Guest Blogger: Trish Tomlinson, Historic Preservation & Design Review Board Member

There are many facets to rehabilitating homes in a Historic District. Preserving original features and materials are always the first priority, when possible.

Each year, the Historic Preservation & Design Review Board (HP&DRB) reviews projects of many different scopes. We select some of the best projects to receive awards, but that doesn’t minimize the importance or appropriateness of any other project.

There are various ways to enhance the architecture, whether it’s through new construction, rehabilitation or natural landscape. The following awards represent all three categories.

New Construction
Congratulations to James and Vicki McElheny for their newly constructed cottage at 728 Oak Ave.  New construction is advised to adhere to the existing charm and ambiance that gives Lakeside its allure, and they did just that.

When building their cottage, the McElhenys maintained the front porch aesthetic of Lakeside’s outdoor living and preserved as many trees as possible, while also retaining green space on their lot. Although it’s more common to have front facing garages in this area of Lakeside, they generally reduced the impact of the front façade to the street.

The McElhenys would like to recognize Raymond J. Schaefer Construction for the work on this project. They said, “He was easy to work with and finished the job months ahead of time.”


The HP&DRB congratulates Jeff and Diane Beach for their porch renovation at 136 E. Second St. The couple was able to exactly replicate their old porch when completing a maintenance project involving the foundation and floor.

We applaud their choice to replace the modern looking entrance with a more period appropriate door. They retained the pattern of the porch windows, also known as a fenestration pattern, and left the stone bases of the support columns in their unpainted, natural condition. The green landscape at the front of their cottage is a nice visual respite along Second Street.

The couple would like to recognize Raymond J. Schaefer Construction for the great work performed on this project.


In addition to architecture, the HP&DRB also gives an award for landscaping. This award need not necessarily be in conjunction with an application, but is given where there’s an exemplary addition or improvement to a landscape within Lakeside.

Congratulations to Loretta Wilken and Lakeside Chautauqua for transforming the landscape of Lakeside with new garden beds and container gardens across the grounds.

Wilken, Lakeside’s Master Gardener, has taken on numerous projects throughout the grounds that have significantly improved appearance and ambiance. The grounds have been improving over the years, but are currently at their most spectacular.

Many of the projects not only provide their own splendor to each location, but are also situated to better highlight the architecture around them. One such project is the garden on the Maple Avenue side of the Hotel Lakeside.

Visitors to the Hotel Lakeside are welcomed by a beautiful floral array. The display is both refreshing and relaxing, especially as it enhances the front porch overlooking the lake where relaxation can commence. The beginning of the Lakeside experience to unwind and reinvigorate starts here.

The beauty of the landscape brings a closer relationship to nature throughout the entire boundaries of Lakeside – from the Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park, to the Hubbard Pickleball Center and the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus, and on to Bettinger Park and Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile.

Wilken has taken on many new landscape projects within the last 18 months. Each one is another jewel adding to the character of Lakeside.

She would like to give special thanks to the Lakeside Grounds & Gardening staff:

  • Vern Hartenburg
  • Lloyd Smith
  • Doug Mussell
  • Len Forinash
  • Eric Fasold
  • Tom Sweigard
  • Carol Rinehart
  • Andrea Buggele
  • Tommy Albrecht
  • and Nicholas Smith, the Lakeside Leadership Academy’s Horticultural Intern from Ohio State University

Thanks also to all of the many volunteers who dedicate their time and talents. In addition, Wilken would like to thank the support from Kevin Sibbring, Jim Switzer, Dave Geyer and Dan Dudley.

The HP&DRB members are privileged to be in a position to help save the unique charm and character of Lakeside, and its cottages, through preservation and restoration. We can’t thank all of you enough for your part in saving our treasured historic cottages.