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May 2008
Preservation Alliance Honors KH Staff & Projects

Keast & Hood Co. (Philadelphia/Washington) is proud to announce the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia honored its staff and projects at the 15th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards held Thursday, May 1st at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

The 2008 Public Service Award for Preservation in the Public Interest was given to Members of the Architectural Committee of the Philadelphia Historical Commission (1993-2008), with special recognition to Herbert W. Levy, EFAIA, and Keast & Hood Co. Director of Historic Structures, Suzanne M. Pentz, for their longtime service. Suzanne was credited for bringing her exceptional knowledge of structural design to the work of the committee over the last 15 years. She has more than 20 years of specialized engineering experience with issues related to historic properties and has worked on unusual engineering problems for some of Philadelphia’s most important landmarks. Other members of the committee include Tony Atkin, J. Wm. Cornell, Rudy D’Alessandro, David Hollenberg, Arlene Matzkin (chair), Dan McCoubrey, Vincent Rivera (chair), Robert Thomas, and Daniela Voith. The Alliance credited all for “invaluable service given voluntarily by outstanding architects and engineers in the Philadelphia community.”

Keast & Hood Co. was proud to be part of two projects recognized at the annual awards luncheon. 1906 Spruce Street in Philadelphia earned a Grand Jury Award honoring Wayne Spilove; Campbell Thomas & Co.; Keast & Hood Co.; DOMUS, Inc.; Joseph Dugan, Inc.; North American Window & Door Co.; and William H. Hammonds & Bros., Inc. for façade re-creation and lobby restoration of a 19th Century brownstone residence. Christ Church in Philadelphia earned a Grand Jury Award honoring The Christ Church Preservation Trust; BEAM Illuminating Architecture, Ltd.; Frens and Frens, LLC; Keast & Hood Co.; Dimitri J. Ververelli, Inc.; and Haverstick Borthwick Company for ongoing best practices in preservation planning and property stewardship. We congratulate our teammates and the other recipients of awards this year.

Following is the text of Suzanne’s acceptance speech:

Thank you very much to the Preservation Alliance for this award for public service. I’d like to congratulate Herby Levy and the other members of the Architectural Committee of the Philadelphia Historic Commission with whom I share this award. I want to epecially acknowledge Keast & Hood Co. for supporting my service over the last 15 years. I really appreciate their support and encouragement. Without both, my contributions would not have been possible. Nick Gianopulos at Keast & Hood gets my special thanks for teaching me everything I know about preservation engineering.

I would also like to gratefully remember my mentors and predecessors on the Committee: Penny Batcheler and Charles Peterson. They still inspire me every day. I still think of Penny every time a project in Society Hill is reviewed, and I remember how fiercely protective she was of every brick, every dormer, and I try to uphold that tradition. And thank you to Dick Tyler who first suggested I join the committee. It is hard to believe that Herb and I have served for such a long time, and being recognized for my contributions feels a bit awkward. I consider myself just as much a recipient of the service of the Committee and the Historic Commission. I have had a unique vantage point from which to know the city and understand its goals for preserving and enhancing its architecture. I have gained much more than I have given over the last 15 years.

One of the proudest things I have witnessed is the transformation of the US Naval Home from an abandoned and fire-ravaged eyesore into the anchor point of a new community. That change shows how even the least-recognized buildings in our city can sustain their importance over time. I look forward to continuing to serve the city and the Historic Commission. I truly appreciate the recognition of the Preservation Alliance and my colleagues. And I compliment this year’s other award recipients for their projects and the lasting impact those projects have on the city. Thank you.

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