Indiana Landmarks Announces Servaas Award Winners

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Jim and Norma Bertsch restored a historic block in Cambridge City and helped revitalize the National Road town. Photo: Indiana Landmarks Jim and Norma Bertsch restored a historic block in Cambridge City and helped revitalize the National Road town. Photo: Indiana Landmarks
INDIANAPOLIS -

Two eastern Indiana cities have received Servaas Memorial Awards for historic preservation from Indiana Landmarks. The winners include a couple from Cambridge City and a nonprofit preservation organization in Union City.

Jim and Norma Bertsch of Cambridge City won $1,000 in the individual category and the Preservation Society of Union City IN-OH won $2,000 in the nonprofit category.

The Bertsch family has restored their 1850 home and turned an 1848 building into Dr. Bertsch’s medical office. 

“When the hardware store on the National Road was going out of business, we worried that the building could go the wrong way, so we bought and restored it,” Dr. Bertsch said.

The couple has also restored part of an old opera house.

“Their restoration of the block made a visible difference and set a standard that others have followed in fixing up historic buildings and revitalizing Cambridge City,” Indiana Landmarks Honorary Chairman Randall Shepard said.

Meanwhile, the Preservation Society of Union City IN-OH says its most recent lease-and-restore project is a commercial building at 207 East Elm Street. The nonprofit group leases refurbished space to an art gallery and hosts community events in the building.

“The organization has a unique approach to real estate projects. Instead of buying endangered buildings, it leases a dilapidated structure with an option to buy it for the pre-restoration price. The members fix it up, using a combination of sweat equity and hired expertise,” Shepard said.

The awards were handed out on September 12 in Indianapolis.

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