Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
E-Mail Forum
Richmond Pays Tribute to its History

Richmond Pays Tribute to its History

By Chris Treadway
West County Times

Posted: 05/13/2009 02:20:05 PM PDT

Updated: 05/13/2009 07:48:11 PM PDT


Donald Hardison played a vital role in shaping the architectural landscape of much of the greater Richmond area in the postwar years.

Hardison came to the area during World War II and worked as an architect for Kaiser's massive shipyard operation while living at the landmark Atcheson Village housing complex. At the war's end, his architectural skills were employed designing buildings around the area, commercial, civic and otherwise. From schools to a YMCA center to the Easter Hill public housing to the county courthouse to funeral chapels, Hardison was steadily involved in the building boom that accompanied the area's population growth during and after the war.

Hardison, now 93, is one of the recipients of this year's Historic Preservation Awards selected by the Richmond Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

"He is like living history," said committee member Sandi Genser-Maack. "He helped create it."

Hardison, who is director emeritus of the Richmond Museum of History and an active member of the Rotary Club of Richmond and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce since 1945, will be cited for "his long and tireless work at preserving Richmond's history."

May is National Preservation Month, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Mountain Hardwear in the Ford Point building, 1414 Harbour Way South on the Richmond waterfront. The host building, better known as the historic Ford Assembly Plant, is a recipient as well, along with Orton Development, the firm that oversaw its rehabilitation.

Genser-Maack said organizers want to hold the awards ceremony in historic places to "highlight some of the great historical locations in Richmond."

The community is invited to the ceremony.

Along with Hardison and Ford Point, this year's award winners are graphic artist Bette Tarr, Richmond Museum of History Executive Director Donald Bastin, the STG Group and the Red Oak Victory Amateur Radio Club.

Bastin wrote the popular book "Images of America: Richmond," published in 2003. Tarr is being recognized for the eye-catching graphics she has contributed to preservation projects in the city.

The STG Group is being acknowledged for its rehabilitation of the Filice and Perrelli Cannery Building, a 1930 structure on Harbour Way adapted for light industrial use. The Amateur Radio Club will be honored for its restoration of the radio room aboard the S.S. Red Oak Victory.

A separate award presented by the National Park Service will go to Thomas Bottomley for his book "The Story of a Lone Survivor SS Red Oak Victory." Bottomley was a volunteer on the ship who extensively researched its archives and found other sources to write its history.

Organizations involved with the selection were the Richmond Museum of History, Point Richmond History Association and the Richmond Main Street Program.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.

If you go

  WHAT: Historic Preservation Awards ceremony

  WHEN: Monday from 4 to 6 p.m.

  WHERE: Mountain Hardwear in the Ford Point building, 1414 Harbour Way, Suite 1005, Richmond