Farley, Courtney Blackman among Lunenburg heritage award winners

by Charles Mandel

Farley Blackman may be long gone from the South Shore, but his influence in Lunenburg is still felt.

Blackman, and his spouse Courtney, were among those recognized June 7 as the Town of Lunenburg presented its first annual Heritage Recognition Awards as part of the town's 265th birthday celebrations.

The Blackmans received the award for "restoring the original character of a building," in this instance the Lunenburg Opera House.

The Opera House is still for sale, currently listed for $995,000 down from an asking price of $1.5-million in 2017.

After a well-publicized fight with the Town of Lunenburg over development disagreements, Blackman left in 2017 for Australia to take a position with a start-up incubator in Melbourne.

Blackman's announcement that he was leaving in 2017 prompted the town to Tweet, saying it was sad to hear of the businessman's then-impeding departure.

Other heritage award winners included Cheryl Orphan, for "preserving the original character of a building" at 206 Fox Street; Deborah Washington and William Weedmark for "the long-term preservation stewardship of a building" at 206 Lincoln Street; and to Lisa MacLeod for "rehabilitating a building that contributes positively to the design of the original structure" for 251/253/255 Lincoln Street - Hirtle Block.

"Our architectural built heritage is very important to this Town. The remarkable level of conservation we had achieved in the past helped to secure the UNESCO designation for 'Old Town Lunenburg' as a World Heritage Site in 1995," said Mayor Rachel Bailey," in a statement.

"We cherish our international reputation as a shining example of heritage preservation, and this awards program will help to ensure that respect and appreciation of built heritage is fostered and celebrated here.

The award program is to recognize property owners and developers for outstanding restoration and/or rehabilitation of a building, or well-designed infill development that contributes positively to the streetscape of the Town.

The awards ceremony at the Heritage Bandstand was followed by a public community walk with Mayor Bailey, with a route that included three of the four properties recognized today.

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