In March, the Maryland Historic Trust awarded the Chesapeake Culinary Center/Caroline County High School the Project Excellence: Partnerships award. The award recognizes the work done by the culinary center and Peter Fillat Architects to renovate the historic building into a sustainable, community-centric space.
The project is a simple building which needed the appropriate balance in its renovation. The American Palladian layout was retained in its fullest. The main spaces were left intact and fully restored as classrooms. This restraint was duly rewarded by the state office of preservation, “we were honored to be a part of bringing this historic asset back to life for the town of Denton,” added Peter Fillat principal in charge of the design.
110 years after it was built for education, the Caroline County High School was renovated to continue its purpose, but for a more niche group. The Chesapeake Culinary Center inhabits the old schoolhouse, built around 1901 and renovated and in 2014 to house a teaching kitchen with 12 stations, a pastry kitchen, gourmet shop, tap room, library, dining room, kitchen, classrooms, meeting rooms, and offices on three levels. The building had been vacant for over 20 years when the city of Denton bought the property in 2004 to start a sustainable, historic renovation. The Chesapeake Culinary Center was a perfect match for the project because it provides community programs (after-school, adult education, and professional serving and bartending programs) while creating revenue through catering.