Historic Preservation Month – Mill Creek MetroParks

In celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, here are some previous award winners from the Valley.  2013 Award winners will be announced on May 22, 2013 and awards will be presented at the Historical Society’s annual meeting, June 18th 2013.

Mill Creek Metroparks has been the recipient of three Historic Preservation Awards over the years, here are the projects:

 

2006 Community Revitilization Award – Kirk Road Trailhead, Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway

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Located on the former Niles and New Lisbon Railroad right-of-way, this project, designed by Ronald Cornell Faniro Architects, AIA, and Mill Creek MetroParks Chief Landscape Architect Stephan Avery, preserved two historic 1930’s structures and incorporated them into a 21st century use as facilities to serve the Great Lakes to River Bike and Hike Trail running through Mahoning County.  The two restored buildings, one built in 1934 by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the other built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, gained new life upon completion of this project.  A shelter for trail users, built to look like a railroad depot, echoes the building stone used to construct the 1930’s era buildings.  One judge remarked that this addition showed “sensitivity to the site,” while another complimented the “integration of old and new buildings.”

 

2006 Directors Award of Achievement – Volney Rogers Memorial Statue Restoration, Mill Creek MetroParks

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Dedicated on October 12, 1920, this statue serves as a reminder to local residents of a visionary who created a place for residents to enjoy nature and escape the rapidly industrializing City of Youngstown.  In 1918, the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce formed a committee to honor Volney Rogers for his tireless efforts to establish and protect Mill Creek Park.  The committee commissioned Chicago sculptor Frederick C. Hibbard to create a bronze statue of Rogers.  After more than 80 years and significant deterioration, Mill Creek MetroParks, with support from the Mill Creek Park Foundation, hired a conservation firm to inspect and suggest methods to restore the statue.  The subsequent restoration included flushing remaining casting materials out of the statue and cleaning of the bronze exterior.  A wax coating applied by the conservators will remain in good condition due to training of park staff to maintain and repair the coating as needed.  One judge stated that the preservation of this monument “stands far and above as a project worthy of recognition.”

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Statue before restoration.

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2008 Community Revitilization Award – Mill Creek MetroParks Suspension Bridge  

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The Valley Drive Suspension Bridge was constructed in 1895 by the Youngstown Bridge Company and is the oldest surviving bridge in MillCreekPark.  The bridge was designed under the direction of Charles E. Fowler, the Youngstown Bridge Company’s Chief Engineer.  The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and is a prominent, contributing element in the Park’s Historic District designation.

Work on the project consisted of surface preparation, priming and field painting of existing steel bridge members, replacement of missing or damaged steel members, removal and replacement of the timber plank sidewalk decking, cleaning and repointing of stone masonry, cleaning and patching of concrete structures and construction of new asphalt concrete approaches and wearing course.  Proper containment and complete enclosure of the structure was undertaken as cleaning and painting occurred.  All rusted, missing, and damaged steel framework members were cleaned, repaired, replaced and repainted using historically accurate dimensions and detailing.

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 Mill Creek MetroParks designed and completed the rehabilitation work in conformance with the National Environmental Protection Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s standards and guidelines for historic preservation.

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