The Bellville Turnverein Pavilion has been honored with the 2023 Excellence in Historic Architecture Award by the Texas Historical Commission (THC).

This award recognizes architects or firms whose work significantly contributes to preserving Texas’ architectural heritage. It is one of the ten annual THC Preservation Awards, which acknowledge individuals and organizations involved in various aspects of historic preservation.

Built in 1897, the Bellville Turnverein is a unique 12-sided dance and social hall. The restoration project transformed it into a functional event venue while preserving its historic character. Modern technology, including air conditioning, was thoughtfully integrated into the building without compromising its original design.

Hurricane Harvey caused damage to the pavilion, particularly to wooden elements, due to water penetration through the roof and flashing around the cupola. The restoration project repaired or replaced these damaged elements.

The primary change made to the pavilion was the addition of heating and air conditioning. This was achieved by installing multiple hidden units under the floor and placing ventilation ducts in the reconstructed seating platform. This approach preserved the open roof wood structure, as no HVAC ductwork is visible.

The Bellville Economic Development Corporation hopes that the revitalized venue will help attract new hotels to the city.

The THC Preservation Awards honor those who are dedicated to preserving Texas’ real places and stories. The awards recognize their achievements and leadership in heritage preservation.

The awards ceremony will take place at the THC’s Real Places 2024 conference, scheduled for April 3–5 in Austin and online. The event, presented by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission in partnership with Phoenix 1 Restoration and Construction, LLC, is the premier historic preservation and heritage tourism event in Texas. It offers a range of sessions, workshops, tours, and networking activities, bringing together diverse audiences interested in history, heritage, and preservation.



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