My First Historic Preservation Award Presentation

And the Award Goes to Dave Muylle of Lansing, Michigan!

Chilly weather conditions and even snow, could not dampen the enthusiasm regarding historic preservation from the Lansing community on this day!  Around 80 people attended, enjoying the presentation, refreshments and then touring through Dave’s restored homes at 139 and 141 Leslie Street to see for themselves Dave’s fine craftsmanship.  Many stayed at length to chat and enjoy the comradery of fellow supporters of old home restoration.

My award to Dave was a framed and plaqued painting of 139 and 141 Leslie Street, two of the Craftsman homes Dave has completed within the last year. Here it is!

I would like to thank Lansing Council President, Carol Wood and 1st Ward Councilmember, Jody Washington who joined me in honoring Dave as well as the President of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing, Valerie Marvin, and Preservation Lansing Director, Gretchen Cochran.  Their attendance and support of historic preservation is vital for this area.  Here are some photos of the event.

Lansing Council President Carol Wood joins Leisa Collins in honoring Dave Muylle
Some of the attendees at the first Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award presentation event in Lansing MI
Lansing council members and historic preservation leaders join Leisa Collins as she presents award to Dave Muylle

Through coming back and forth to Lansing to see family in the last 25 years I came to realize that the average Lansing citizen as well as many city officials have no clue of the historic treasures that abound in this city.  Too many homes and buildings have already been tossed to the scrap heap and it’s time to reverse this trend.  The focus has to switch from demolition and dilapidation to preservation and restoration!

I have now painted close to 500 watercolor paintings of historic homes and buildings across 37 states; as well as 40 homes and buildings in the Greater Lansing area, and in my travels I have come to recognize that it is the individual, the homeowner, the community leader who is the main cheerleader and caretaker for saving and preserving our country’s beautiful historic homes and buildings. In their hands, the whole historic fabric and beauty of our country actually lies.  I believe such dedication should be acknowledged which is why I began this award.  Dave Muylle is a splendid example of such an individual and a deserving awardee.

Muylle is a licensed builder and long-time resident of Lansing. He specializes in recycling deteriorating homes in danger of demolition, rejuvenating them from the ground up and returning them to their original beauty and usefulness.  He describes his work as “recycling homes” as he reinvents the interiors with a mixture of old and new including energy efficient heating, cooling, windows, insulation, and appliances. The Lansing Historic District Commission recognized Muylle’s achievements with awards in 2000, 2002 and 2003.  Likewise Preservation Lansing in 2012.  (See full bio regarding Dave on the Award page of my website.)

Bruce and I are about to start our USA cross country tour to California and I will be giving more awards along the way!  I’ll keep you posted.


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