Riverside Avondale Preservation Annual Meeting & Preservation Awards 2023
Riverside Avondale Preservation is pleased to honor individuals, organizations and businesses within our historic district that exemplify outstanding achievement in historic preservation and the welcoming and inclusive nature of our neighborhoods.

There are two award categories: Design & Construction Awards and Services Awards.

Design & Construction Awards

Design Awards are open to built projects of all sizes and classifications, including new construction, historic preservation, additions, remodeling, renovations, adaptive reuse, landscaping and interiors.

The purpose is to celebrate the excellent work of builders, designers, craftsmen and homeowners who preserve and enhance the beauty and integrity of our district.

Service Awards

Service Awards are presented to projects, programs or people that have improved our neighborhood in 2022. This award recognizes acts of service and philanthropy by individuals, businesses and organizations. We recognize a range of activities from a small act of neighborliness up to large programs of stewardship and patronage.

Judges reviewed each nomination this year with an eye toward how the nominee reflected RAP’s Core Principles:

  • Preserving and promoting the historic fabric.
  • Supporting vibrant, independent, local businesses.
  • Supporting quality of life improvements.
  • Honoring our community.
  • Promoting respectful, mutually-beneficial relationships.

Click here to recap the Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards!

Design Awards

Restoration & Rehabilitation Awards


298 Riverside Avenue – Single Family

John & Natalie Mills

The Restoration & Rehabilitation award for single family residential goes to one of the few vintage houses where an addition compliments the home, rather that serving as a distraction. The restoration of the home at 2981 Riverside Avenue, built in 1916 by Ransom Buffalow, was designed to celebrate and preserve this exceptional example of Prairie style architecture. The owners, John and Natalie Mills, wanted to preserve the original floor plan with minor modifications to allow for a new kitchen and improved primary bedroom suite. The addition of a breezeway on the rear of the structure added much needed support spaces including a laundry and full bath. The breezeway functions as a covered outdoor space and connects the main home to the original carriage house which was also thoughtfully restored as part of the work. Careful attention was paid to detailing the breezeway so that it blended with the original architecture. The owners also invested considerable expense in restoring the windows, repairing the masonry and reroofing the home with the original clay tile product. The original interior trim was restored, and the any new moldings were fabricated to match the existing. The Mills are exceptional stewards of this wonderful home in our historic district. The Award goes to owners John and Natalie Mills and Architect Angela Schifanella.


2739 Post Street – Multi-Family

Denise Renbarger

Built in 1923, this Tudor Revival was shown on the 1950 Sanborn maps as a duplex and is still a duplex today. This property is three stories and over 4,000 sq ft with one unit on the first floor and the second unit comprises the second and third floors combined. Restoration of this property included new footings and framing to repair the sagging floors, total replacement of the exterior siding and a new roof, restored historic windows in both wood and steel, new wood mouldings to mimic the style and character of the original hardwood floors which were repaired and refinished. Much of the incredible amount of work on this home was done by the homeowner, Denise Renbarger. The award for Multi-family residential rehabilitation goes to owner Denise Renbarger and architect Jeff Lane of Lane Architecture. 

2761 Park Street – Retail

Plush N’ Prana

The incredible rehabilitation of a retail space built in 1949 is currently Plush N’ Prana on Park. With a vision to create an experience of discovery, style, beauty, elegance, and Love – and to share this experience with others, business owner Claudia Prana worked to honor the heritage of the original construction through rehabilitation. Renovations were completed by Jennifer Pietschker who worked to honor the space through the addition of minimal walls creating a free-flowing atmosphere where visitors and guests have access to products without barriers. The goal is a sense of spaciousness in only 775 sq ft. The original wooden beam and stone floor was reclaimed by careful cleaning and currently shows a rainbow of colors and stones in various shapes and sizes.  Recognition for the Restoration and Rehabilitation of a retail space at 2761 Park Street goes to Plush N’ Prana on Park owner, Claudia Prana, interior designer Jennifer Pietschker, AIA, LOCI Architects, LLC, Restoration Architect John Reep. And General Contractor Jonathan Dudley of Southern Grace Construction Inc. 

3563 St. Johns Avenue – Commercial 


The sophisticated interior and completely transformed space at 3563 St. Johns Avenue, now known as Josephine’s, is recognized for restoration & rehabilitation of an interior space. Total renovation of the public areas, new lighting, finishes and more to create a large open space detailed in a way that smaller, intimate spaces are available. The large windows were left unobstructed to allow for maximum light and the finishes are structural – thereby providing tall ceilings. Those being recognized tonight are the General Contractor, the Opus Group and project designers Josh Floyd and Nicole Prieto. 

1816 Talbot Avenue – Commercial

Thou Art Exalted, TAE on Talbot

This beautiful, repurposed structure at 1816 Talbot was built in 1917 and is connected to the shoppes of Avondale and is currently Thou Art Exalted, a non-profit Christian ministry for girls and women. Its mission is to creatively equip this generation to know Christ through art and scripture. Known as TAE on Talbot, this event space was designed by Robb Zinn and built by Jonathan Plumb. As a fully refurnished and remodeled space, ThouArtExalted offers a fresh modern interior while capturing deep family roots of over 35 years. The property was purchased by Barnwell Roy Daley, Jr. or “Barney” and his wife Anis as an office space decades ago.  Barney’s daughter Annie Pajcic gained ownership of her parents former office and transformed the space into an inviting and treasured retreat. We invite you to explore this new and old local treasure as the perfect venue for a business, bridal or just for fun luncheon. Interior features custom made for ThouArtExalted on Talbot include a catering kitchen, 9ft farm tables, and an A/V system complete with (3) 75″ smart T.V.s, sound board, wireless or handheld mic, and full surround sound. A private garden is included to create an outdoor element for your event. Owner Annie Pajcic and Architect Rob Zinn are being recognized tonight for rehabilitating this fantastic commercial structure.

New Construction Award

2135 St. Johns Avenue

Keith Combs & Dylan Rigdon

Matt Austin, Cardinal Contracting

The New Construction at 2135 St. Johns Avenue is a great example of infill housing that works within the existing fabric of our neighborhood. Built in 2022 by Matt Austin with Cardinal Contracting, the design is reflective of details from throughout the neighborhood’s contributing structures. The exterior marries white painted brick, a Hardy trimmed “bump-out,” and dark siding to add some drama reflective of a modern tudor. Warm-colored brick in a herringbone pattern adds texture to the driveway and walkways. A beautiful existing oak tree inspired the landscape design, which helps to mature the  surroundings in this new construction. A bright and warm interior complements a dark and moody study with wood paneling and built-ins. Extensive moldings, custom inset and reeded cabinetry, French oak wood flooring, and a mix of antique brass and bronze fixtures create texture and warmth. The back garden is inspired by a formal English garden, which has become the homeowners favorite space.  The New Construction award is being given to homeowners Dylan Rigdon and Keith Combs and builder, Matt Austin at Cardinal Contracting. Congratulations on your excellent new home.


1255 Lydia Court 

Glenn Chandler, Bold City Properties

This New Construction single-family residence, built by Glen Chandler with Bold City Properties, is fashioned as a modern farmhouse, offering symmetry on the exterior commonly referred to as the “four gables”. This unique property is located in a new part of our neighborhood, Lydia Court, long-waiting to become a home for new residents and families. The design contains elements that can be found on nearby historic homes, including the property at 2793 Lydia Street, which is the oldest home in the neighborhood built in 1857. The open concept floor plan creates a wonderful space for family and friends to congregate. The primary bedroom is located on the first floor, with three additional bedrooms upstairs surrounding a loft. Congrats on this fantastic build and asset to our neighborhood from the team at Bold City Properties, and Glen Chandler.

Special Project Award

Memorial Park Balustrade & Grounds Restoration

Memorial Park Association, JaxParks

The historic balustrade at memorial park was severely damaged in 2017 during Hurricane Irma. Following the storm’s impact, the City of Jacksonville took the lead and teamed up with Memorial Park Association to repair and replace more than 600 feet of concrete balustrade. Lamp posts were added to the top of the railing, reminiscent of the original plan. Developed by the Olmstead Brothers in 1922, Memorial Park has become one of the most significant parks in Jacksonville. This timely but important renovation was completed in November 2022 to much fanfare. The recognition for this important project is going to the City of Jacksonville Parks & Recreation Department and Intron Contractors as General Contractors on the project, as well as Memorial Park Association for their role as steward, funding and oversight. Landscape architect is Godard Design Associates.

Service Awards

Individual Service Award

Margaret Tocknell, RAP Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Riverside Avondale Preservation is strengthened by the technical expertise and volunteers that support our work. Dozens of people lend us their time and talents, but few take on the coordination and leadership of that expertise in such a supportive and commanding way as Margaret Tocknell. For her years of service on the RAP Board of Directors and most recently, her leadership on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Margaret Tocknell is receiving the Individual Award for 2022. During her time as T&I Committee Chair, Margaret saw critical improvements to the Herschel Street Roundabout project, Lomax Street project, Oak Street Bike Lane, Post Street Dock, sidewalks, bus transit shelters, trash cans, speedbumps, and more. Most recently, she was relentless in seeking improvements to the 5 Points beacon. Margaret’s legacy with RAP will last as long as the stone, concrete, and asphalt that settled during her time with us. 

Community Impact Award

Ann & John Kopelousos, Yacht Basin Park 

Special recognition to the RAP Park Stewards program which met its goal in 2022 to have a steward for each of our 26 historic parks under the direction of the Parks Committee.

Ann and John started working to improve Yacht Basin Park in early 2019. The couple spent countless hours removing invasive weeds, cutting back overgrowth, adding native plants, and spreading mulch. During the time the park irrigation system stopped working, they created a temporary watering system and regularly called COJ to fix the problem until it was complete (the irrigation system was fixed in 2022 by JaxParks). The Kopelousos’ additionally repaired the archway at the front of the park and cleaned out the front parcel — which was thick with overgrowth for years — using their own bags, gloves, trimmers, and supplies. Thanks to stewards like Ann and John, our parks are in good hands!

Community Impact Award

Southern Roots Filling Station, Small Business

Small businesses are the heart of the merchant districts that attract visitors and tourists to our historic neighborhood for food, drinks, and shopping. Southern Roots began with a big mission as a plant-based, eco-focused, community-minded local consumer market seeking to reduce single use plastics and stand up for love and equality. If the mission inside their business wasn’t enough, they also regularly hosted or supported important events including many of RAP’s community events – Luminaria, Home Tour, and Garden Tour. At the end of 2022, Southern Roots ownership made the difficult decision to close their doors. While their specialty meals and fantastic coffee will be missed, the energy that they brought to the Park & King merchant area will be impacted more deeply. The 2022 Community Impact Award for a Small Business goes to owners Mariah Goeltz and JP Salvat for their years of serving the community.

Riverside Arts Market Maker of the Year

Kathleen Hill, Kismet Art Studio

Kismet Art Studio is a local artist and former Art Teacher based in Jacksonville, with a regular presence at the Riverside Arts Market for the last 5 years. Owner, Kathleen Hill, has an extensive art background stretching to 30+ years of education, curation and research that has led her to where she is today. Kathleen’s art now focuses on ceramics and creates art for your home and garden alongside jewelry to fit every style and occasion.

Kathleen’s impact at the Riverside Arts Market comes from her endless contributions, fiery passion for activism and supporting her fellow makers. Kathleen has not only brought the first and only Art-o-Mat Machine in NE Florida to RAM but has endlessly offered her artistic talents to the Children’s Mural Project, special themed day events and beyond. Kathleen embodies our mission for being a welcoming and inclusive space for all and proves that every weekend. She helped to initiate the Pride Tree at RAM and creates a safe space for those who need it.

Her continued leadership has made RAM’s community impact even stronger than before.

Featured Art

“Music on the Avenue,” Historic Avondale Merchants

For their successful program to feature dozens of local musicians that electrify St. Johns Avenue the last Friday of each month, the Historic Avondale Merchants 2022 leadership is being recognized as the 2022 Featured Art. Music on the Avenue has become a highlight and staple in our neighborhood and has helped energize emerging musicians and elevate some of the most musically talented individuals in our community. This event is a win-win-win: for musicians, merchants, and our neighborhood. Thank you for your hard work in creating it and making it incredible.

President: Tasha Brooks
Vice President: Bronwyn Benoit
Treasurer: Missy Kampmeyer
Secretary: Elizabeth Bobeck
Board Member: Erica Davis
Board Member: Caroline Hurst

Wayne Wood Award

Councilwoman Randy DeFoor

The Wayne Wood Award recognizes outstanding service in the Riverside Avondale Historic District. This year, RAP recognizes Councilwoman Randy DeFoor for her leadership, courage, and unwavering commitment to representing this district. As a public servant, Randy listened to community concerns, worked with City departments to seek solutions, and remained steadfast in keeping promises and completing projects. Councilwoman DeFoor played a leadership role on the COJ Special Committee on Resiliency which sought policy changes for flooding and drainage issues impacting the district. Randy played a key role on the Parks Task Force which sought $50 million for JaxParks. She was an advocate for the Lomax Street Improvement Project, the Post Street Dock, and large investments in public art. Most importantly, she was an active partner in RAP’s work as a champion for our neighborhood during redistricting and beyond. This year, we recognize Randle Poitevent DeFoor as the Dr. Wayne Wood Award recipient.