NORRISTOWN, PA - Seven outstanding projects and their creators were honored today at a virtual Montgomery Awards celebration sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Commission
. This annual program recognizes the best in planning and design, advocacy, and environmental stewardship in Montgomery County and acknowledges the high-quality work and commitment of communities, organizations, and professionals.
The seven projects receiving Montgomery Awards were Bridgeport Zero Energy Ready Homes in Bridgeport Borough, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA – Willow Grove Branch in Upper Moreland Township, Higher Rock Transportation Improvements in Montgomery Township, Jacksonville Green in Hatboro Borough, Lederach General Store in Lower Salford Township, Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in Pennsburg Borough, and Station Row at Suburban Square in Lower Merion Township.
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Montgomery Awards program
. Since its beginning in 1967, 222 awards have been presented throughout Montgomery County. Over the years, many types of projects have been awarded, including residential, office, and commercial developments; redevelopment projects; community revitalization efforts; transportation improvements; historic preservation projects; and open space and park planning. All of these winning projects are best practice examples of planning and design in the county.
“These award-winning projects are excellent models of transformative and sustainable development, realizing the community’s vision through extensive collaboration. All of our winners touch on the goals and themes of Connected Communities, Sustainable Places, and Vibrant Economy contained in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision
, Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Bridgeport Zero Energy Ready Homes, a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient residential infill development in Bridgeport Borough, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for innovation, community revitalization, and successful collaboration. This project involved the construction of four twin homes in a residential neighborhood. These homes are the first single-family attached homes in the county to be constructed under the US Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program and are built in a classic design at a competitive price. This project is an example of how a small, well-planned development can have a huge, positive impact in a community and become a catalyst for revitalization.
Greater Philadelphia YMCA – Willow Grove Branch, a successful redevelopment project in Upper Moreland Township, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for extension collaboration, effective solutions to storm water and floodplain management, and community transportation improvements. This project involved the construction of a new 98,000 square foot recreational facility on the site of the former Willow Grove Day Camp. The development of this 40-acre property, which lies in the floodplain, provided opportunities for a number of environmental improvements to the site related to storm water management, floodplain attenuation, and landscape reservation. This project has created a contemporary community center, which invites everyone to gather and provides twenty-first century amenities for its members.
Higher Rock Transportation Improvements, an outstanding transportation project in Montgomery Township, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for extensive collaboration, innovative and effective transportation solutions, and community economic development. This project involved the extension of Witchwood Drive to a new intersection with Bethlehem Pike - Route 309, as well as the development of several commercial properties that have brought an economic boost to the busy corridor. A result of years of successful planning and collaboration, this project has transformed a challenging site into an important community destination that can be reached safely by motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Jacksonville Green, an exceptional historic renovation in Hatboro Borough, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for adaptive reuse, sustainable design, and context-sensitive improvements. This mixed-use project involved the transformation of factory buildings, which were part of the Roberts and Mander Stove Company, into 45 contemporary apartments and the construction of a new 40-unit apartment building built to LEED Gold certification standards. Underground parking and a dog park are just a few of the amenities in this transit-oriented development, which provides additional housing options within walking distance of the regional rail line and to the commercial district in the heart of town.
Lederach General Store, a remarkable adaptive reuse project in Lower Salford Township, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for historic preservation, sensitive site planning, and investment in community character. This project involved the extensive restoration of the original stone general store built in the late 1700s. Context-sensitive additions were added, which resulted in 5,700 square feet of commercial space. The project, located at a critical six point intersection, involved a true labor of love to keep this cherished landmark in the community and to help retain the village identity of Lederach.
Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, an exceptional contemporary campus expansion in Pennsburg Borough, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for preservation of community heritage, context-sensitive design, and a successful long-term planning process. This community-inspired project involved the construction of a new 38,000 square foot addition to the existing library and the relocation and reconstruction of a Pennsylvania Bank Barn. The project will allow this recognized research center to continue its vision of preserving and interpreting the rural heritage of Montgomery County and providing a destination for learning and reflection.
Station Row at Suburban Square, a successful mixed-used development in Lower Merion Township, received a 2020 Montgomery Award for effective master planning, streetscape and pedestrian improvements, and sensitive architectural design. This project involved the construction of a 37,500 square foot building on a former surface parking lot near the Ardmore Regional Rail station. Art Deco-inspired architecture, a pedestrian-friendly streetscape, and inviting public space were all elements of this addition. This project, with its cohesive design approach and community connections, updates, unifies, and completes an important part of the vision plan for Suburban Square.