Skip to Content - Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Tennessee - Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Tennessee (Print logo)

38th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Ryman Lofts – 100 Middleton Street
Historic Preservation Awards, May 29, 2013

Preservation Awards

For nearly forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission has recognized outstanding efforts to preserve Nashville’s historic architecture with its annual Preservation Awards program.

39th Annual Preservation Awards

Join the Metropolitan Historical Commission in celebrating National Preservation Month by honoring the 2014 winners of Nashville’s Preservation Awards. Awards will be presented to winners in the categories of Residential, Infill, Industrial/Engineering, and Commercial architecture. The 39th annual event will be held on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street. Historic Nashville, Inc. will host a reception immediately following the ceremony.

The Metropolitan Historical Commission will also present the Achievement Award to Paul Clements for his commitment to researching and writing about Nashville’s unique history, covering topics as diverse as settlement, education, sports, and architecture. The Commission will honor the Native History Association with the Commissioners’ Award for its work to document, protect, and promote Middle Tennessee’s Native American history and historic sites.

The Preservation Awards program is held annually to celebrate National Preservation Month, which is observed nationally each year in May. This year’s theme is “New Age of Preservation: Embark, Inspire, Engage.” Have plans to embark on your own preservation adventure? Come join us for a program that will inspire you! Stay for the reception, hosted by Historic Nashville, Inc., and engage with preservation friends new and old!

Sponsored annually by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the purpose of Preservation Month is to celebrate the country’s diverse and irreplaceable heritage.

For more information, please call the Metropolitan Historical Commission at (615) 862-7970 or email

National Preservation Month 2014 logo: embark inspire engage

History Of the Preservation Awards Program

The Metropolitan Historical Commission’s Preservation Awards program began in 1973 as an Architectural Awards program. Miss Margaret Lindsley Warden, a charter member and former chair of the MHC, had the idea to create an incentive for people to preserve historic buildings. metropolitan historical commission architectural award plaqueShe had observed how successful prizes were in horse shows and had heard of similar awards programs for preservation of buildings in other cities.

In 1973, the purpose was stated as:

1) To stimulate interest in owners of pertinent buildings to preserve and restore them with authenticity, and
2) To spread information, i.e., to educate the community, on the merits (architectural and historical) and contemporary uses of distinguished buildings of the past.

The awards were originally aimed at residences, but the categories have increased as the need arose. In 1973 the categories included dwellings, offices, and historic districts. In 1997 those properties were expanded to six categories: residences (both single and multi-family structures), commercial buildings, religious properties, educational and institutional buildings, engineering and industrial structures, and infill construction.

Since 1973, nearly 350 awards have gone to a broad range of historic structures – dwellings, churches, commercial and industrial buildings, schools, even to bridges and new developments. Nominated by the public, they are honored for their sensitivity to the original architecture and the surrounding environment, creativity in adaptation for contemporary use, architectural merit and/or historic interest, long-term maintenance, adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and pioneering spirit. The public awards ceremony coincides with National Preservation Month, which is celebrated every year in May.

Mayor Karl Dean and Ann RobertsToday, in addition to recognizing various preservation projects, the Commission recognizes individuals and groups with the Achievement and Commissioners’ Awards. The Achievement Award is given to an individual in recognition of his/her extraordinary leadership in preserving Nashville’s history -- either through research and writing history or through advocacy and raising public awareness of history and preservation. The Commissioners' Award recognizes a group, program, or project that enhances Nashville’s history and historic resources. It is designed to honor projects that do not fit within the traditional preservation award categories. Achievement and Commissioners’ Awards are selected by the Historical Commission.

In the early years, the Commission held a separate event to recognize various individuals, groups, and projects that were involved in the preservation of the built environment and the promotion of our local history. Eventually, the two awards programs were combined. In recent years, the name of the new program changed to “Preservation Awards” to acknowledge the diversity of individuals, groups, and types of projects receiving awards.

Participation In the Preservation Awards Program

For the 40th annual Preservation Awards program, nomination forms and digital images of the nominated property will be due in March 2015. To be considered, nominated properties must be located in Davidson County and, with the exception of the infill construction category, must have been built no later than 1963. Buildings open to the public as historic sites are not eligible. Previous winners MAY be eligible if the work is significantly different.

For more information about the Preservation Awards program, please call the Metropolitan Historical Commission at (615) 862-7970 or email