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On April 9, 2014 the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation held its annual spring meeting at The Old State House in Dover. As part of the meeting, the board heard presentations in support of two nominations for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
Viva Poore of the Harrington Historical Society summarized her research on St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church, a mission chapel built in 1876 that is owned by the Harrington Historical Society and houses exhibits chronicling the history of the town. Robin Krawitz, director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Delaware State University, prepared a nomination for the Union Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church Complex in Clarksville which features the best-known example of an African-American school built in 1890, as well as a historic cemetery and camp-meeting ground continuously used since the mid-1800s.
After the presentations, the board recommended that both nominations be presented for approval to Tim Slavin, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs director and State Historic Preservation Officer, and then forwarded to the National Park Service for official listing in the National Register.
Prior to the National Register presentations, retiring members of the board—Kevin Rychlicki (chair), Chad Nelson, state Senator Dori Conner and Peter Bon—were honored for their service; while four new members—Dr. David Ames, Tony DePrima, Michael McGrath and Carol Quigley—were welcomed to the board by vice chair Dr. Akwasi Osei.
Following are biographical sketches of the new board members:
Dr. David Ames is director of the Center for Historic Architecture and Design and professor of Public Policy and Administration, Geography and Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. Ames has published several books including the following in which he was co-author: “Evaluating America’s Historic Suburbs for the National Register of Historic Places” (2002) and “Design and Historic Preservation: The Challenge of Compatibility” (2009). He conducts research on a variety of topics including historic highways, protecting Delaware’s view sheds from negative visual intrusions, the Boston to Washington, D.C. transportation corridor, the impact of development on heritage resources and heritage tourism.
Tony DePrima is a planner who currently serves as the executive director of the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc. which the Delaware General Assembly established in 2007. This unique public-private partnership was established to determine ways of reducing energy consumption, lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and supporting distributed renewable-energy. Prior to his current position, DePrima served as the city manager for the city of Dover, Del. from 2001 to 2011 and as the city’s planning director from 1991 to 2001.
Michael McGrath is a native Delawarean who retired in 2011 after serving 28 years as chief of planning for the Delaware Department of Agriculture where he provided input into the development of land-use planning and agricultural development, managed the work of the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation and facilitated the preservation of open space for people and habitat for wildlife. McGrath is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and speaks extensively on farmland preservation and the use of geographic-information-systems in land-use planning and modeling. He continues to serve as a consulting agriculturalist and has a long and abiding interest in Delaware history.
Carol Quigley is a historic architect who currently serves as an architectural designer for Frens and Frens Restoration Architects headquartered in West Chester, Pa. She has worked on a wide variety of projects in Delaware including the restoration of the Read House in New Castle, preparation of a historic-structures report for Old Swedes Church in Wilmington, conducting historical investigations of Dover’s Eden Hill Farm and John Bell House, restoration of the foundation of the Peter Marsh Homestead for the Rehoboth Art League, and restoration projects undertaken at several Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs-administered properties including Buena Vista, the John Dickinson Mansion, the New Castle Court House and The Old State House.