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2024 Design Awards homes

There was big turnout of 44 walkers and three K-9 best friends at the Exedra last Wednesday for our Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays' weekly walk.

Each year the Piedmont Planning Commission recognizes a small number of outstanding construction projects in Piedmont with Design Awards. They reflect the highest level of design excellence among all those that have come before the commission during the prior year. Three walkers, Eric B, Mike H, and Jim K, are former planning commissioners. They said the selection process is for city staff to nominate their favorite projects and for the commissioners to pick the winners. This year the commission also introduced Sustainability Awards to celebrate property

owners who have incorporated green elements like heat pumps, solar panels, and greywater systems into their homes.

Seven projects were selected for 2024 Design Awards that span a range of project types. We wanted to see the winners, and could get to five of them in an approximately 2.5 mile loop. The first one was at 218 Bonita Avenue. We headed off going down Highland and Vista Avenues, past Havens School, to Bonita Avenue. Havens students were on their playground having fun and

making noise. We crossed Oakland Avenue, and noted two dogwoods that were in full, beautiful bloom.

218 Bonita is Anna P and Daniel R winner of the Outstanding Integrated Addition award. Initially, we couldn't tell where the addition was. So we walked up the driveway, confident Anna and Daniel wouldn't mind, and saw a seamlessly-built extension to the original house. Only newer looking windows provided a clue. The home's front path was also a good spot for the attached group photo.

The next award winner was a bit of a hike. We had to cross town to Nace Avenue. We continued on to Blair Avenue, and went down to Ricardo Avenue and Cambridge Way. Mike H's energetic K-9 best friend Roger was in the lead. This seemed to be Mr. Roger's neighborhood and he knew where to go.

We crossed Grand Avenue and went up the steep Greenbank Avenue. We took a left on Lake Avenue and another one at Nace to get to Stephen S and Barbara O's winner of the Excellence in Integrated Garage Design at 22 Nace. Lois P had gone to the Design & Sustainability Awards Gala on April 24th, and had been told the garage was once "a shack." Now, it is a well-made, little replica of the home.

Continuing on Nace took us to Howard Avenue and then Cambridge again where we found 11 Cambridge, the home of Peter J and Supina M. It won the Excellence in Facade Composition Award. The new, covered front porch with two white columns provide a dramatic new entrance.

We went down Cambridge to Grand and Greenbank Avenues for a climb up to Oakland Avenue. We inspected the recently competed bulb-out sidewalk extensions at Jerome Avenue. They look good, but we thought they could be trip hazard, and painting them a bright color might help.

We went down Jerome to Magnolia Avenue. Just off the corner was 337 Magnolia Avenue, the winner of the Outstanding Architectural Restoration award. Lukas B and Wendi S have done a great job creating a lovely, "new" home. Sherry Jacobs noted a magnolia tree in the front is one of only two on Magnolia Avenue.

Going up to El Cerrito Avenue and down it to number 319 took us to the home of Gina S and David W. They won the Excellence in Garage to ADU Conversion award with a new, large unit that complements this beautiful home that was built in 1921.

That did the morning's tour. We returned to Magnolia Avenue and finished our walk back to the Exedra. The two winners we weren't able to get to were Steve and Karen E's' Excellence in Outdoor Living Area at 100 Indian Road, and the Excellence in Indoor/Outdoor Living Design winner of Hugh and Victoria S at 974 Rose Avenue. We will look for them on future walks.


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