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Nominations being accepted for statewide Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation awards


Nominations are now being accepted for the 38th Annual statewide Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards.

The distinguished awards honor excellence for the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings, archaeological resources and cultural sites. The honors will be presented in May, National Historic Preservation Month.

The awards recognize investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, lifelong commitment and significant achievement, and are sponsored jointly by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

Preservation Project awards honor outstanding examples of historic building rehabilitation and other projects that have furthered the preservation of Kentucky’s built environment.

The Fulton Conway Building at 805 West Main Street in Louisville, before and after rehabilitation, was the recipient of a Preservation Project award in 2015. Originally a tobacco warehouse constructed in the late 1800s, today the building serves as national headquarters for Sons of the American Revolution (Photo Provided)

The Fulton Conway Building at 805 West Main Street in Louisville, before and after rehabilitation, was the recipient of a Preservation Project award in 2015. Originally a tobacco warehouse constructed in the late 1800s, today the building serves as national headquarters for Sons of the American Revolution (Photo Provided)

Service to Preservation awards recognize individuals, organizations, nonprofits, public officials, financial institutions, news media, volunteers and others whose contributions have had a positive impact in their communities.
The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award goes to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth.

In 2015, awards went to successful rehab and adaptive reuse of a former tobacco warehouse, a row of shotgun houses, a cemetery a battlefield and a historic commercial building ravaged by fire. Also recognized were a rural church and a coffee house located in eastern Kentucky, and the steering committee for an annual event that teaches about traditional Native American lifeways.

K. Norman Berry of Louisville was recipient of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award.

All nominations must be received or postmarked by Friday, April 15. For guidelines, nomination form, submittal instructions or more about previous recipients, click here .

The awards have special meaning this year, as 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the founding of the Kentucky Heritage Council.

The foundation was chartered in 1979 to honor the late Ida Lee Willis, widow of former Gov. Simeon Willis and first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now the Kentucky Heritage Council). Under her direction, the agency initiated the first statewide survey of historic resources and nominated the first sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

Kentucky is fourth among states in National Register listings, nearing 3,400 districts, sites and structures, and in 2016, the Kentucky historic resources inventory database will surpass 100,000 listings.

The Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

From Kentucky Heritage Council Communications


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