Historic commission plans for preservation awards

The Pine Bluff Historic District Commission’s second annual preservation awards presentation was tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16, during the panel’s regular monthly meeting Friday at the civic center.

The event will again be held with a “Cotton Row” reception at 220 W. Barraque St., which was the birthplace of the late actress Peggy Shannon (1907-41), whose father operated a downstairs store in the two-story facility. Commission Chairwoman Dee Herring Gatlin owns the building and a number of other downtown properties, which she is in the process of preserving and reviving.

Bob Abbott — primarily recognized for having purchased and restored the 902 W. Fourth Ave. birthplace of Watergate heroine Martha Beall Mitchell — last year received the commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In the future, the glass citation will bear Abbott’s name.

Other winners last year were Billie Robinson and Ernie Wallis, who received the Award for Preservation Reporting in the Media on behalf of the Jefferson County Historical Society Quarterly publication; Commissioner Jack Stradley and his wife, Kathy Majewska, who shared the Award for Preservation Rehabilitation of a Private Residence for restoration of their two story home at 817 W. Fifth Ave.; and George Makris’ MK Distributors, which received the Award for Preservation Rehabilitation for Commercial Use for underwriting the restoration of the landmark DuBocage House at West Fourth Avenue and Linden Street. Duke Fakouri accepted the latter award on behalf of MK Distributors.

On Friday, Gatlin, Stradley and fellow commissioners Marlene Davis-Lilly, Dave Sadler and Harold Terry discussed potential candidates for this year’s prizes and exchanged ideas for possible added awards.