For over forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission has recognized outstanding efforts to preserve Nashville’s historic architecture with its annual Preservation Awards program.
42nd Annual Preservation Awards
The Metropolitan Historical Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Preservation Awards program, honoring Davidson County’s best preservation projects. The public is invited to submit any building or structure, built no later than 1965, that has been restored, rehabilitated, or carefully maintained over time. The awards also recognize well-designed new construction that harmonizes with a historic environment. Buildings open to the public as historic sites are not eligible. Previous winners MAY be eligible if the work is significantly different.
Categories for nominations include:
- Residential Properties (single-family and multi-family)
- Commercial Buildings
- Religious Properties
- Engineering and Industrial Structures
- Educational and Institutional Buildings
- Infill Construction (new structures located within a context of historic architecture)
- Monuments and Memorials (cemeteries, monuments, stone walls, etc.)
Nominations will be judged on their architectural merit and/or historic interest, soundness of condition, creativity in adaptation for contemporary use, and sensitivity to historic architectural integrity. Nominations are due Friday, March 10, 2017. Judging will take place in April 2017—details will be available soon.
This year, there are two options for submitting nominations:
The Preservation Awards program is held in celebration of National Preservation Month, which is observed nationally each year in May. Sponsored annually by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the purpose of Preservation Month is to celebrate the country’s diverse and irreplaceable heritage.
This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Metropolitan Historical Commission’s annual awards program. Winners will be announced at a public ceremony in May 2017, date and time to be determined.
For more information, please call the Metropolitan Historical Commission at (615) 862-7970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. She 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.
Today, 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
Nominations for the 42nd Annual Preservation Awards program are due March 10, 2017. 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 1965. 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 email@example.com.