HDG Holds Fifth Annual Adopt-a-Landmark Volunteer Program at the Historic Walker-Ewing Log House
October 15, 2021
On Friday, October 8th, HDG held its fifth annual company-wide Adopt-a-Landmark program at the historic Walker-Ewing Log House built circa 1795 in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. Throughout the day, ten of the firm’s employees assisted staff from the Allegheny Land Trust, current owners of the property, with a variety of landscaping tasks to improve the grounds surrounding the log house.
Uncommon for the time period in which it was built, the Walker-Ewing Log House is not a cabin, but a full two-story structure with a basement, and it is in pristine shape despite being over 260 years old. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 30, 1976, and the List of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) Historic Landmarks in 1970. The log home has been looked after by the Ewing family, the PHLF, and the Pioneers West Historical Society, but in 2020 ownership was transferred to the Allegheny Land Trust, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy became a holder of a Building Preservation and Conservation Easement on the Log House. For additional information on the Walker-Ewing Log House, visit https://alleghenylandtrust.org/green-space/walker-ewing/.
While the Log House is not currently open to the public, HDG’s volunteer work was complementary to the Allegheny Land Trust’s on-going work to prepare the property for their upcoming Fall Open House to be held each Tuesday in November from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. ALT will offer free tours of the Log House during the open house days. For more information on upcoming ALT events, visit https://alleghenylandtrust.org/events/.
“The inside of the historic Walker-Ewing Log House has undergone years of restoration and maintenance work and ALT is grateful for the hard work the volunteers from HDG did to improve the outer grounds, which was well overdue,” said Caitlin Seiler, Director of Stewardship and Volunteers at Allegheny Land Trust. “Volunteers trimmed evergreen trees opening the view of the cabin along the road, hauled debris from a large tree removal project, weeded garden plots, and prepared the grounds for spring planting. The work was perfectly timed to prepare for our upcoming Fall Open House.”
HDG’s Adopt-a-Landmark program is focused on the important role that the architectural profession can play in honoring local historic landmarks to ensure their upkeep and maintenance. While there are a number of funding programs that focus on helping historical buildings, they are limited, so support from other organizations and local community members is becoming more and more necessary. Without local help with funding and upkeep of these beautiful buildings, many of them may be in danger of falling into disrepair.
“We were glad to be able to bring back our firm’s Adopt-a-Landmark program after having taken a year off due to the pandemic,” stated HDG Principal and Founder, Kevin Hayes, AIA. “Our firm’s mission is built around providing service to the community, and by hosting this volunteer day each year, we hope to play a role in preserving our local landmarks so future generations can continue to enjoy the rich history and culture they provide, and also help others learn about their part in our local history.”
HDG’s day of service began in 2016, with employees volunteering at one of the most recognized architectural landmarks in the world, Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. In 2017, HDG’s day of service took place at the Woodville Plantation near Bridgeville, Pennsylvania; in 2018, the firm volunteered at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania; and in 2019 the firm volunteered at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of only five National Historic Landmarks in Pittsburgh.
“We hope our efforts will encourage other companies and individuals in the design and construction industries to provide similar efforts to help our region’s landmarks so they can be enjoyed for many, many years to come,” said Hayes.
More on Past HDG Adopt-a-Landmark Programs: