Sears Hill Bridge project recognized By Preservation Virginia

The Friends of the Sears Hill Bridge Committee recently received a 2013 Preservation Award from Preservation Virginia, recognizing the committee’s restoration of the Sears Hill Bridge as an Outstanding Community Preservation Project.

staunton2editsThe committee’s three year “Save the Bridge” campaign appealed to current and former residents, business owners, civic groups and local organizations to support the rehabilitation of the century-old iron truss pedestrian bridge, located in Staunton’s Wharf Historic District and listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

With the assistance of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, the Sears Hill neighborhood association, the Staunton Downtown Development Association and the Historic Staunton Foundation, the committee raised funds in excess of $200,000 and received in-kind donations of goods and services from over 300 donors toward the rehabilitation of the bridge.  The project culminated on April 13, 2013, when hundreds of area residents came together in downtown Staunton on “Bridge Day” to celebrate the reinstallation of the local landmark.

The Friends of the Sears Hill Bridge Committee was chaired by Bill Frazier.  Other members of the committee included Lee Cochran and Peggy Sheets, honorary co-chairs, and Duane Barron, Jim Cooke, Tommie Duke, Jane Hanger, Linda Hanna, Howard Holden, Angel Negron, Tom Sheets, Frank Summers, the late Mark Tinsley, Des Wray, Fran Ray, Becky Kohler and Steve Owen.  A subcommittee, led by Tom Sheets and including Bill Frazier, John Glover, Frank Strassler and Park Thompson, planned and managed the rehabilitation project.

Steve Owen, City Manager of Staunton, and Frank Strassler, Executive Director of the Historic Staunton Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the committee at last month’s annual conference of Preservation Virginia, held in Roanoke, Virginia.

Preservation Virginia is a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage.


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