Six community projects honored at
11th Annual Pride of Ownership ceremony.

At the December 3rd meeting of Ithaca Rotary, a dozen community members were on hand to receive the 11th Annual Pride of Ownership awards. Sponsored by The Ithaca Rotary Club and the City of Ithaca, the awards honor projects and programs that enhance the physical structure, visual beauty, and community impact of Ithaca's architectural landscape.  The six awards were presented a second time Wednesday night at the City of Ithaca's Common Council Meeting. Congratulations to all the winners on work well done!

11th Annual Ithaca Rotary/City of Ithaca Pride of Ownership Award Winners

Project: Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, Cornell University

Recipients: Darlene Hackworth and Jim Pung

The $162 million, 263,000-square-foot Joan and Stanford Weill Hall stands as a striking focal point to Cornell University on Tower Road and is the centerpiece of Cornell's New Life Sciences Initiative (NLSI). The four-story building provides scientists from across the university with cutting-edge laboratories and classrooms for interdisciplinary research and teaching in the biological, physical, engineering, computational and social sciences.  Designed by world famous architect Richard Meier, Cornell '57, the elegantly articulated building in Meier's signature white, attained the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified Gold status.  Practices that helped qualify the building for the gold standard included a high amount of material manufactured within 500 miles of the building; use of recycled content in various parts of building, such as the recycled aluminum panels on the exterior skin; a green living roof; and the amount of natural light flooding into the building.

Project: 302 Cascadilla Street

Recipients: Todd Saddler and Laurie Konwinski

Todd Saddler and Laurie Konwinski used the phrase "Tomorrow is our permanent address" to summarize the guiding principle of the design of their singular and eclectic home in the Northside Neighborhood of Cascadilla Street. Todd and Laurie designed the house, served as their own general contractor, and furnished much of the labor.  The overall design draws on elements of the neighborhood, such as the size, shape, and elevation of the first floor above street level. They looked for a lot with good southern exposure so that they could take full advantage of the sun for gardening, photovoltaics, and passive solar heating, and they followed the practice of many downtown homes in eliminating the high maintenance grass in the tree lawn and replacing it with perennial plants. Rainwater and snow melt is directed to swales, which allow water to absorb back into the soil without creating surface runoff.   They used the soil from the basement excavation to backfill against the house and while excavating, they removed the stones from the foundation of previous building and used them for retaining walls.  Today, we would like to recognize their efforts in creating a striking and sustainably unique addition to the residential landscape of Ithaca.


Project: Sciencenter

Recipients: Charlie Trautman and Lara Kimber

With tremendous vision and community support, the Sciencenter acquired and renovated the city's old Wastewater Treatment Facility at First and Adams Street in 1990 and built an addition in 2003.  In the past two years the Sciencenter completed additional improvements to its own site and to the adjacent City of Ithaca Conley Park, including: the installation of attractive landscaping on all four sides of the block, including along Route 13 and on First St.; construction of a pedestrian way and bamboo fence along the adjacent Cascadilla Creek; improvements to Conley Park with a newly paved sidewalk and new lawn; replacement of an unsightly state-owned fence along Route 13; refurbishing and painting of the large outdoor science playground; and upgrading of the attention-getting "wobble board" Sciencenter sign visible from Route 13.

  The Sciencenter has evolved into a major first-class tourist destination and a major asset to the adjoining neighborhood.  The community is indebted to all the staff and volunteers who contributed to beautifying this community asset.


Project: Minn's Garden Gate, Cornell University

Recipients: Laurene Gilbert, Hannah Carlson,  Durand Van Doren

Minn 's Garden Gate, first conceived as a practical means of barring deer from making a smorgasbord of the historic garden's contents, evolved into a practical and artistic success under the guidance of Professor Nina Bassuk, Landscape Architect Laurene Gilbert, and landscape architecture graduate student Hannah Carlson. Carlson designed the gate with internationally known Trumansburg artisan blacksmith Durand Van Doren, who has coaxed from iron exquisite, three-dimensional, anatomically correct representations of the plants, from their flowers -- tulips, daffodils, irises, crocuses, hollyhocks, mums, foxgloves, dahlias, and poppies -- down to their roots, bulbs, tubers, corms, and rhizomes. The resulting gates serve the multiple purpose of protecting the garden, representing its ephemeral contents year round, and presenting an inviting gateway to those who find instruction, inspiration, and peace there.


  Project: Ithaca Bakery, 400 North Meadow Street

Recipient: Ramsey Brous

About seven years ago, the owners of the Ithaca Bakery decided to turn their West End  property from a "non-descript box" into a presence on North Meadow Street.  Working with architect Andrew Ramsgard of Skaneateles and builder Scott Smith of Latipac Builders in Newfield, bakery owners added a dramatic new entrance and tower on the south side of the building, outlined the roof with dusk-to-dawn green lights, reconfigured the interior retail and workspaces, and replaced their fifty-year old ovens with energy-efficient appliances.  The owners were determined to keep the 98-year-old business operating during the lengthy construction period and did so, except for two, two-hour periods towards the end of the project.


Project: Porchfest , Fall Creek

Recipients: Lesley Greene and Gretchen Hildreth

Three cheers for the second annual Porchfest! A conversation between Fall Creek neighbors Gretchen Hildreth and Lesley Greene evolved into an opportunity for Fall Creek's musicians and their porches to combine in an easily arranged event for all to enjoy. Porchfest draws attention to one of the pleasures of living in Fall Creek - the neighborliness engendered by homes' architectural focus on the street through its porches. Not only did the Sunday afternoon festival double in size its second year, with 38 bands playing in two shifts, but organizers plan to expand the festival onto the porches of the Northside neighborhood. In addition to drawing an ambling and bicycling crowd through local streets, Porchfest had the additional benefit of encouraging people to spiff up their porches.  One neighbor, noting that her husband had painted theirs in preparation for the event, asked if the Greene and Hildreth could organize a "Bathroomfest" next year.