Spirit Awards put spotlight on Westside property upgrades

       Four property upgrades received two awards each and 23 others also were honored in the annual Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) Spirit Awards Dec. 4. A close-up of the Hotel San Ayre display provides before and after photos.
Westside Pioneer photos  (pictorial display by Bunny Blaha)
       Doubly recognized were:
       The Firehouse restaurant (Joe and Kari Tresner, owners), 817 W. Colorado Ave. - gold in Historic Preservation - Commercial; tied for silver in Signage.
       Lowenstein Chiropractic (Dr. Marc Lowenstein, owner), 1310 S. 21st St. - bronze in Signage; bronze in Remodeling/ Addition - Commercial.
       Richard Mee and Allan Kerr, 1710 W. Pikes Peak Ave. - tied for gold in Historic Preservation - Residential; silver in Landscaping/Curb Appeal - Residential.
       Rich and Lynn Havel, 1318 W. Platte Ave. - gold in Remodeling/Addition - Residential; bronze in Historic Preservation - Residential.
       The event was the fourth annual by OWN, which seeks out nominees for the Spirit Awards as a way of encouraging people on the older Westside to improve their properties.
       On a snowy night, representatives from just nine of the prize-winning properties showed up to be congratulated by judges Westsider/ County Commissioner Sallie Clark (who founded the awards in '05) and City Council members Randy Purvis and Jerry Heimlicher. The other judges, State Rep. Michael Merrifield and council member Scott Hente, could not attend.
       OWN board member Bunny Blaha, who organized this year's event, commented that because of the weather issues, next year's Spirit Awards will be in September.
       She expressed some chagrin at her own award. She had entered a house she built at 1330 W. Pikes Peak Ave. in the New Construction - Residential category, and judges gave it the gold over the one other entrant (Carter and Marsha True, 11 N. 17th St., who received the silver). "I wish they'd won," Blaha commented.
       According to Blaha, other winners in the competition were:
  • Signage - Commercial - Shoegasm (Mary Kay Kramer and Cynthia McKedy, owners), 1820 W. Colorado Ave.
  • Historic Preservation - Residential - Bill and Darlene Kennedy, 14 S. 14th St.
  • Remodeling/Addition - Commercial - Michael and Diana Crepeau, 3320 W. Colorado (Hotel San Ayre).
  • Landscaping/Curb Appeal - Residential - tied between Angie Durbin and Becky McWilliams, 1529 W. Pikes Peak Ave.; and Patrizia and Ted Smith, 2032 W. Kiowa St.
  • Landscaping/ Curb Appeal - Commercial - Swish (Shelley Laur, owner), 1816 W. Colorado Ave.
  • New Construction - Commercial - Angler's Covey (David Leinweber, owner), 295 S. 21st St.
           One of the attendees was Glen Durbin, who had helped his sister, Angie Durbin, on her landscaping project. "We worked all summer," Glen said. "There was a foundation around the yard, and we had to bulldoze it all out and trench in the sprinkler system. There was also a snaky walkway that took a lot of cutting." But in retrospect, he said, "If you're going to put that much work into something, you should be happy with what it looks like."
           The prizes were donated by area businesses. In past years, recognition had consisted of certificates.
           A full list of prize-winners will appear in the next issue of the quarterly OWN newsletter, the Westside Story. OWN is the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside.

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