Meet my Latest Historic Preservation Hero!

Meet my Latest Historic Preservation Hero!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
My latest recipient of the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award is . . . Mary Beth Grey of Grand Rapids MI for her historic renovation of 268 Paris Ave SE, Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, MI Awarded on a beautiful spring day on this now open and welcoming porch, friends, neighbors and preservation supporters gathered  to honor Mary Beth and her latest restoration project. Since starting her home renovation business 2 1/2 years ago, Mary Beth has brought eight historic homes back to life in the greater Grand Rapids area. The majority have been in the City of East Grand Rapids, however this is her first Heritage Hill home and her most recent labor of love. It's also her most extensive project to date. Mary has a very hands on approach…
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Announcing my Grand Rapid MI Historic Preservation Awardee!

Announcing my Grand Rapid MI Historic Preservation Awardee!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
Meet my Grand Rapids MI Preservation Hero!  INVITATION TO THE COMMUNITY I will be presenting my next Historic Preservation Award to East Grand Rapids resident  Mary Beth Grey for her historic renovation of 268 Paris Ave SE, Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids Since starting her home renovation business 2 1/2 years ago, Mary Beth has brought eight historic homes back to life in the greater Grand Rapids area. The majority have been in the City of East Grand Rapids, however this is her first Heritage Hill home and her most recent labor of love. It's also her most extensive project to date. Mary has a very hands on approach with all her projects and it took her several months to bring this beautiful Victorian to a state that is now close to…
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Historic Preservation Event and my first NZ recipient!

Historic Preservation Event and my first NZ recipient!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
Historic Preservation Hero - James Blackburne! In additional to spending valuable time with my family, I decided to celebrate my recent visit to New Zealand with the presentation of my Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award to an extremely deserving individual. While national in scope, James Blackburne just happens to be based in the city of Gisborne where my family lives. James is an architect whose passion is to see members of the community engaged in architectural preservation on all levels. A Gisborne native, he is the President of Historic Places Aotearoa Inc. and is the Chairman of Historic Places Tairawhiti Inc. and Tairawhiti Heritage Trust.  He is a strong advocate for the protection and restoration of heritage buildings and has taken a leading role in a number of stellar preservation…
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My next award goes to the first New Zealand recipient!

My next award goes to the first New Zealand recipient!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award
To be presented to Historic Preservation Hero James Blackburne James is an architect whose passion is to see members of the community engaged in architectural preservation on all levels. A Gisborne native, he is the President of Historic Places Aotearoa Inc. and is the Chairman of Historic Places Tairawhiti Inc. and Tairawhiti Heritage Trust.  He is a strong advocate for the protection and restoration of heritage buildings and has taken a leading role in a number of stellar preservation projects such as the Acton Estate, St Mary’s and Toko Toru Tapa Churches.  He is currently working on restoring, the former Plunket Building in Gisborne, as well as the historic Potatu, which is a family heritage project. The award is an original painting of one of the restored projects which will…
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My 10th Historic Preservation Award  – Presented in St. Louis!

My 10th Historic Preservation Award – Presented in St. Louis!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award
Portrait of a home  - from decayed abandonment to a brand  new life! My 10th award goes to . . .  Ray Simon and Mel Pashea of St. Louis for their stellar actions to save and fully restore two pre-Civil War cottages that had been abandoned for over a decade. [caption id="attachment_8255" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The unveiling of the St. Louis Award painting[/caption] Ray Simon, an architect and noted rehabber in Benton Park, had the vision to rescue the two crumbling relics on Missouri Ave. Together with partner Mel, they transformed the fading structures into what is often described as one of the coolest properties in the neighborhood. I was honored to have St Louis Ninth Ward Alderman Dan Guenther speak to the gathering of friends and neighbors and relate stories…
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NEWSFLASH!  Meet my latest historic preservation hero!

NEWSFLASH! Meet my latest historic preservation hero!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
Presentation of my award in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I am currently in Florida and in travel mode, while working on new house portrait subjects for my coffee table book. I soon discovered that the most unique thing about Florida architecture is the color palette  – from soft coastal pastels to striking bursts of orange, blue and gold. [caption id="attachment_7990" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Florida Beach Cottages[/caption] I was introduced to the laid back coastal city of Tarpon Springs by a friend who lives there. Not only is it the most historic city in the state but Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US!  And being that I love Greece ... I decided to look further.  In the early 1900’s sponge diving was introduced to…
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Helping to save the historic Washington Canoe Club!

Helping to save the historic Washington Canoe Club!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
My painting of this Potomac architectural treasure! I recently had the honor of being commissioned to do a painting of the famous Washington Canoe Club. Nestled in a wooded setting on the shores of the Potomac River, the Club is part of the Georgetown neighborhood.  I thought you might be interested in seeing this painting and in learning a little about the Club’s rich history, which I just became aware of after reading the Washington Canoe Club's website. I further learned that the Club is in the midst of a historic effort to restore their boathouse, which has twice been identified by the DC Preservation League in its annual list of “Endangered Places.”   I have decided to help this vital cause. I am selling high quality prints of this original painting…
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My Historic Preservation Award goes to Buster’s Cafe in South Pasadena!

My Historic Preservation Award goes to Buster’s Cafe in South Pasadena!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award
It's a family affair. . . Friends and family gathered at the cafe for this award presentation.  My awardees were the three co-owners of the popular Busters Ice-cream and Coffee in South Pasadena, Renee and Colette Richards and Monica Barry. On hand were Mayor Robert Joe and members of the extended Richards family, including matriarch Clara Richards and  the son of co-owner Monica Barry, Amedee Barry, whose nick-name Buster inspired the cafe's name. This award, an original painting of Buster's corner,  is my seventh award and the second that I have presented in California.  I instituted the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award two years ago in order to give back to dedicated home owners and citizens who have set a stellar example of historic preservation through their efforts, skills or craftsmanship with regard…
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My latest Historic Preservation Award — Carriage Barn in Monrovia, CA

My latest Historic Preservation Award — Carriage Barn in Monrovia, CA

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award
Oldest Remaining Carriage Barn Starts a New Life! The President of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group,  (MOHPG) Jim Wigton, says it best in his article in the group's July newsletter The Preservation Conversation... "Old, yes. Finished, no. Monrovia's oldest remaining carriage barn, on the verge of extinction two years ago, has been given a new lease on life..." [caption id="attachment_6158" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A "before" painting of the barn by Monrovia artist Elaine Smith shows its dangerous structural leanings.[/caption] The new life for the barn came  into being thanks to the efforts of Monrovia resident Tracey Tempel, the MOHPG, 29 donors who helped finance the moving of the barn and MOHPG member, Jimi Hendrix. With the help of his crew, Jimi found a new home for the barn -- thanks to…
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Historic Award Presentation coming up…..

Historic Award Presentation coming up…..

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award
And the award goes to . . .    BUSTER'S ICE CREAM & COFFEE STOP IN SOUTH PASADENA! [caption id="attachment_6141" align="aligncenter" width="600"] For the last 27 years Buster's has been a center point of the So Pasadena community[/caption]   YOU ARE INVITED! to an award presentation to the owners of B u s t e r ’ s C a f e for their historic preservation and restoration efforts that help keep So. Pasadena so special! They will receive an original painting of Buster’s by artist Leisa Collins DATE: Tuesday, June 23 TIME: 7:00 p.m. WHERE: BUSTERS!  (Buster's address is 1006 Mission St, So Pas) Everyone Welcome - Light Refreshments Hope to see you there! Leisa    
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