OWN’s Spirit Awards again honor Westside’s residential/commercial property upgrades

       Nine properties in the fifth annual Spirit Awards received certificates from the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) at its meeting Sept. 24.

Posters displaying photos and write-ups for the Spirit Award entries are scrutinized by two award-winners (from left, Deb Wallbaum and Phil Marks) and Dick Strauch of the Organization of Westside Neighbors.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The awards are intended to recognize land or business owners who have significantly upgraded their properties or commercial sites.
       Three entrants were double-winners this year:
  • 1530 W. Kiowa St. (Phil and Stephanie Marks) - Historic Preservation: Residential and Remodeling/Addition: Residential.
  • 2 S. 25th St. (Deb's Coffee House - Debbie Wallbaum) - Historic Preservation: Commercial and Signage.
  • 2432 W. Pikes Peak Ave. (Bob and Ambur Stevens) - Landscaping/ Curb Appeal: Residential and New Construction: Residential.
           The other “gold” recipient was 1404 W. Kiowa - Doug Schrepel and Laurie Clauss - tie in Landscaping/Curb Appeal: Residential.
           Two other usual award categories, Remodeling/ Addition: Commercial and New Construction: Commercial, had no nominations this year.
           Listed by category, here are the other award recipients, who received either second (silver) or third (bronze) awards:
  • Historic Preservation: Residential - silver- 14 N. 12th St. (Dan and Susie Rieple).
  • Remodeling/ Addition: Residential - silver - 1225 W. Kiowa St. (Gary Cummings).
  • Landscaping/Curb Appeal: Residential - silver - 431 N. Cooper Ave. (Sigrid Meiris); bronze (tie) - 1302 W. Pikes Peak Ave. (Brenda and Eric Kneifel), and 1530 W. Kiowa (Phil and Stephanie Marks).
           The judges were City Council members Scott Hente and Randy Purvis.
           Present at the meeting to accept their prizes and talk about their projects were the Markses, Stevenses, Walbaum and Cummings.
           Discussing their improvements in a write-up for OWN, the Markses state that they sought “unique colors that would enhance the detail and architecture of this home… We have people knocking on our door, often with paint chips in hand, saying they love our colors... It's very flattering!”
           Their addition was done in 1998, giving their home 400 more square feet (it's now 2,000 square feet total). They kept the old trim, while adding doors and changing walls, Phil Marks said at the meeting.
           In her write-up, Wallbaum notes that the 120-year-old house (now her restaurant) was built by Henry Templeton (who also constructed the Templeton Building in Old Colorado City's 2500 block). The improvements included a new roof, window screens and sash cord repairs to the existing windows.
           The Stevenses built a garage next to their house and augmented the landscaping in front. Their plan in the garage construction was to “keep the integrity of the historic district,” Ambur Stevens said.
           The Stevenses' application for the Spirit Awards somehow never got to Blaha, but awards were given as a result of late judging efforts, she said.
           Doug Schrepel and Laurie Clauss, who had the other “gold” entry, did not attend the awards meeting, but detail in a write-up how they tried to improve the front yard area since purchasing the 100-year-old house three years ago.

    Westside Pioneer article