West Philly Schools

Products from Pine Hall Brick Company were used in two Silver Award-winning projects in this year’s Bricks In Architecture competition, which is sponsored by the Brick Industry Association (BIA), a brick industry trade group.

The two winners were the Lea Elementary School in Philadelphia, which won in the paving and landscaping category and the Franklin Elks Lodge Renovation in Franklin, Indiana, which won in the renovation/restoration category.

Overall, the 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards honored 35 winners in 19 states for outstanding and resilient design that incorporates clay brick.

Judged by independent design professionals, the Brick Industry Association’s (BIA) premier design competition generated 91 entries this year with Best In Class, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in eight categories.

“The winners demonstrate brick’s aesthetic flexibility, and its integral role in any sustainable, low maintenance and durable building strategy,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO.

For the Lea Elementary School project, the win in the BIA competition marks the second time that the project has won an award. Last year, the schoolyard, which used Pine Hall Brick Company’s StormPave permeable pavers, won an inaugural award from the Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners.

The group is an initiative within the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Greater Philadelphia, which was formed to support Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia’s five-year effort to reduce stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows by investing in green stormwater infrastructure.

The Lea Elementary School managed stormwater from both the public street and the schoolyard. The project involved planting 3,000 perennials, 35 shrubs and 19 trees – and effectively transformed a predominately paved schoolyard into a landscape with four-season appeal and 5500 square feet of StormPave pavers.

The Franklin Elks Lodge renovation in Franklin, Ind., began as a project looking for an owner, who was willing to provide sufficient funds to create a new façade that was more compatible with the historic context of the surrounding neighborhood.

The building itself was 21,000 square feet with two floors above ground and one below. Originally a G.C. Murphy’s Five and Dime store from 1958 until 1971, the building went through a multitude of owners and uses for the next 41 years, until the Benevolent Order of the Elks Lodge 1818 Franklin stepped up with a bid for the property.

The renovation, which used a design by Neil Dixon of LandsHope Studios, centered on a new façade of Pine Hall Brick face brick and limestone trim, coupled with an interior redesign. A total of $300,000 in grants from a local redevelopment commission and the nonprofit Franklin Development Corporation and $1 million from the Elks, went into the project. Also, many Elks Club members donated or deeply discounted their work on the project.

The basement is now storage space; the first floor has a bar, meeting rooms and a kitchen and the second floor is a banquet hall.

Both the Lea Elementary School and the Franklin Elks Lodge Renovation bring value to the community, even as the products that were used to build them bring both aesthetics and durability to the projects themselves.

“The Lea Elementary School brings an improved school playground to help teach children about the environment and the Elks Lodge raises money for more than 50 different organizations and causes in Franklin, Indiana,” said Walt Steele, paver business manager of Pine Hall Brick. “These two organizations are all about improving the community and they are the real winners today.”