoopes; for the Faded Fence Gift and Antique Shop in a former hardware store at 105 East First Street in Oil City
- Enhancement — Stephens Real Estate; at 121 West Spring Street in Titusville
- Enhancement — City of Titusville; for Titusville City Hall building at 107 North Franklin Street in Titusville
- Preservation Stewardship — William Bowen of Oil City; for multiple projects researching and preserving historic buildings, artifacts, and materials
- Preservation Stewardship — First Presbyterian Church; 216 North Franklin Street in Titusville
- Preservation Stewardship — St. Stephens Catholic Church and Cemetery; Spring Creek Road in Titusville
- Preservation Initiative — Ronald Gustafson of Oil City; for multiple projects by Gustafson General Contracting and the Gustafson family as volunteers involving historic buildings and their preservation
- Preservation Initiative — Neil McElwee of Oil City; for multiple projects involving the research, documentation, writing, and presentation of public programs about historic buildings, artifacts, events, and people throughout the Oil Heritage Region
- Honorable Mention for Reconstruction — Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry at 270 Seneca Street in Oil City; for the restoration of the peacock statues from the Latonia Theatre in Oil City
- Reconstruction — Oil Heritage Region, Inc., Third Millennium Architects of Oil City, and Gustafson General Contracting of Oil City; for the relocation of the McClintock-Steele-Waitz House (aka Coal Oil Johnny House) to 167 Old Bankston Road in Cornplanter Township
2001 Winners presented April 26, 2001 at The Arlington Hotel in Oil City
- Residence — James and Rachel Ashbaugh; for work on their home at 1428 Elk Street in Franklin
- Enhancement — Neil and Lois McElwee; for work on their home at 711 West First Street in Oil City, called the Alvin Drake Deming House
- Enhancement — Gary and Nancy Kingsley; for work on their home at 414 Highland Street in Emlenton
- Enhancement — Larry W. Sehman; for work on the exterior of Sehman Tire Service at 606 – 622 Thirteenth Street in Franklin
- Reconstruction — Allegheny Valley Trails Association; for work on the Belmar Bridge across the Allegheny River at Belmar
- Reconstruction — Emlenton Presbyterian Church; Main Street, Emlenton
- Reconstruction — St. James Memorial Episcopal Church; for the rehabilitation work including the restoration of the 1909 Austin Organ at 112 East Main Street in Titusville
- Reconstruction — Jae Ann Brown; for work on her home, the Charles F. Koos Building on Main Street in Emlenton
- Preservation Initiative — Urania Belle “Rainy” Linn of Franklin; for multiple projects involving the preservation of historic buildings, artifacts, vintage clothing, events, and publications about the history of Venango County
2000 Winners presented May 8, 2000 at Drake Well Museum
- Enhancement — Anderson Furniture Company; for exterior and work at their store at 225 Thirteenth Street in Franklin
- Enhancement — Joseph Brozeski of Oil City; for exterior work on both Pastel Music and the Pierogi Palace at 15 Spring Street in Oil City
- Initiative — Joan Search Hanson of Franklin; for extensive work researching, documenting, and writing about historic buildings, families, genealogies, public records, events, and companies in Franklin
- Residence — William and Sonja Hawkins; for work on their home at 305 West Fourth Street in Oil City, known as the Innis House
1999 Winners presented May 10, 1999 at Drake Well Museum
- Enhancement — Arthur A. and Jane Covell; for work on their home at 211 West First Street in Oil City
- Honorable Mention for Enhancement — Barrow Civic Theatre; 1223 Liberty Street in Franklin
- Honorable Mention for Enhancement — Oil City Civic Center, Inc.; for work on the National Transit Building at 206 Seneca Street in Oil City
- Initiative — Vision Quest based in Franklin; for significant volunteer assistance to multiple historic preservation projects throughout the Oil Heritage Region
- Initiative — Joanne Long Wagner of Clarion; for multiple projects involving the preservation of historic buildings, artifacts, vintage clothing, historic sites, events, and companies in the Emlenton area
- Reconstruction — Gene and Donna Best of Nickleville; for the work on the Red Brick Inn Bed & Breakfast
- Residence — Bill and Kathy Goetz; for work on their home at 1339 Otter Street in Franklin
- Stewardship — City of Titusville and the Board of Directors for Woodlawn Cemetery in Titusville; for ongoing stewardship for the overall Woodlawn Cemetery and especially the Drake Memorial
1998 Winners presented April 27, 1998 at The Franklin Club
- Initiative — Cemetery Records Committee of the Venango County Historical Society based in Franklin; for documenting and publishing multiple books about cemeteries throughout Venango County
- Initiative — Scott McMasters of Franklin; for ongoing preservation work individually and as a leader of scouts and other volunteers at the site of the lock on the French Creek Slackwater Canal system in Sugarcreek Borough
- Initiative — Guy Slaughtenhupt of Franklin; for work researching and presenting programs about historic buildings, events, and people in Franklin
- Stewardship — First Baptist Church; for the exterior and interior work on the church building and parsonage at 1041 Liberty Street in Franklin
1997 Winners presented May 12, 1997 at Drake Well Museum
- Enhancement — Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County; for work on their headquarters building on Seneca Street in Oil City (former office of National Fuel Gas Company)
- Honorable Mention for Enhancement — Christ Episcopal Church; 16 Central Avenue in Oil City
- Honorable Mention for Enhancement — River Ridge Farm in Cranberry Township; for restoration of the gatehouse located off Bredinsburg Road
- Honorable Mention for Enhancement — Oil City Library and the City of Oil City; for work on the Oil City Library at 2 Central Avenue
- Initiative — John Cenedella of Franklin; for volunteer efforts to preserve the Bredinsburg Cemetery in Cranberry Township
- Initiative — Betty McElhattan of Franklin; for multiple projects involving the preservation of historic buildings, artifacts, events, and structures (such as fountains) throughout Franklin
- Initiative — Samuel T. Pees of Meadville; for multiple projects involving the research, documentation, writing, and presentation of public programs about oil history sites, oil field equipment, artifacts, people, events, companies, and historic sites throughout the Oil Heritage Region
- Reconstruction — Thompson’s Drug Store; 105 South Franklin Street in Titusville
- Reconstruction — Galaxy Federal Credit Union; 1313 Liberty Street in Franklin
- Residence — Frank and Phyllis Weltner; for work on their home at 1421 Elk Street in Franklin
- Stewardship — National City Bank in Titusville; for the ongoing preservation of the exterior and interior of this branch at 127 West Spring Street in Titusville, especially the interior ceiling mural depicting oil history