Historic Preservation honors awarded

The Winneshiek County Historical Society and City Engineer Jeremy Bril have received historic preservation awards.

The  (DHPC) has announced that the Winneshiek County Historical Society (WCHS) and City Engineer Jeremy Bril each received the Commission’s annual historic preservation award.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, there will be no public award ceremony.

* Winneshiek County Historical Society

According to DHPC, the Historical Society is being honored for its “thoroughly-researched, historically-sensitive restoration of the 1860 Landers-Adams-Bodensteiner house.”

DHPC member Adrienne Coffeen commented, “WCHS provides a model for how our community’s valuable old buildings should be treated, from the careful use of historic records and photographs to document the building’s history, to using best building practices to revitalize the building’s historic character.”

WCHS president Ferneva Brimacomb and board member Elizabeth Lorentzen said they appreciated the award because it highlights that spending time and money to restore a 150-year-old building is a beneficial community investment.The 509 W. Broadway Landers-Adams-Bodensteiner House is a key fixture in the Broadway-Phelps Park Historic District. The house remained in the same family from its 1860 construction until its 2016 donation to WCHS. The WCHS office is on the Mill St. side. A description and photographs of the building’s restoration are available at https://www.winneshiekcountyhistoricalsociety.com/bodensteiner-house.

* City Engineer Jeremy Bril

Brill was cited by the DHPC for his “enthusiastic, consultative work on such local historic preservation projects as the Court Street brick paving, the Locust Road Cave, the Commercial District National Register signage, and map preparation for several city preservation projects.”

Bril said that he was humbled by the award, and wanted to acknowledge that all of these projects “could not have been done without numerous other folks, including City Council, City Administration, design consultants, and our great team here at the Street Department.”

Commission member Judy van der Linden commented on Bril’s wide-ranging historic interests. Said van der Linden, “He consulted with us on several versions of the Court St. reconstruction, he ordered and arranged for the installation of our downtown orange signs, he has been helping us think through the railroad track restoration next to the city’s new Dry Run Park. It’s his general attitude of support that means so much.”

A Decorah native, Bril completed an Environmental Engineering & Science Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in 2012, moved to Decorah in 2015, and became City Engineer in 2019.The DHPC award is given annually in May as part of National Historic Preservation Month. A complete list of award recipients going back to 2009 is available on the DHPC city web page https://www.decorahia.org/historic-preservation/awards.

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