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Businesses, homeowners honored with beautification awards in Park

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 12, 2019

 Elaine and Bob Athey, who own the business Gallery Animato in Grosse Pointe Park, listen as officials explain why their shop was chosen for a beautification award. The Park Beautification Commission held its annual beautification awards ceremony Oct. 10  at the Tompkins Center in Windmill Pointe Park.

Elaine and Bob Athey, who own the business Gallery Animato in Grosse Pointe Park, listen as officials explain why their shop was chosen for a beautification award. The Park Beautification Commission held its annual beautification awards ceremony Oct. 10 at the Tompkins Center in Windmill Pointe Park.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Many residents and business owners take great pride in maintaining their properties, and a select group of them were rewarded for their efforts with beautification awards.

The Grosse Pointe Park Beautification Commission presented the awards during a ceremony Oct. 10 at the Tompkins Center in Windmill Pointe Park.

“We’re going to celebrate exceptional homes and (businesses). … We have the cream of the crop here,” Beautification Commission Chair Kim Clexton said.

Two businesses received commercial awards. Gallery Animato, at 15102 Charlevoix Ave., is owned by Bob and Elaine Athey and has been in the Park since 2014, but it has a much longer history, having opened at its first location in Birmingham in 1992, Beautification Commission member Janet Peplin said. She said Bob Athey grew up in the Park.

“It was Bob’s dream to own his own building,” Peplin said.

But the 2,000-square-foot building that he acquired five years ago wasn’t part of that dream. Peplin said that as a child, Athey “thought the building was ugly.” Since buying it and moving his business there, that has changed, as the Atheys have improved the interior and exterior aesthetics. Peplin said the business — which specializes in animation art and movie posters, memorabilia and framing — continues to draw longtime customers from Oakland County and elsewhere.

“He is in love with the city and all of the changes taking place here,” Peplin said. “Thank you, Bob and Elaine, for enhancing the city in such a wonderful way.”

The second business beautification award recipient was The Bricks Pizzeria at 15201 Kercheval Ave. Trenton Chamberlain, one of the founders, was on hand to accept the plaque. He said The Bricks has been open for about two months.

Beautification Commission member Brad Etheridge said the brick exterior “gives the building an old-world feel,” and praised the interior as well, which features a wood-fired pizza oven from France, historical images of Grosse Pointe Park and an arcade room with custom Pac-Man wallpaper.

Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Clark — who was standing in for Mayor Robert Denner — recalled something the late Park Mayor Palmer Heenan used to say about these awards.

“We’re all winners,” Clark said. “The winners (of the awards) are acknowledged because they have such beautiful properties, and we all get to enjoy them.”

The residential winners typically don’t address the crowd, but Mary Louise O’Loughlin — who was honored for her home in the 1200 block of Bishop Road — was so grateful that she publicly thanked the commission.

“Thank you so much,” O’Loughlin said. “I’m truly humbled and honored. … I know how hard you all work.”

After the ceremony, Clexton said the commission is working on plans to create a special award for homes that are 100 years old. She said many of the Park’s older homes were built in the 1920s, so they hope to begin presenting such an award to one special historical property each year.

Although the commission divides the city into sections and looks for nominees each year, anyone can nominate a property for consideration.

Residential winners included Dante and Ashley Collins of the 1300 block of Beaconsfield Avenue; Ava Lux and Michael Schoenith of the 1200 block of Maryland Street; Mr. and Mrs. Barry Scofield of the 1300 block of Nottingham Road; John and Mary King of the 1400 block of Nottingham Road; Arthur and Lauren Mullen of the 1300 block of Wayburn Street; Gilbert and Linda Finger of the 700 block of Barrington Road; Darius and Ruth Hummel of the 800 block of Lakepointe Street; John and Caroline Okonowski of the 600 block of Middlesex Road; Mark Hughes and family in the 700 block of Middlesex Road; Kathy and Dan Webster of the 500 block of Pemberton Road; the Wdziekonski family of the 900 block of Bedford Road; Wil Wade and Tricia Hembling of the 16400 block of Jefferson Avenue; David and Theresa Klaasen of the 800 block of Park Lane; Dr. James and Diane Martin of the 800 block of Whittier Road; Dr. Margaret Eckel-Lujan and Dr. David Lujan of the 900 block of Whittier Road; Lawrence and Catherine Bahoura of the 1000 block of Audubon Road; Louis and Joyce Rondini of the 1000 block of Bishop Road; Ben and Laura Burns of the 1000 block of Grayton Road; Ursula Henry of the 1000 block of Kensington Road; Anna and Frank Palazzolo of the 1100 block of Three Mile Road; Janette and Mark High of the 1300 block of Berkshire Road; Rebecca Marchetti of the 1200 block of Bishop Road; the Quarles family of the 1300 block of Three Mile Road; and Christopher and Jeanne Lewandowski of the 1200 block of Whittier Road.