Vol. 19, No. 32

May 25, 2000

Bayard Sharp Hall

County board recognizes UD's preservation effort

Bayard Sharp Hall, the University's restored concert hall that formerly had served as Newark's St. Thomas Episcopal Church, was one of 12 recipients of a 2000 New Castle County Historic Preservation Award.

John Shields, chairperson of the New Castle County Historic Review Board, and Frank J. McKelvey, chairperson of the board's awards committee, presented the award May 19 in a ceremony at Greenbank Mill, outside Wilmington.

Accepting the award on behalf of the University was David Hollowell, executive vice president. David Ames, Center for Historic Preservation and Design and urban affairs and public policy, also attended.

In acknowledging the University's historic preservation efforts, McKelvey said, it's impressive that the University of Delaware has been honored five times for building projects, with another five awards given to UD faculty.

"The University of Delaware is being commended for renovating and reusing the old St. Thomas Episcopal Church for a concert and lecture hall," McKelvey said. "When the University bought the building in 1997, it was in a very deteriorated condition, but a commitment was made to preserve this piece of Newark history.

"The Wilmington firm Homsey Architects Inc. was hired to direct the undertaking. Project architect Alexine Cloonan had the challenge of planning the renovation work to accommodate a new use and to meet modern building code standards while still preserving the historic character of the old church.

"She was assisted by the University's Center for Historic Architecture and Design. Dr. David Ames and Dr. Bernie Herman worked with their students to document and uncover original architectural features and paint colors, which have been accurately replaced," he said.

McKelvey stressed that the board was particularly impressed that the University used its students to help with research that was important to the building's restoration.

A certificate, signed by New Castle County Executive Thomas Gordon, "in acknowledgment of the leadership and dedication that made preservation of this New Castle County Historic Resource possible" was presented to Hollowell.

- Ed Okonowicz