The Dana Crawford Award honors individuals and organizations who have made a significant contribution toward preserving Colorado’s built history. The evening’s namesake is Dana Crawford, a pioneer in saving historic buildings that were viewed as derelict eyesores and in proving that their restoration makes economic sense. Each year Colorado honors the efforts of individuals, projects, and organizations that have made exemplary contributions to the saving of Colorado’s built heritage. Starting in 1988 with the State Honor Awards and adding the Dana Crawford Award in 1990, we have recognized accomplishments in the areas of preservation, rehabilitation, promotion, philanthropy and leadership.
2013 Dana Crawford Award Honoree
On May 8, 2013, Colorado Preservation, Inc. honored Evan Makovsky and his incredible achievements within Colorado’s prominent architectural and preservation communities.
Evan graduated from the University of Denver business school in 1969 and co-founded Shames Makovsky Realty Company in 1971 with his Uncle Motty Shames.
In 1998, Evan began to implement the idea of creating a historic district that would be radically different in its configuration from other such districts in Denver and in 2000 the Downtown Denver Historic District was created.
In June 2007 NAI Shames-Makovsky announced its acquisition of approximately 75,000 contiguous square feet on Block 162, which sits between 15th and 16th, Welton and California Streets. “The renovation of the Fontius, now Sage Building, is a model of what we want to see in other buildings downtown,” says John Desmond, vice president of urban planning and environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership, who calls Makovsky an “urban hero” for his foresight, perseverance and dedication to the project. Makovsky’s team corrected all of the building’s deterioration, restored the terra-cotta exterior and negotiated with landmark preservation to allow the building to be more sustainable.
However, the most significant piece of the Fontius/Sage project is the message it sends to historic preservationists across the country, Makovsky says. “It was not easy to see it through, but Evan stuck to his guns,” ultimately replacing the windows with high-efficiency replications that will drastically cut the building’s energy costs, Klipp says.
NAI Shames-Makovsky also acts as a lender, funding the development and construction of countless buildings that could not have been built or renovated without the firm’s non-conventional loan assistance.
“The way he gets things done is through collaboration, good business sense and true commitment to the community. … He epitomizes how to get a deal done,” Downtown Denver Partnership’s Tami Door said.
Makovsky says he is driven by the need to do something that has a positive impact on society. He and his wife, Evi, are both involved in various charitable activities, giving time and money to organizations such as Denver Health, Children’s Hospital, the Rose Foundation and the University of Denver. He has also been a driving force in the fundraising efforts of Denver’s Road Home. Evan grew up in Pueblo, and along with Evi they have three children and seven grandchildren.
Dick Beardmore for Preservation Leadership
Dick Beardmore, Preservation Engineer and Principal at AE Designs Associates, has adopted a minimalistic preservation philosophy over the years, believing that “the building is the client.” Since 1987, his firm’s projects have been as diverse as Colorado’s geography. From small towns on the eastern plains to thriving resort communities in the mountains, Dick works with local leaders and concerned citizens to develop a project plan specific to a community’s needs and more specifically a plan that protects and preserves the integrity of the historic building.
Dick’s extensive knowledge of the Secretary of Interior Standards and building code provisions allows him to transcend the preservation world and educate those not familiar with historic buildings. However, Dick’s commitment to preservation is not limited to projects. In addition, he has spent his career educating his peers, building officials, clients, students, and communities about the benefits of historic preservation.
In the past 25 years, Dick has contributed his life to preserving Colorado’s history. His contribution to the preservation of Colorado’s historic buildings has empowered property owners, peers, and communities to value heritage and historic places. Through his commitment to education, Dick has inspired his peers, building officials, former students, and property owners to not only carry on his philosophy of minimalistic preservation, but the importance of our historic buildings to the state of Colorado.
City and County of Denver: Parks and Recreation, Civic Center Conservancy, and Historic Denver, Inc. for their stewardship of Civic Center Park
Led by the public/private partnership of the City of Denver Parks & Recreation Department and the non-profit, Civic Center Conservancy, Denver’s Civic Center Park has gone from being on Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Endangered Places List in 2007, to its designation as Denver’s first National Historic Landmark in 2012.
Civic Center Park was constructed in 1918, as a part of the City Beautiful Movement, and given the historic nature of the Park; it was named a City of Denver Landmark. Unfortunately, the Park’s infrastructure suffered from deferred maintenance and ever-shrinking capital improvement budgets. Not only did the eroding monuments, plazas, and pathways create safety issues, their appearance created an environment that attracted vandalism and criminal activity, while furthering the public perception that the Civic Center Park was unsafe.
In early 2009, Denver Parks & Recreation wrote design guidelines under the guidance and approval of the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission that served as a supplement to the 2005 Civic Center Master Plan. The voter-approved restoration, stewarded by Denver Parks & Recreation, was beautifully executed, assembled with an incredible team of expert contractors and suppliers capable of restoring Civic Center’s historic structures to their original grandeur.
The Park’s historic structures have been restored, new walks, benches, and stately lawns installed, and lighting repaired in conjunction with a state-of-the-art irrigation system. Combined with the new improvements are a myriad of new activities including a daily outdoor café, lunch-time music, evening movies, and bike-to-park events. In addition to the success of the restoration, Civic Center Park is now designated as a National Historic Landmark, thanks to Historic Denver, Inc. The success of this project was truly made possible by a successful partnership between Denver Parks & Recreation and the Civic Center Conservancy.
Bill Mansheim for the rehabilitation of the Rex Gym
Constructed with funds from a Public Works Administration grant, the Rex Gym (now the Rex Activity Center) was completed in 1939. One of the most prominent buildings on the Adams State campus, it was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by William Bowman, a prominent Denver architect, who designed other buildings on the campus, including the President’s Residence and the Casa del Sol apartments.
Built as the Men’s Gymnasium, the Rex was heavily used until 1965 when activities were moved to the newly constructed Plachy Hall. In 1995, ASU adapted the building for re-use as a fitness center, and the interior was reconfigured to house basketball and racquetball courts, an aerobics/dance studio, weight room, and locker rooms. The Rex Activity Center provides for the physical well-being of the majority of the campus’ 2,600 students and 500 faculty and staff.
At some time in the past, the distinctively textured stucco on the building exterior was painted with a latex paint that caused the underlying stucco to hold water and fail in most areas. The exterior restoration and rehabilitation of the Rex Activity Center funded by the State Historical Fund was the culmination of an earlier SHF-funded project that tested a variety of techniques to remove the seriously failed latex-painted stucco. One of the many challenges that needed to be overcome was the close replication of the historic stucco texture.
Completed on time and under budget, this important visual landmark has been returned to a place of prominence on the campus. The project has heightened awareness on campus of historic preservation and the importance of preserving the significant historic resources on the Adams State University campus.