March 5, 2013

Submit Your Local Project for a National Preservation Award

  • By: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Written by Brendan McCormick, Grants & Awards Assistant

Every year the National Trust celebrates the best in preservation by presenting the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards. In 2012, projects of all shapes and sizes were recognized, ranging from a small historic house museum on Hilton Head Island, SC, to the adaptive use of the 926,000-square-foot 30th Street Main Post Office in Philadelphia, to the almost extra-terrestrial-looking ASM International Headquarters in Materials Park, Ohio.

The National Preservation Awards celebrate not just the physical sites that were saved, but the people whose hard work went into saving that place. They are an opportunity to recognize communities that rally together and refuse to lose one of their local landmarks. Let's revisit some of the award-winners we've profiled recently who illustrate the power of people saving places.

Gullah Museum team. Credit: Butch Hirsch
Gullah Museum team

The Little House’s transformation into the Gullah Museum is proof that no project is too small to be recognized. After a two-year capital campaign and a community-wide restoration effort that included hundreds of volunteer hours, Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island is a shining example of how a community can join together around preservation and save an important historic resource.

Ribbon-cutting at the renovated Leavenworth 19 building. Credit: Rick Kready/The Pioneer Group
Ribbon-cutting at the renovated Leavenworth 19 building

In Leavenworth, Kansas, another group of local preservationists rallied together to help save Eisenhower Ridge Building 19. The group, Veterans Administration Leavenworth Opportunity for Reuse, or VALOR, worked with the Veterans Administration and other local companies to save the building from demolition. Their efforts resulted in a state-of-the-art office building that brought 400 jobs back to Leavenworth.

Community celebration marking the completion of the Oswego Iron Furnace restoration. Credit: Susanna Campbell Kuo
Community celebration marking the completion of the Oswego Iron Furnace restoration

In 2003, concerned citizens of Lake Oswego, Oregon, noticed that their historic 1866 blast furnace, the Oswego Iron Furnace, was missing from the renovation plans for their community park. The community banded together and provided over 600 hours of volunteer work and research. Their findings helped convince the local government to fund the restoration of this community landmark.

Do you have a project that deserves recognition? We’d love to hear from you. The nomination deadline is this Friday, March 8.

For the application you will need:


  • A 6,000-character project description that describes the project from start to finish
  • A 4,000-character description of how this project is unique, why it deserves an award, and how it fits the award criteria
  • Up to five (5) supporting documents including brochures or news clippings
  • Up to three (3) letters of recommendation
  • A list of any other awards this project has received in the past
  • Fifteen (15) photos of the project, and a word document with photo captions and photo credits

Before applying, please read the full eligibility requirements and awards descriptions here. A link to the nomination form can be found at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, please email awards@savingplaces.org.

Good luck!

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