ARCH has been presenting historic preservation awards for 42 years, but in 2020 the awards include something new.

The inaugural Outreach ARCHie Awards this year make a specific effort to recognize the top historic preservation projects regionally. Traditionally, the ARCHie Awards have focused on Allen County, where ARCH was founded in 1975 and where much of its work has been focused. But as ARCH has grown, it has come to serve all of Northeast Indiana.

The 2020 Outreach honors have been presented to two projects in Auburn that are good examples of the variety of value historic preservation projects provide to a community.

Outreach Award

ARCHie to

Eckhart Public Library, 603 S. Jackson St., Auburn

Janelle Graber, Director, and Carolyn Foley and Vicki James, Eckart Library Foundation

Commendation to

Auburn City Steakhouse, 203 Main St., Auburn

VRJ Holdings LLC (property owner) and Bob Lebamoff (business owner)

The historically sensitive restoration of the Eckart Public Library to correct extensive interior damage after a 2017 fire included rebuilding many areas of the 1996 addition. The building’s exterior was also cleaned, its brick tuckpointed, a new tile roof matching the original was fabricated and installed and wood was repainted in the original color scheme. The art glass windows were also reglazed.

This restoration project saved an iconic Auburn building for not only today’s library users but also tomorrow’s and sustains this beautiful piece of Auburn’s community identity for all to enjoy and benefit from.

MKM architecture + design of Fort Wayne was the project architect and nominated the project.

The Auburn City Steakhouse restoration gives Auburn residents and the many people who visit the city a comfortable and stylish place to enjoy a good meal in surroundings that they’ll remember as something special, something distinctively Auburn. Such destination restaurants are valued tools in the economic development and tourism plans of successful cities, and the Steakhouse project exemplifies the contribution historic preservation makes to the success. MKM architecture + design of Fort Wayne was the project architect and nominated the project. 

ARCH’s award committee and board of directors also decided to give special recognition to a historic preservation project in Fort Wayne because of its magnitude, multiple uses and impact on downtown. The Preservation Partners Award was created to recognize the work that went into restoring The Landing as a place to live, work, shop, dine, gather, relax and be entertained. Recognition goes to The Model Group as the developer and ongoing manager of The Landing and to partners the City of Fort Wayne and the Downtown Investment Trust (now the Allen County-Fort Wayne Investment Trust) for their critical roles in all aspects of the project from assembling the property to designing the streetscape. Seven historic buildings have been restored and are being reused, one compatible new building has been constructed, and the streetscape has been renovated. MKM architecture + design of Fort Wayne was the project architect

This year’s other nine ARCHie Award and Commendation winners are no less important for bearing titles that have been used year after year. They exemplify the purpose and ongoing importance of the preservation awards program: to celebrate and encourage property owners and managers who do the right thing with historic properties and sustain them as authentic, vital and contributing elements of community life. They’re all beautiful, too.

Single Family Residential

ARCHie to

1011 Jackson St.

Derek and Katrina Nichols, Sky’s the Limit DK, Inc.

Honored for repair of siding and trim, reconstruction of front porch, exterior paint, construction of new driveway and compatible garage

ARCHie to

1030 W. Washington Blvd.

Kevin Gerbers, KD Homes Investments LLC

Honored for extensive repair of siding and trim, removal of front addition and recreation of front porch, sympathetic addition at rear of house, exterior paint and new garage

Commendations to

• 929 Columbia Ave.

Derek and Katrina Nichols, Sky’s the Limit DK, Inc.

Honored for exterior repairs, window rehab, paint and new roofing

• 1014 Van Buren St.

Derek and Katrina Nichols, Sky’s the Limit DK, Inc.

Honored for exterior repairs, window rehab, paint and new roofing

• 1116 W. Washington Blvd.

Kevin Gerbers, KD Homes Investments LLC

Honored for removal of deteriorated non-original stucco, extensive repair of underlying original siding and trim, reconstruction of front porch based on ghost marks and historic documentation, exterior paint and new garage

Multi-Family Residential

ARCHie to

2528 Hoagland Ave, for the carriage house restoration

Ron Turpin, Delanor Consultants, LLC

Honored for restoration of carriage house involving foundation work, straightening of walls, extensive structural repair to walls and roof, new roof, siding and trim repair, new garage doors and exterior paint


ARCHie to

1736 Wells Street

Richard Strong, Strong Realty Partnership

Honored for removal of deteriorated and structurally unstable front facade, correction of structural defects and reconstruction of facade matching original in material and design

Compatible New Construction Category ARCHie

4011 South Wayne Avenue — Antonuccio’s Italian Market

Patrick and Kerry Antonuccio, Duca D’Aosta LLC

Honored for removal of non-original facade and construction of historically appropriate new facade, restoration of filled window openings on north side and installation of dining courtyard in vacant lot on north side

Adaptive Reuse

ARCHie to

1631 E. Pontiac St., Bottle Works Lofts

Vincent Village, Denise Anderson, Executive Director, with Denise Andorfer, former Executive Director, and Miller-Valentine Group, co-developers

Honored for adaptive reuse of former Coca-Cola Plant into residential units known as Bottle Works Lofts

Before and after photos of all the winners, plus additional photos of winners with their awards are posted on ARCH’s website,

ARCH will be announcing nominations for the 2021 ARCHie Awards in January. Watch the website for the announcement. Everyone who knows of a historic building that has been successfully preserved in the past two years will be invited to nominate it for a 2021 ARCHie Award.

This annual award program recognizes the preservation efforts of individuals, businesses and institutions in Fort Wayne, Allen County and Northeast Indiana. ARCHies for outstanding single family, multifamily and commercial restoration projects as well as organizational and institutional projects may be awarded as worthy candidates are identified. Any nominated project must have had exterior restoration work that is visible to the general public, have been completed in the past two calendar years and be located in Allen County or one of the following counties of Northeast Indiana: Adams, Wells, Huntington, Wabash, Whitley, Kosciusko, Noble, DeKalb, Lagrange and Steuben.