Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Plaintalker Wins HPC Award

HPC Chairman Bill Michelson and me

On May 24, I received a Preservation Service Award from the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission for furthering public education and awareness of the city's history and promoting its historic preservation.

The award letter stated, "Your blog Plaintalker II helps educate people of Plainfield's history and architecture, as well as making people aware of meetings held by public entities that make decisions affecting historic preservation in Plainfield. You cover many of the Historic Preservation Commission meetings and your blog entries contain pictures of Plainfield's historic buildings."

I received a framed award as well as a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

In response, I gave remarks which may be of interest to my blog readers:

Good evening and thanks to the Historic Preservation Commission for this honor.

I came to Plainfield in 1983 and soon became aware of its historic housing stock.

For a year or so, I lived in one of the mansions on Millionaires Row, albeit in a very non-millionaire communal household. Daily I saw the craftsmanship of the 19th Century in the beautiful features of the house, including a built-in sideboard where we kept our many cookbooks, and a ballroom where we held our last party before disbanding.

Later I learned about Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield and in 1986 even made one of the banners they carried in the annual Gay Pride parade in Greenwich Village. It was there that RSVP set up a gazebo and invited people to visit Plainfield for house tours in the 1980s. Many of the guests purchased historic homes and restored them.

While writing for the weekly newspaper Plainfield Today, I met Pegeen Fitzgerald while covering a designer showcase at Questover, one of many such events that benefited Muhlenberg and brought hundreds of visitors to Plainfield.

At the Courier News and later on the Plaintalker blog, historic preservation was one of my favorite topics.

The AIDS epidemic of the 1980s robbed the city of some of its most ardent preservationists, but recently the movement has enjoyed new advocates and recognition.

Plainfield’s historic housing stock is still one of its main draws, both for home buyers and visitors and I am glad to have had a chance to tell people about it.



  1. Congratulations! You deserve more awards!


  3. Bernice that is a great picture of you with Bill.

    Your never ending support for Plainfield is so appreciated by those of us who don't have your talent of expression.

    Thank you for supporting our beautiful housing resource, thank you for keeping us informed of happenings in this city, and thank you for all your time, which is precious.

    I agree with Jackie, you deserve more awards!!!!

  4. Bernice, congratulations to you. You do an excellent job covering our wonderful city.


  5. Congratulations, Bernice!


  6. Congratulations, Bernice. Keep up the good work.

    Bob Bolmer

  7. Dear Bernice! Awesome and well-deserved. You are a gift to Plainfield and thank you for all you do to bring the news and so much more to the City of Plainfield. Your talent and your dedication are an inspiration. xo Peter & Libby

  8. Congrats! You deserve more for your service to the people. Official Council recognition of you and your blog wold be appropriate.

  9. Congratulations Bernice! You are the most hard-working, community-minded retiree that I have the honor of knowing.


  10. It is a privilege to know you, Bernice. You live the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self."

  11. Dear Bernice, congratulations on this award. Thanks for your dedication to keeping Plainfield informed. You deserve this and more. A great humanitarian with a genuine spirit of giving.

    Dee Dameron

  12. Congratulations Bernice! Well deserved. You provide such a wonderful service to the community.

  13. Dear Bernice,

    Congratulations and well deserved! Your consistent willingness to attend the many and varied City meetings (Council, PMUA, HPC, Planning Board, etc.) and to blog about them is a great gift to the citizens of Planfield. Not only that, but you also give us historical perspective o current-day issues, frequently by just re-publishing your blog posts on the same issue from years ago. I know we are blessed to have you here in Plainfield. The City is better for your tireless efforts.

    Thank you! I am eternally grateful.


    Tom Kaercher