Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation Heritage Awards Celebrated Achievements in Preservation

Arts & Culture

At the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation’s (SAHP) 2023 Heritage Awards, which were held on May 6 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, presenter John McCarthy expressed how the awards celebration highlighted a wide range of projects to research, restore and preserve historical treasures county-wide. McCarthy, who serves as the vice president for regional history for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is well known in the area for his historical tours and programs. At the event, McCarthy presented Anne Essner, the board president of Architecture Sarasota, the first place award for Adaptive Reuse for The McCulloch Pavilion. The building serves as the headquarters for Architecture Sarasota. Built in 1960 by architects William Rupp and Joseph Farrell, it was originally called the Scott Building. The building had fallen into disrepair when the newly founded Center for Architecture Sarasota approached the county in 2013 with the idea of restoring this important building through adaptive reuse to serve as an exhibition and education center. A partnership with the University of Florida School of Architecture was established, funds were raised and sensitive adaptive reuse of the building, led by Guy Peterson, FAIA, in consultation with Joseph Farrell began. The renovated Scott Building reopened as The McCulloch Pavilion in 2015. Lorrie Muldowney, the president of SAHP and chairperson of the Heritage Awards committee, says that the adaptive reuse of The McCulloch Pavilion was identified as an outstanding project by members of the awards committee because it was “a community-based project that engaged scores of craftsman who donated their goods and services and because Architecture Sarasota gives back to the community by providing a public space where citizens can learn about Sarasota’s rich architectural heritage and participate in conversations about the importance of continuing this legacy of excellence. Runners up for the Adaptive Reuse award were Sarasota Waterworks (Citation of Merit) and the Caldwell Trust Building at 27 South Orange Avenue (Honorable Mention). At the event, David Baber, vice president of the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, gave a $4,000 check to Pastor Ashley Nicolls of St. Paul Lutheran Church for the restoration of the church’s education building designed by architect Victor Lundy and built in 1962. The event was presented in collaboration with the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County, which is comprised of over 15 nonprofit and government entities committed to historic preservation and education. Major event sponsors included Hall Darling Design Studio, Sarasota Performing Arts Foundation, SAHP board members, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and Architecture Sarasota. 

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