Farm preservationists earn first Blakely Award

Steve Romein and his wife Ty Cramer earned a special commendation from the Bainbridge Historic Preservation Commission for their work rehabilitating the Lynwood Center building and preserving two south Bainbridge farms.

“Steve and Ty have set an excellent example for other developers to follow and made our community a better place in which to live,” the city commission said in a statement after awarding the couple the commission’s first Blakely Award for preservation leadership. The commission plans to give the award on an annual basis.

The commission also recognized the Bainbridge park district with a Blakely Award in the “project of excellence” category for its work to restore the cabin at Camp Yeomalt Park.

In 2007, Romein and Cramer began pouring money into fixing up and expanding the decaying Lynwood Center building in a manner that fit its 1930s-era Tudor style.

“In their renovation efforts, Ty and Steve chose to do so in a way that it would retain its original historic integrity,” the commission said. “The Lynwood Center neighborhood has been revitalized by their efforts.”

Early this year, Romein and Cramer purchased an Old Mill Road farm with the goal of preserving it as farmland and to develop a trail connecting to other public pathways. They also plan to rehabilitate two 19th-century farmhouses on the property.

The pair then purchased an even larger farm that island preservation groups have had their eye on for years. Romein and Cramer plan to put farmers to work on the land, develop a farming education program with nearby Blakely Elementary and set aside a portion as preserved open space.

You can read my profile of Steve Romein here.

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