State Historic Conference honors G.G’s Grill for restoration excellence

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Historic preservationists from all over Indiana gathered at the end of September in Wabash, Indiana, for the third meeting of the Cornelius O’Brien Conference on Historic Preservation and Indiana Main Street; and although the local Main Street organization is just getting started, the state did honor a restoration project here.

Jenny Brindley, owner of G.G’s Grill on Ferry Street, was honored by the state for her restoration and preservation efforts on her buildings. She was nominated by Vevay Main Street, Inc., and won in the “Historic Preservation Project” category.

In nominating Jenny Brindley for the award, Vevay Main Street had to submit a description of the entry. David Attaway, a Vevay Main Street board member, wrote the narrative about the four-building restoration on behalf of the group.

“These four attached buildings were in a state of great disrepair,” David Attaway wrote. “The bank that owned the buildings donated them to the Community Foundation of Switzerland County. The buildings were sold at auction and the community thought that the buildings would be razed. But fortunately the second buyer of the property had a vision and a passion that saw the future and possibilities in resurrecting the past.

“Jenny Brindley took these circa 1835 federal-style store fronts that had housed various retail endeavors over the years, and revived them. She told her vision for the properties to Pete Swartz, who acted as her contractor. her concepts were interpreted by him through local Amish craftsmen.

“Jenny nursed each detail through the lengthy renovation process, and this June emerged with G.G’s Grill as her own enterprise. ‘Click’, a fine art photography gallery, has been started in one of the other locations. Jenny utilizes another of the building store fronts as a banquet space for G.G.’s.

“Ms. Brindley is still in the process of developing the business for the remaining space, as well as three large apartments that she is creating upstairs.

“…Not only are these remarkable changes to Vevay’s streetscape, but their quality inspires and leads our community. Her work has helped to motivate other Main Street building owners to see the possibilities and the potential success that this type of quality brings….”

Also attending the conference with Jenny Brindley were Ron Hocker, David Attaway, and Karen Miller from Vevay Main Street.

The conference is named after Cornelius O’Brien, a man who was among the first to recognize the need for preserving Indiana’s historic buildings and areas; including the Whitewater Canal at Metamora.

Jenny Brindley was honored at the conference’s awards banquet held on Friday night, September 29th.