Robert Bresnahan replaced the outdated main electrical switchboard serving the life support systems at Georgetown University Hospital without disruption to the hospital or its patients.

Webster Moore, Thomas Murphy, Roger Stringer and Franco Villa collaborated on the ceiling restoration of the American Security Bank's home office -- returning the ceiling to its original grandeur -- rosette and crown molding, gold leafed capitals.

Robert Dacatur Jr., James Morton and John Sinkovits rigged and installed the large precast panels in Metro's still-to-be-opened Tenley Circle and Friendship Heights stations -- working in a confined quarters.

These eight men and 87 other highly skilled area craftsmen and women were honored Friday at the Indian Spring Country Club in Wheaton, at the Washington Building Congress's Silver Anniversary Craftsmanship Program.

High-quality workmanship is often admired, but credit is more usually given to the designer or architect of the project -- rarely to the person who actually executes the blueprint.

"We believe that the public has a keen interest in the tradesmen who work with their hands and their tools," says Bill Doggett, American Institute of Architects and co-chairman of the Building Congress' Craftsmanship Awards. "This is why we give these awards to individuals rather than to the companies they work for."

The selection process began in the fall. The 1,000-plus members of the Washington Building Congress nominated the employes they felt deserved awards for projects worked on between Nov. 1, 1979, and Oct. 31, 1980. The project did not have to be completed. "In fact," says Doggett, "most times when the employer calls the selection team for a visit to his construction site, he makes sure the job is still in the works, so the selection team can really examine the work of that particular artisan."

Adds Stephen LaScola, chairman of the Congress' awards program: "The award is an honor for both the employe and the employer. It unifies the two. After all, most of these employers were at one time craftsmen, too. As a former craftsman myself in the electrical trade, I'm proud to see my skill given respect."

The honored craftsmen consider the awards a great achievement. Metal latherer Ken Simon says, "It really stands out as an achievement. This is the third time I've won an award -- once in 1969 and later in 1975. I was proud of both jobs. And I'm proud of this one." Simon, who is an 18-year veteran with the plastering company James S. Lertora, won his award for the work he did on the west wing of the National Gallery of Art's lower level halls. He and fellow award winner Michael Connelly constructed expansion joints, both vertically and horizontally, to complete the series of full arches, full vaults and half-vaults that can be seen in the ground-floor sales area.

Iron worker Roger Hartsoe of All Metal Erectors Inc. said his work on the James Madison Memorial Library is some of "the best work I've done." Hartsoe said the installation of the circular staircase, as well as the bronze handrails on the interior and exterior, took more than a year. "Those architects think up some real nice designs," laughs Hartsoe, "but sometimes they're right complicated. It's hard sometimes to make things fit just the way they want."

Decorative painter/craftsman Franco Villa of Edward W. Minte Co. told how his company worked with the architects to make the project work. "The architects came out with some ideas on the colors they wanted for the American Security Bank's restored ceiling. Then we gave them our ideas. We finally combined the two. We started by painting the ceiling dark gray and then went over it with light colors -- kind of like antiqueing.

"They put us up on a platform above the tellers to do the job. The whole thing took about six months," recalled Villa. He confessed his neck hurt a bit from looking up so much. Villa's speciality -- gold leafing -- is an art he learned in his native Italy, before coming to Washington 15 years ago. Peter Conto, vice president of the Edward W. Minte Co., claims "Villa is the finest craftsman in the city."

The Building Congress promotes better workmanship through the sponsoring of an apprenticeship training program. It also offers members a forum to discuss problems within the industry.

Some highlights:

Paul Croson of John H. Hampshire, Inc. laid the acoustical ceilings and installed the dry wall for National Public Radio headquarters under tight tolerances and design requirements.

Roger Hartsoe and Floyd Wright of All Metal Erectors Inc. won in the architectural ironwork category for their work on the District's James Madison Memorial library. They installed and aligned circular stair rails and bridge rails requiring close tolerances.

Carpenters Stanley Burt, Ralph Storey and Anthony Terrell of The George Hyman Construction Co. worked on an octagonal skylight designed in a traditional style for the offices of Russell Reynolds Associates, 1850 K St. NW. The job had more than 250 separate wood cuts and fittings.

Electrician Robert Shaeffer of Fischbach & Moore Inc. installed the new automated material-handling equipment at the distribution warehouse for Safeway Stores in Landover, Md. eTo install the equipment, known as "Robocarrier," Shaffer developed a tool which enabled him to compress more than 30,000 feet of cable into 1/8-inch slots without damaging the insulation.

Leo J. Bassett of The Green House won a citation for interior landscaping of Clyde's Tysons Corner. The task involved the installation of two 28-foot palms weighing more than two tons each. When conventional methods failed, the landscaper used a small pulley called a "come-along." He paired it with a scaffold he designed and built to lift the two plants -- with the help of only two other men.

Other winners:

Acoustical ceilings and Drywall Category: Glynn Moyer of John H. Hampshire, Inc. for the acoustical ceilings in the Mobil Oil Co. Building, Fairfax, Va.

Architectural Metal Category: Emory G. Wilt of Potomac Electric Power Co. for metalwork on the Dickerson Generating Station O in Dickerson, Md.; Robert Atkoclus of Atko Custom Woodworking and Bob White of EMCO for the law offices of McKenna, Conner & Cuneo, 1575 1 St. NW.; Harry D. Blankenship and John D. Vendermia of A.F. Jorss Iron Works, Inc. for the law offices of Arnold & Porter in the Thurman Arnold Building; Robert F. Knicely and John Vendemia, again from A.F. Jorss Iron Works, for the Crystal Square Building No. 3.

Carpentry Category: Grant Biorlcland, Robin Ramey, William Sancomb, John Schmidt and Lawrence Tester all from the Hyman Co. for work done on the fifth through eighth floors of the Thurman Arnold Building.

Electrical Category: Robert K. Bresnahan of Seal & Co. for the electrical switchboard at Georgetown University Hospital; Buford Kelly of Dynalectric Co. for three power systems at Federal Office Building No. 3 in Suitland, Md.; Robert E. Owens of the Truland Corp. for computer-controlled, low-voltage lighting system at the Mobil Oil Co. Building in Fairfax, Va.; Karl O. Statter of The Howard P. Foley Co. for installation of new switch gear at the C&P Columbia Pike Communications Center in Arlington; Phillp Brannon and Oscar Ortiz of E. C. Ernst, Inc. for electrical work on the Multi-Media Filltration Facility at the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in the District; Carl W. Franck Jr. and Stephen Walter of the Potomac Electric Power Co. for relocating a pole line in Potomac, Md., to enable construction on a right-turn traffic lane.

Glass and Glazing Category: J. L. Ritenour of the Herndon Glass Co. for the reglazing of a window wall in the government agency Ames Building in Arlington.

Interior Landscapint Category: Carole A. Dockser and Joan Robins of Botanical Interiors, Inc. for the atrium in the Madison House in Leesburg, Va.

Masonry Category: George Cutsall of A. Myron Cowell, Inc. for executing the columns and corner of the Gaithersburg Library without using molded brick; Charles Sword of United Masonry, Inc. for the floor work in the Rocky Run Intermediate School in Chantilly, Va.; John F. Wallons of Milton A. Cramer for the brickwork at Foxhall Terrace.

Millwork Category: Taebok Kang of Washington Woodworking Co., Inc. for two small redwood Japanese garden bridges at the Hillwood Museum in Washington. Kang also won a citation for a large, neatly fitted conference room table at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. headquarters, as well as for a dining room serving unit at the World Bank Building; Henry Messina, also of Washington Woodworking Co., for the leak paneling/refinishing job in the executive offices of the Howard P. Foley Co., Washington, D.C., and a second award for the staining and finishing of the walnut counter in the home office of the National Bank of Washington; Mark Baumgarten and Lulge Flalm of Lank Woodwork Co., Inc. for the reception desk and accompanying built-in features for the law offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, 1776 G St. NW; Bill Beaton and Mike King of Washington Woodworking Co. Inc. for the Lorimer Davidson Conference Room at GEICO headquarters in Washington D.C. Both Beaton and King won second awards for the highly ornamented walnut counter and back counter at the home office of NBW. (Beaton is now with another firm.) Harvey Carlton and Edward Erving of Skinker & Garrett, Inc. for the vertical battens at the National Association of Life Underwriters Headquarters; Perry Caswell and Luige Flaim of Lank Woodwork, Inc. for cabinetry in a suite in the Shoreham West Apartments.

Painting and Wallcovering Category: Gary Betts of P&P Contractors Inc. for the coated surfaces of the pool area at the Marriott Hotel in Tysons Corner; Webster Moore, Thomas Murphy, Roger Stringer and Franco Villa of Edward W. Minte Co. Inc. for the ceiling restoration at the home office of the American Security Bank; Villa also won for the paneling job at the executive offices of the Howard P. Foley Co. and for the wookwork in the conference room of the National Association of Life Underwriters Headquarters; Kenneth Spohn, also of Edward W. Minte, for special wall coverings used in the John J. Willson residence in Annapolis; Paul George and Robert Prentiss, again with the Minte Co., for the vinyl wallcovering job at The Howard P. Foley Co.

Plastering Category; Michael Connelly and Ken Simon of James S. Lertora, Inc. for a series of arches at the National Gallery of Art; Homer H. Sloper Jr., Richard C. Strickler, Joseph L. Thomas, James Warring and Raymond L. Wells Jr. of the Kraft-Murphy Co. for the furring and lathing work at the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va.

Plastics Category: Dennis Decker, Todd Holt, Chris Santarmes and David A. Young of Pittson Industries Inc. for the Plexiglas ballustrades in the Numbers restaurant; William Hott, Marvin Nevalser, Reginald Wickham and Samuel Wickham of Porta-Structures Industries Inc. for the Plexiglas job in the Fair Oaks Library, Fairfax, Va.

Precast Concrete: Robert Allan of Exposaic Industries Inc. for sandblast-finished precast panels in the Sperry Univac Washington, D.C. Area Consolidation Facility, McLean, Va.; Carl F. Grandt of Abran & Carosi Inc. for outside panels in the PRC Corporate Headquarters in McClean, Va.; Wilbur Schabo, also of Arban & Carosi, for the precast concrete facade used at the 1110 Vermont Ave. NW office building; Jesse Lee, Richard Markey and Richard O'Connor of The George Hyman Construction Co. for the arched roof in Metro's Medical Center station in Bethesda.

Rigging Category: Doug Clark, also of Hyman Construction for the errection of precast panels used at The Washington Post Satellite Plant in Springfield, Va.; Reginald Bradley and Ernest Cote of E.D.S.-IDAB for the rigging of heavy machinery at The Post's Satellite Printing Plant; William B. Patram of his own company for transportation of the Old Stone House in Emmitsburg, Pa., over a distance of one mile.

Sheet Metal Category: Carroll M. Carpenter, Robert Driman, Henry P. Gerrick, Vernon Lee, Robert Mercilliott and Edward Stely of Stromberg Sheet Metal Works, Inc. for the mechanical duct system at the Sporting House Complex in McLean, Va.

Solar Category: Thomas J. Scanton of Sun Control Systems for windows at 1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW; William A. Warren, also of Sun Control Systems, for unusual-shaped windows at the Ward Building in Rockville, Md.

Steam Fitting and Plumbing Category: Frank Ferro of Poole & Kent Corp. for the Sporting House Complex in McLean.

Structural Steel: Phil DuPirro of Schnabel Foundation Associates for the excavation project at the 1345 L. St. NW office building.

Tile and Marble Category: Ross Anderson of Avon Tile Co., Inc. for the main-entrance wall mural at the Air Rights III Office Building in Bethesda; Frank Baiocchi of Standard Art, Marble & Tile Co. for the marble job at the United Services Life Insurance Co. Building in Arlington; Charles Brill of Boatman & Magnanl, Inc. for the main lobby's split-face mosaic wall in the Airmen Memorial Building, Camp Springs, Md.; Vito Frank Candore of Avon Tile Co., Inc. for the marble work at The Flour Mill, Washington, D.C.; Joe Magnani and Ralph McGill, also of Boatman & Magnani, for the precast terrazzo flooring on the deck terraces of the Kennedy Center.