The Preserve the ‘Burg Preservation Awards took place Wednesday, April 27 at the historic Palladium Theater, kicking off Preservation Month in May.
Held every other year, the awards honor those who have demonstrated outstanding effort to preserve historic structures in St. Petersburg or in highlighting the city’s history or special character. Nominations are submitted by the public, while winners are selected by the PTB Awards Committee.
“It’s great to see the Preserve the ‘Burg community gather to celebrate these above-and-beyond efforts,” says PTB Executive Director Manny Leto. “We recognized 18 projects and people, and it was difficult to narrow it down. There were a lot of great submissions this year.”
This year, we presented the first-ever Maureen Stafford Excellence in Preservation Award to Trevor Sieders of New Light Restoration. The Stafford Award recognizes an individual or organization with a proven track record of excellence working to renovate and restore historic properties in St. Petersburg. Sieders received a check for $1,000; the Maureen Stafford Award is the first PTB Preservation Award to offer a monetary award.
Maureen Stafford Excellence in Preservation Award
Trevor Seiders, New Light Restoration
Inspired by his own renovations of a 1945 bungalow, Trevor attended window workshops offered by Wood Window Makeover of Tampa and honed his restoration skills under the mentorship of Alec Smith of Boone Architectural Restoration. Since embarking on his own in 2018, the company has saved over 700 windows from the landfill and worked with 60 local homeowners in the St. Pete/Tampa Bay area.
Sense of Place, Community Storytelling
Jack Kerouac House of St. Petersburg, Ken and Gina Burchenal
Ken and Gina purchased the Kerouac home in Disston Heights in 2020, recognizing the importance of the place in telling the story of Kerouac’s life in St. Petersburg. The Burchenals have also hosted events to honor Kerouac, one of the most recognizable American writers of the 20th century. Earlier this month, with assistance from Preserve the ‘Burg, the home has been listed as a local historic landmark.
Sense of Place, Community Space
Polish American Society, Roger Telschow and Monika Smolarczyk
The Polish American Society of St. Petersburg, founded in 1951, is Florida's oldest organization honoring and celebrating Polish-American culture. Today, the club hosts traditional Polish dinners for members on Sundays and its retro bar is open for “Thirsty Thursdays.” Over the last two years, club representatives worked with Preserve the ‘Burg to designate the building as a local landmark.
Renovation/Restoration - Institutional
St. Pete High School, Pinellas County Schools, Rowe Architects, and Creative Contractors
When it opened in 1926, St. Petersburg High was dubbed the nation’s first “million-dollar” school. The Pinellas School District undertook a multi-year restoration project, returning the National Historic Register-listed school to its original grandeur.
The 40-plus-million-dollar effort included detailed hand-painting of the school’s front entryway, refurbishing of original chandeliers and skylights, restoration of the auditorium and administration offices, along with the construction of a new cafeteria and concession area.
Renovation/Restoration - Commercial
Bodega on Central, Blake Whitney Thompson, Blake Investment Partners, and George & Debbie Sayegh (Bodega Owners)
This property was built in 1921 as the Smalley-Green Auto Building at 1180 Central Ave. and was later used as a paint company, a furniture store, and a dress shop among other retail uses. Bodega relocated there in 2020, becoming one of the busiest eateries on Central Ave.
The building owners applied for a local historic designation and applied for an ad valorem tax exemption, a program for qualifying properties that exempts the increased value of a qualifying rehabilitation project from ad valorem property taxes for a ten-year period. Located in the Edge District, the ornate building is notable for its blend of Spanish and Italian architecture with elements of art deco.
A complete list of all 2022 Preservation Award winners can be found here.