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Nominations for the 2024 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards are open

by S. Smith

Since 1979, Preservation Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth's only private, statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places they care about, has presented the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Awards each year. These awards recognize outstanding preservation work being done throughout the Commonwealth. There are three main categories for the award: Honor Awards, Leadership Awards and Construction Awards. The deadline to nominate an award is Tuesday, June 18. Information on how to submit a nomination is available on the organization's website: conservationpa.org.

Construction awards

The annual Construction Awards recognize outstanding examples of rehabilitation, restoration, revitalization, densification/new construction in a historic district or documentation (pre-construction) by private individuals/owners/small businesses.

Examples of possible submissions include a small business owner's facade restoration, the repurposing of an old building for affordable housing, a homeowner's thoughtful modernization of a neglected building, or the rehabilitation of a disused property for a new use. There is a special award in this category: the Ralph Modjeski Award for Excellence in Transportation Design, Conservation, or Archaeology, which is given for exceptional efforts in the transportation field that result in improvements to transportation systems while respecting and preserving best practices for compatible design and historic preservation principles.

Leadership Awards

The Leadership Awards recognize achievements in conservation in the following categories.

  • Adaptability/Sustainability – Innovative approaches to planning for the impacts of climate change. Examples might include a municipal study on stormwater management or mitigating the impacts of flooding in a historic district, using innovative technologies or materials when retrofitting a historic building, or creatively overcoming obstacles when rehabilitating a challenging building.
  • Communication – Exceptional quality in research initiatives, heritage publications, outstanding educational campaigns, social media presence or media coverage of heritage efforts or issues.
  • Social Commitment – Themes or projects related to the preservation of the community's social or cultural heritage, from grassroots projects to the commemoration of a place, person or event.
  • Education – Innovative educational programs or curricula on conservation/cultural heritage.
  • Emergency measures – In recognition of prompt action to repair and/or preserve a historic resource following a threat or catastrophic event such as fire, flood, or tornado.
  • Basic work – Innovative examples of support that have helped communities protect and preserve the historic places they care about.
  • Local government – For exceptional government support and/or involvement in cultural heritage conservation issues, programs or projects.
  • Monument conservation planning – Demonstrate best planning and development practices to promote historic preservation, whether grassroots development or large-scale, cross-jurisdictional development.
  • Impact on the public – Excellent use of a historic building as a catalyst for enriching a community. Includes examples of small business or adaptive reuse.
  • Responsibility – Exceptional efforts by an individual or group to preserve a significant historic resource. (Ongoing standard maintenance will not be considered an award.)

Nominations are welcome from conservation enthusiasts, including homeowners, small business owners, municipalities, historical societies, architectural firms, cultural asset management consultants, developers and specialty trade companies. The submission deadline is June 18, 2024.

About Preservation Pennsylvania

Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth's only private, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places they care about.

Preservation Pennsylvania was established in 1982 by the Commonwealth General Assembly as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania, a statewide revolving fund to support the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic buildings. Since then, Preservation Pennsylvania has evolved into a private, nonprofit membership organization with a statewide mission to protect and preserve Pennsylvania's irreplaceable historic sites.

The organization supports individuals, organizations, businesses and government agencies from across the Commonwealth in their own historic preservation efforts through a dynamic range of activities and services. Whether as a leader, partner or consultant, Preservation Pennsylvania works to secure the future of the past through educational workshops and events, legislative advocacy, on-site consultation and technical assistance, and other special initiatives. For more information about Preservation Pennsylvania and resources on preserving historic places in Pennsylvania, visit conservationpa.org.

Anna Harden

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