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Kentucky Heritage Council
Nominate a building rehab project, organization or individual for annual historic preservation awards

Press Release Date:  Thursday, March 13, 2014  
Revision Date:  Thursday, March 13, 2014 
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

Nominations are now being accepted for the 36th Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards, which recognize excellence in the preservation of Kentucky’s historic buildings and cultural resources, including archaeological sites. Contributions can be through investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, 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 for Preservation Projects, honoring outstanding examples of historic building restoration or rehabilitation, or for other projects that have furthered preservation of Kentucky’s built environment or cultural resources; Service to Preservation, recognizing individuals, organizations, nonprofits, public officials, financial institutions, news media, volunteers and others whose contributions have had a positive impact in their communities; and the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award, to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth.

Cox Building2013 honorees were the Cox Building in Maysville (shown left); Rockcastle River Historic Truss Bridge; Sadieville Rosenwald School; Nancy Adams, for her work at Pine Mountain Settlement School; Keith Nagle, for his leadership with Discover Downtown Middlesboro; and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation deTours Committee, for encouraging central Kentucky residents to become more familiar with local history and the process and benefits of adaptive reuse. Stephen L. Collins, of Shelbyville, was recognized with the Memorial Award. Also for the first time, Grassroots Awards were given, for Bethel Church and Cemetery, Pendleton County, and Friends of Sherman Tavern, Dry Ridge.
Nominations may be submitted via email to; by fax, to 502-564-5820; or via mail or in person delivery to the Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington St., Frankfort, KY 40601. 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.

All nominations must be received in this office or postmarked by Friday, April 11. For guidelines, nomination form, submittal instructions or more about previous recipients, visit

The Ida Lee Willis Memorial 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 began nominating sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

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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, heritage tourism, jobs creation, affordable housing, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.


Last Updated 3/13/2014