3rd annual Spirit Awards
OWN honors Westside beautification projects

       Third annual Spirit Award winners had their names called at an Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) meeting Nov. 8.
       There were ties for first in both Landscaping/Curb Appeal categories - Residential (which had four entries) and Commercial (two) - while certificates also went to each of the single entries in seven other categories.
       The idea of the awards is to honor projects that enhance properties or help them blend with the surrounding neighborhood, according to OWN board member Bunny Blaha, who led the organization of this year's event. “People talk about how things should be made better,” she commented, then, speaking to the award recipients on hand, she added, “and you did.”
       In the Landscaping - Residential category, winning certificates went to John and Sue Libretti, for upgrading an 1894 house into a “painted lady”; and Donna Rountree, for restoring her formerly renter-bashed house at 722 W. Colorado Ave. Taking second was 1624 W. Colorado Ave., owned by Steve and Laura Chastain (who have since moved out of state); and receiving honorable mention was 1080 Mesa Road, owned by Dave and Diana Tyree.
       The Landscaping-Com-mercial winners were the Agia Sophia Coffee Shop and Bookstore, 2902 W. Colorado Ave., owned by Don and Marilyn Ratlaff; and Black Tie Gourmet Catering, 1005 W. Colorado Ave., owned by Derek Howard. In both cases, the owners made considerable interior and exterior changes after purchasing their properties and opening them for business over the past couple of years.
       Spirit Awards judging was by several local elected officials. Presenting the awards were State Rep. Michael Merrifield, whose District 18 includes the Westside; and Colorado Springs City Council at-large members Tom Gallagher and Randy Purvis, who are both long-time Westside residents.
       Other awards were as follows:
       New Construction - Residential - 1804 A&B and 1808 A&B W. Cucharras Ave. (Rand Stockton and Charles Rubenacker). Historically styled craftsman homes.
       New Construction - Commercial - Bank at Broadmoor-Westside, 3216 W. Colorado Ave.
       Signage - Bungalow on the Avenue, 1315 W. Colorado Ave. (Alicia Payne).
       Historic Preservation - Commercial - Holden House, 1102 W. Pikes Peak Ave. (Welling and Sallie Clark).
       Historic Preservation - Residential - No entry.
       Remodeling/Addition - Residential - 1532 W. Bijou St. (Tim and Liz Brost).
       Remodeling/ Addition - Commercial - Westside Animal Hospital, 604 W. Colorado Ave. (Dr. Peter DeWaal).

       Both the Remodeling/ Addition winners described arduous efforts. Over a four-year span, the Brosts repaired broken sewer lines, added a dormer and replaced plumbing, wiring, the roof and fencing. Now “it's nice and warm,” Liz Brost said. “We're finally there.”
       DeWaal said he started with a low-ceiling, former “hamburger stand,” adding 2,000 square feet to the front, putting in a vaulted ceiling, remodeling the “whole interior” and fixing the parking lot. “We had to do it to make our employees happy,” he half-joked.
       To be considered for a Spirit Award, a property had to be nominated by its owner or another person.

Westside Pioneer article