The preservation man of the hour seems to be Ronald Siebler, a talented craftsman and preservation advocate with a long history of the highest quality work.
“You’re lucky to get one award from Preservation Dallas,” Siebler said. “To walk across the stage five times – it shows you I had such a wonderful year of opportunities.”
It also tells you the caliber of his work.
“Ron is an outstanding craftsman and his work on historic buildings shows the care and quality to which he approaches his work,” said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. “Ron often uses historic techniques and tools to make sure his work is accurate for the period and respects the historic structure. He has worked on numerous Preservation Achievement Award winning projects in Dallas and his skill and dedication have no doubt been an incredible asset to those project teams helping them to win awards from Preservation Dallas.”
In addition to my receiving the Craftsmanship Award, four of Siebler’s projects received Preservation Achievement Awards: The Caruth Family Curing Shed, the Renner Church Bell at Farmers Branch Historical Park, the MKT Depot at Dallas Heritage Village, and the Sharrock Cabin. The Sharrock Cabin received the Gail Thoma Patterson Award and Siebler served as the lead preservation carpenter on that project.
The other project that he had some involvement with was Mark Birnbaum’s film Restore, which received the Preservation Education Award.
Siebler says his childhood is part of the reason he is interested in historic preservation. His parents are from Nebraska, where basements are common, and he would spend summers having fun with old stuff he found in them.
“My family still had my grandfather’s first car, a 1910 Buick, and every very time we’d go up, my dad and I would get that car out and add oil and gas and water and drive it around town a few days,” he said. “My mother would incorporate history trips on these vacations and by the time I was 16, I had been to every presidential library in the country, which was a fun way to study and learn because all of these abstract ideas we were reading about in school became real.”
Siebler’s great grandfather was a blacksmith in Nebraska and the shop in a historic park was his great grandfathers — Siebler followed in his footsteps.
“In the late 80s and 90s, I started traveling there to smith, to apprentice in my great grandfather’s shop,” he said. “Plus, my parents were Depression-era children, and you make due with what you’ve got and you fix what’s broken. I’ve found a way where I can make an income doing something that I love so much.”
Here are videos on the projects: