First Frontier Blair County Pioneer & Building Project Earn Statewide Recognition

 In News

Preservation Pennsylvania will honor excellence and innovation in preservation at the annual Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards to be held on September 27, 2018 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Twenty-two awards, representing projects and people across the state, were selected to receive recognition. Since 1979, the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards have honored projects, individuals, and groups that have exhibited excellence in the field of historic preservation.

Among the recipients are two from Blair County. The Henry A. Jordan Award, which honors high achievement at the local level, will be presented to Astride McLanahan for her work in Hollidaysburg and the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area. Mrs. McLanahan is the district founder of the Hollidaysburg Historic District and a former member of the borough’s Historical Architectural Review Board. Since the Historic District’s foundation in 1987, she has been active in working to preserve the building and works hand in hand with building owners and developers.

The Preservation Pennsylvania Construction Award will be made to Pennsy Properties, LLC for their renovation work on the former Winter Music Store building in downtown Altoona. The four-story, brick commercial building with contrasting white-glazed terra cotta trim is a handsome addition to Altoona’s historic streetscape.

The building was erected in 1916 for Ferdinand Alexander Winter as a music store. He wrote the score for “Marching Through Georgia,” an accomplishment for which he was widely known. The Winter Music Store hosted the League for the Advancement of Music and offered music lessons to local citizens. Ferdinand and Emma Winter had eight children, including Paul Theodore, whose son is Paul Winter, an award-winning musician known around the world.

“Pennsy Properties is honored to receive a 2018 Construction Project Award from Preservation Pennsylvania,” said partner Brian Irwin. “Pennsy’s goal is to play an active role in the rehabilitation and revitalization of underutilized properties.”

Pennsy’s efforts transformed this idle, poorly renovated historic structure into an active and job producing. The building is now home to the first downtown microbrewery and a vibrant dance academy brings new life and traffic to the expanded historic district. “The Winter’s Music store is a perfect example that you can breathe new life into a commercial building by accentuating existing workmanship and transforming it for contemporary uses,” Irwin added.

The Altoona Blair County Development Corporation played a part in financing the overall renovation and job creation project. It is considered a model for other developers considering the use of state and federal investment tax credits. Members of the team are now considering additional projects in downtown Altoona that will utilize the Certified Historic credits as part of the development strategy. More good things to come.

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