|The Lichfield Civic Society Awards Scheme|
Since 1983 the Civic Society's main award has been a ceramic plaque, usually affixed to the outside of the building. These awards are listed below and many can still be seen around the City today.
The Civic Society's committee first discussed proposals for an award scheme in January 1970 and subsequently agreed that up to three 'awards' should be made each year. Another year passed before the first commendations were reported at the Society's AGM in March 1972. The awards sub-committee was re-convened in January 1975 and a full two page spread, featuring some of the ten nominations received that year, appeared in "The Mercury" on 21st November. Three commendations and the first two awards were reported at the Society's AGM in February 1977. At this time the Society's main award was a framed certificate with no external record.
2014 - Award: Sibson Mill Properties for the conversion of the former St Michaels School, Deans Croft.
"Sibson Mill have revealed what had appeared to be a dowdy and run down Victorian building in its true light as a very charming example of the Gothic Revival movement, with many attractive details that include the very pretty steepled tower. The final touch was the choice of a contrasting lime mortar pointing giving the whole scheme a light-hearted domestic feeling."
2000 - Award: Extensions to the Police Mutual Building, Queen Street.
"The Police Mutual building is a striking and original design. The Award was presented to Sir David O'Dowd, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales in recognition of the extensions to the Police Mutual Headquarters in Queen Street. In making the award the Society should recognise that it is one of the Society's own members, Peter Brownhill, who was the architect for the project and our congratulations go to him for the high quality of design."
2000 - Award: Refurbishment of the former Tuke & Bell Offices, Beacon Street.
"This Award is given to Hinton's Properties Ltd, in recognition of the preservation works and enhancement of the street scene when returning the redundant offices back to the original terrace cottages. This type of work is often carried out without understanding or appreciating the original buildings and the site resulting in a loss to the City's stock of old but historically valuable properties. Hinton's Properties Ltd and their architect have demonstrated with skill and sensitivity what can be achieved if there is the will - they are to be congratulated."
1998 - Award: The New University Centre, The Friary.
"This is an exciting building reflecting in its design the high technology purposes for which it will be used. Careful attention has been paid in its siting in relation to both its immediate and wider surroundings. Despite its striking and, to some, controversial design it sits comfortably in its setting. It is a worthy addition to the stock of buildings of mention in the City."
1994 - Award: The Swan Hotel Project, Bird Street.
"This project is a quite outstanding development in the City, by virtue not only of the quality of restoration but also of the multiplicity of uses to which this building has been put."
1990 - Award: Lindford Bridgman's workshop, Quonian's Lane.
"The Society regards the new workshop of Lindford Bridgmans Ltd as an outstanding example of contemporary industrial building. It is crisp and clean, making no attempt to disguise its function and is individual in its detailing. Built of modern materials on a challenging site, a satisfactory relationship with the Cathedral and Dam Street has been achieved. The gable ends contribute to the effective massing of this complex and the result has simplicity and distinction."
1989 - Award: Bolt Court, Bird Street Car Park, designed by the Duval-Brownhill partnership.
"This imaginative link between the Bird Street car park and Market Place was commended for its ingenious use of space, provision of retail units in a practical thoroughfare and the welcome refurbishment of a timber framed building."
1988 - Award: Cathedral School Extension, "The Broadhurst Building", designed by the Duval-Brownhill partnership.
"The building is an excellent combination of traditional and modern elements and is considered to be setting a new standard of design for The Close. Apart from commending the building's general appearance and its planning detail, it is recognised that it is highly suitable for children's educational needs while employing many novel features to invigorate traditional architectural models."
1987 - Award: Extension to the Bird Street offices of the Duval-Brownhill partnership.
"This is an example of integrating the traditional and the modern, linking the 18th and 20th centuries, which is both aesthetically and commercially successful. An excellent example of what can be done on a restricted site".
1986 - Award: The St Chad's Housing Association on Rotten Row.
"This building on the old 'Blue Bells' site demonstrates a very satisfactory solution to the design problems. Overall the building is unassuming but full of good qualities. The courtyard with its canopies, stairways and footscape is delightful with a feeling of privacy and a very human scale. The specifications are high - the materials are of good quality and the fittings are carefully chosen. The interiors are unexpectedly roomy and the whole complex must be very good to live in."
1985 - Award: Restoration of Brook House, Dam Street.
"During the last fifteen years the ground floor of No. 22 Dam Street has been a private garage and then became the Bull's Eye Gallery. Although the work done was carefully carried out, both of these previous conversions changed the character and damaged the vertical flavour of the building. The present owner, Mr A.E. Gibson, commissioned Construction Limited of Burntwood to restore the building to its original elevation. The success of this work is such that it has largely passed unnoticed and is now difficult to detect. The Civic Society's Award commemorates that success."
1983 - Award: Restoration of Quarry Lodge, Tamworth Road
"Quarry Lodge was thought to have been built originally as a folly and we are extremely pleased to see this building brought back into residential use when so often such buildings are either demolished or converted to an inappropriate use. We take pleasure in noting the close attention to detailing in the restoration and we are impressed where the necessary new extension needed to make the scheme viable has been designed so as to blend sympathetically with the existing building. We also note the extra problems involved in converting such a difficult building to residential use, and the subtle use of colour to accentuate some of the details of this important, historic, building."