Ward 2 Jefferson City Councilwoman Laura Ward and Avenue HQ co-owner Holly Stitt were honored at Tuesday's annual Heritage Celebration for their efforts in historic preservation.
Ward and Stitt received the Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission's Gregory Stockard Distinguished Service Award at the 2018 Heritage Day Celebration, hosted by the Historic Preservation Commission and Historic City of Jefferson.
Historic Preservation Commission Chair Mary Schantz said both women have "shown distinguished community service in preservation efforts."
Ward has been involved with historic preservation for several years as a member of HCJ, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Old Munichburg Association, along with being a former Historic Preservation commissioner.
She most notably helped designate the Lower Jefferson Conservation District guidelines and ordinances and has received the Missouri Preservation Award for Local Preservationists and the Historic City of Jefferson Volunteer of the Year Award. Her home received the Golden Hammer Award in 2013 and the City of Jefferson Landmark Award in 2014.
"I just feel honored to be recognized through (Gregory Stockard's) legacy," said Ward, who knew Stockard personally. "His champion spirit encourages myself and those in the preservation world to continue chipping away at the educational component of historic preservation, at the ordinances, anything that can help historic structures and our neighborhoods."
Along with helping to rehabilitate an East Capitol Avenue building that sat vacant for 11 years — turning it into Scene One Theatre, Avenue HQ and The Bridge — Stitt has been active in revitalizing East Capitol Avenue while also being involved in the Jefferson City East Side Business Association, Cultural Arts Commission and Capital Arts.
She helped several property owners work toward rehabbing vacant buildings in the area and has worked toward starting local events like Total Eclipse of the Park and Porchfest JCMO.
"I appreciate the fact that people recognize what I've done and how I keep working for (East) Capitol Avenue and the historic stuff there," Stitt said. "However, on the backside of that, I don't feel worthy, but it is an honor to get this and some kind of recognition and know that my hard work is paying off somewhere."
HCJ and the commission also honored property owners for 130 E. High St., 720 E. High St. and 1213 Elmerine Ave., which received the 2018 Landmark Designation Awards. There are more than 100 city historic landmarks, Schantz said.
James and Irene Tergin's property at 130 E. High St., known today as Yanis Coffee Zone, formerly was known as the Adolph Brandenberger Drug Store. Brandenberger acquired the property in 1881, and the drug store operated into the late 1950s. It also housed doctors' and dentists' offices on the upper floors, which now are called the Brandenberger Apartments.
The National Register of Historic Places lists the property as a contributing building in the Missouri State Capitol Historic District.
Michael and Donna Deetz own 720 E. High St., which was built prior to 1869. James Bowlin, who served in Congress and as chief clerk for the Missouri House of Representatives, purchased this lot and later sold it. It is believed Deiderich Ostermann or his son, William, built the house.
Rev. Joseph Selinger, rector of St. Peter Catholic Church, prison guards and factory workers also owned this property throughout its history.
John Caskie Collet, former judge for Missouri Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, lived in the home at 1213 Elmerine Ave., owned by Kevin and Judy Murray. It was constructed in 1926 and is listed as a contributing property in the Moreau Drive Historic District National Register Listing.
HCJ also awarded local students for their artwork in the annual Heritage Art contest.
Lighthouse Preparatory School sophomore Olivia Noack won first place in HCJ's art contest for her "Missouri State Capitol." Helias Catholic High School junior Addison Luetkemeyer received second place for "The Arts Fountain." Jefferson City High School sophomore Christina Durk won third place for "Jefferson City Capitol." Calvary Lutheran High School freshman Rebecca Schatte received honorable mention for her "Missouri State Penitentiary."
Jefferson City High School sophomore Ciara Wheatley received the Mayor's Choice Award for "Capitol with Union Pacific Train." Wheatley said she wanted her painting to represent a project the city was working on — the Adrian's Island bridge. Her painting shows the Capitol building and Union Pacific Railroad from the viewpoint one would have if looking up from Adrian's Island.