Our First Historic Preservation Award

In keeping with our theme of recalling the last 25 years this is a good example of then and now.


In 1989 we received our first AIA Design Excellence Award for the Historic Restoration of the circa 1854 Bee-LaBey Home.

This river front historic Isle of Hope home was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Fred Daniel’s, who still live in the home today. Recently the Daniel’s asked Cowart Group Architects to design a guest/carriage house to accommodate their growing extended family.

The house had been vacant for many years when the Daniel’s bought it. Its foundation had settled slightly and we discovered that the mortar in its brick footings had turned to powder due to years of rising moisture. In order to replace the footings without lifting and disturbing the entire house we excavated the brick work in 3’-sections and poured new concrete footings.

Recent comment from Dr. Fred Daniel:

“I highly recommend Mr. Cowart for your architectural needs. My wife and I used Gerald Cowart in 1989 to restore an antebellum home built in 1854. It was in terrible shape. His ability to hide the ductwork for central heating and air was most impressive to me, in this home that had never had central heating and air. Our completed design was awarded The American Institute of Architecture Award for Excellence in Architecture in 1989. We have a beautiful historic home that has retained its historic charm and yet is very comfortable to live in. We continue to be complemented to this day. 

We then rehired Gerry to design a 2000 sq ft addition this year, and it has been a joy to see his creation come to life. Gerry is very talented, easy to work with, respectful of the owner’s opinions, never domineering, and worth every penny he charges, which is often less than the competition! Hire him, and you will not be disappointed!”


In the 23 years since the restoration of the house, it looks as good today as it did when we finished the restoration. The successful completion of this restoration led to many outer restoration commissions and a number of historically compatible new homes along Bluff Drive and Parkersburg Road. (http://www.cowartgroup.com/Parkersville.html)