SAH News

Patricia S. Eldredge: Cleveland Restoration Society Preservation Award

by Hudson Hub-Times | Jun 17, 2016
Hudson resident Patricia S. Eldredge has been cited for her lifetime commitment to historic preservation by the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS).She was presented the Robert C. Gaede Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the field of historic preservation which goes above and beyond ordinary expectations.The award was presented May 24 during the CRS and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland's 2016 Celebration of Preservation.

Armed with a degree in American Civilization from Mills College, Eldredge embarked upon a life dedicated to historic preservation starting in Morristown, New Jersey in 1965. As a young mother, she balanced home with community as a trustee of the Morris County Historical Society.

When her husband, Bill, was transferred to the Cleveland headquarters of the Sherwin-Williams Company, she again launched into community preservation work. From their 1878 home in Hudson, she dedicated herself to the preservation of her community. She was a 14-year member of Hudson's Architectural and Historic Review Board and served on the commission that oversaw the integration of new development so as not to disturb the historic Main Street. She and other citizens purchased the last farmstead in Hudson, the Case-Barlow Farm, thereby protecting it from development. She worked tirelessly with the Hudson Heritage Association to qualify Hudson for the National Register of Historic Places. She co-chaired the committee that completed thorough research on each historic building entered into the register. She was President of the Ohio Preservation Alliance for six years and also editor of its newsletter.

At the Sherwin-Williams Company, she initiated its first corporate archive and became its color historian. Gathering dust were numerous vintage corporate items one step away from the trash bin. She knew that the materials told the history of the company, and, indeed, the history of paint. She convinced corporate executives to allow her to catalog and conserve the materials. After arming herself with a Certificate in Archives Management from the National Archives, she proceeded to catalog and conserve a treasure trove of color cards. This large resource documents the numerous colors favored by architects and designers over the course of American history during the early days of paint. The earliest cards were from 1870.

Eldredge created a series of historic paint publications that are now standards in the industry. Her work has guided millions of homeowners desiring an authentic approach to paint color. This Sherwin-Williams resource has also guided color choices by countless historic homeowners in thousands of historic districts and numerous heritage museums during the expansion of historic preservation in the United States. She has authored books and articles, and lectured widely on architecture and historic color. The artifacts she saved now form the backbone of Sherwin-Williams' corporate museum at its Center for Excellence.

Her commitment to historic preservation has touched other organizations, including the Ohio History Connection where she was a trustee and president of the board. She recently was recognized by The Ohio History Connection for her leadership. As an honorary life trustee and former vice president, she has been a dedicated force at the Cleveland Restoration Society as well. She led the interior design of CRS's Sarah Benedict House when it opened in 1999, specifying a perfect palate of period colors.

Ms. Eldredge has been an SAH member since 1971.

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