ASHLAND, VA – The Ashland Museum and the Ashland Main Street Association (AMSA) are proud to announce that Ashland Sweet Frog will be the second recipient of the Art McKinney Historic Preservation Stewardship Award. The award honors business and property owners who have demonstrated good stewardship of historic structures by rehabilitating and repurposing them for continued commercial use. It is named for Art McKinney, who purchased the former D.B. Cox Department Store and restored it to host his engineering firm and the Iron Horse restaurant at 100 S. Railroad Ave. At the 100th anniversary of the D.B. Cox building in 2013, McKinney spoke about his efforts to be a “good steward” of historic buildings and his desire to “leave things a little bit better than I found them.” McKinney passed away in 2016. Jake’s Place was the first recipient of the Art McKinney Historic Stewardship Award in September 2016.
“We wanted to pay tribute to a wonderful business owner who is a great role model for other owners of historic buildings,” said Tom Wulf, executive director of AMSA. “Sweet Frog is a worthy recipient of the Art McKinney award because the building’s owners, Dave and Lisa Robertson, have made significant improvements to the historic structure. It seems fitting that the building that once housed the Ashland Ice Company is now a popular spot for frozen treats.”
“The Ashland Museum is excited to continue its community outreach and recognize efforts that help preserve Ashland’s rich history,” noted Museum President Ellen Wulf.
The building at 210 England Street was home to the Ashland Ice Co. in 1921. The business expanded into the Ashland Coal and Ice Company by 1929. James N. Luck, founder of Luck Chevrolet, was the president of Ashland Coal and Ice during the 1940s. In later years, the building served as a bakery and a video rental store among other businesses. Dave and Lisa Robertson made extensive improvements to the building and opened Ashland Sweet Frog in October 2015.
The Art McKinney Historic Preservation Stewardship Award will be presented to Dave and Lisa Robertson during a brief ceremony at Sweet Frog on Thursday, December 7th at 4:00 p.m. Main Street and the Museum will also unveil a bronze historic marker installed on the building. Art’s wife, Jerry McKinney, plans to attend the award presentation. The public is encouraged to attend as well.