A handful of distinguished members of the local preservation community are honored each year with Griffin Awards and the annual Sondley Award from the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County (PSABC). This year’s presentation took place downtown on Broadway Street at the historic Asheville Masonic Temple with executive director Jack Thomson serving as master of ceremonies.
“We are your non-profit historic preservation advocate. We are the entity in our community that can permanently protect historic resources. There is no other unit in Buncombe County that can do that. Our inventory of those types of properties is growing, and you’re going to hear about one of the most significant properties In Buncombe County that we’ve recently protected in tonight’s program,” Thomson said.
Brendan Ross, chair of the Historic Resources Commission, presented the Sondley Award to Jeanne Warner. Ross said that Warner partook of a Preservation Society historic walking tour immediately after moving to Asheville in 1985. “Jeanne then joined the society, and 32 years later still has her enthusiasm for preservation. She has continuously and reliably served in many essential roles, starting as secretary as she moved on to serve in every office,” Ross said.
Warner’s is credited for her efforts to save the 1890s Fernihurst and Sunnicrest properties at Asheville-Buncombe County Technical Community College from imminent destruction. For over 20 years she served as chair of the tour committee for the historic bus tour in conjunction with Grove Park Inn’s annual Arts and Crafts Conference. Warner was instrumental in the marketing and selling of Richmond Hill and The Manor on Charlotte Street. “The Historic Resources Commission of Asheville & Buncombe County
Warner said the many of the names previously inscribed on the award are those of others that inspired her. “Asheville is a great place for preservation because people here really appreciate our architecture and our history,” she said.
Griffin Awards for adapted reuse were presented for Buxton Hall Barbecue, 12 Bones and The Wedge, the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, and the Patton Parker House on Charlotte Street. Awards for rehabilitation were presented for 51 Starnes Avenue, 14 Club Street, and 178 Sunset Drive. Awards for restoration were presented for the Zebulon Vance Monument, and the Montreat Gateway. Awards for education were presented to the Farm Heritage trail, and “Asheville in the 1980s, A Formative Decade Told by Those Who Shaped It.” The Award for stewardship was presented for the Smith & Carrier Building, and the award for preservation was presented for the Albemarle Park Manor.
CUTLINES (delete after use please) Photographs by Mark-Ellis Bennett:
3169 – Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County executive director Jack Thomson served as master of ceremonies for the 2017 Sondley and Griffin Awards. Past president Ben Scales stands behind him, on the left of the photo.
3164 – Brendan Ross, chair of the Historic Resources Commission, presented the Sondley Award to Jeanne Warner (right).
3180 – Reverend Lawanna Rine (left to right) with Buncombe County register of deeds Drew Reisinger, and Pack Memorial librarian Zoe Rhine. Rhine is with the North Carolina Room, which provided most of the historical images used in the awards presentation, and Rine’s daughter.
By Mark-Ellis Bennett