FRANKFORT, Ky. – Nominations are being accepted for the 35th Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards, a signature statewide event  that recognizes excellence in the preservation of historic buildings and Kentucky’s cultural resources – through investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, a lifelong commitment or significant achievement.

The awards are presented each May during National Historic Preservation Month by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

Nominations are accepted in three categories:

  • Preservation Project Awards, honoring outstanding examples of restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings and sites, or other types of projects that have furthered preservation of Kentucky’s built environment or cultural resources. In 2012, project awards went to three buildings in Harrodsburg’s historic Main Street district, rehabilitated by Tim Peters and Lois Mateus Peters; Thomas Edison School Apartments in Covington, converted into affordable housing by AU Associates Inc. of Lexington; and Whiskey Row Lofts in Louisville, a mixed-use development undertaken by Bill Weyland and siblings Valle and Stephen Jones.
  • Service to Preservation Awards, recognizing individuals, organizations, nonprofits, public officials, financial institutions, news media, volunteers and others whose contributions have furthered preservation activities in their communities or had a positive impact on the preservation of Kentucky’s historic or prehistoric resources. Last year’s awards went to the Cropper Family of South Portsmouth, for being extraordinary stewards of a farm that has been in their family since the late 1700s; Alberta Moynahan of Danville, for her many years of dedication as a volunteer for the McDowell House Museum in Danville, a National Historic Landmark; and “Historic Preservation: Saving Place,” an educational video about preservation’s proven benefits to communities, produced by the cities of Bellevue and Covington.
  • The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award, which goes to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth. The 2012 honoree was Richard M. Jett, retired Metro Louisville historic preservation officer.

Nominations may be submitted via email to kyheritage@ky.gov; by fax, to 502-564-5820; or via mail or in person with delivery to the Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington St., Frankfort, KY 40601. All nominations must be received in this office or postmarked by Friday, April 12.

Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges representing various agencies and nonprofit organizations, including the Kentucky Heritage Council and members of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation. For guidelines and nomination forms, visit the Heritage Council website, www.heritage.ky.gov.

The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation was chartered in 1979 to honor Ida Lee Willis, the first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now the Kentucky Heritage Council) and widow of former Gov. Simeon Willis. It was during Mrs. Willis’ tenure that Kentucky’s successful statewide historic preservation program was initiated.

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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.  www.heritage.ky.gov



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