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Kentucky Heritage Council
31st annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Preservation Awards to be presented Wednesday in Frankfort

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 15, 2009  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

31st annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Preservation Awards
, sponsored by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation, and presentation of student winners of the 11th Annual Statewide Photo-Essay Competition, sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office and Preservation Kentucky, Inc.

2 p.m. Wednesday, May 20
, Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort

Ida Lee Willis Memorial Preservation Awards recognize those who have demonstrated an understanding of and appreciation for the value of preserving and reusing Kentucky’s historic and prehistoric resources, whether through the restoration of an important structure or community resource or through a lifetime commitment to encouraging and promoting historic preservation.  The awards are named for Ida Lee Willis, the first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now the Kentucky Heritage Council), who at the time of her appointment was the widow of former Governor Simeon Willis.

The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Preservation Award is presented to one individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth.  The 2009 recipient will be Ann Early Sutherland of Louisville, for her service and tireless advocacy on behalf of historic preservation efforts in Kentucky as well as at the national, regional and local level.

Preservation Project Awards recognize outstanding examples of restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings, or other types of projects that have had a positive impact on Kentucky’s built environment.  2009 project winners are:

  • Standard Oil Filling Station, Bowling Green, to be presented to the city of Bowling Green in recognition of the community’s efforts to work together to adaptively rehabilitate the historic filling station to serve the new Circus Square Park
  • W.E. Pullen Building, Georgetown, to be presented to Bryan Lewis Wolfe and Lynne Allison Wolfe in recognition of restoring the building to be a positive asset for the community and for their significant commitment to preserve historic buildings in downtown Georgetown
  • Johnson Creek Covered Bridge, Robertson County, to be presented to the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for creating a partnership to implement the first design/build process in Kentucky utilized to restore a historic covered bridge, maintaining Johnson Creek Covered Bridge as the most originally intact restored covered bridge in the state
  • St. Cecelia Senior Apartments, Louisville, to be presented to the Housing Partnership, Inc. and Catholic Charities of Louisville, Inc., in recognition of meeting the dual needs of rehabilitating and preserving a valuable neighborhood landmark and providing much-needed housing for the community’s most vulnerable residents

Service to Preservation Awards honor those who have furthered historic preservation activities or had a positive impact in their communities, including individuals, organizations, public officials, financial institutions, news media, and/or volunteers.  This year's honorees are:

  • Rebecca W. Shipp of Frankfort, retired Site Development Program manager for the Kentucky Heritage Council, in recognition of her long career as a dedicated public servant, and for her personal commitment to preserve Kentucky’s historic buildings and serve as an advocate for historic resources
  • Preserve Lexington and the Lexington Herald-Leader, Tom Eblen and Beverly Fortune, for advocacy and support of the preservation a block of historic buildings in downtown Lexington, for their willingness to challenge local leadership and champion change in public debate over future development projects
  • Billy Hertz and Tom Schnepf of Louisville, in recognition of their investment in historic buildings in declining neighborhoods, including an art gallery and home which led to the dramatic revitalization of Louisville’s East Market Street corridor

Preserving the Spirit of Home is the theme of the 11th Annual Statewide Photo-Essay Competition, through which students were asked to select a building, site or structure in their community and reflect how it makes them feel “at home,” memories that contribute to its unique spirit or sense of place and why losing it would create a loss for themselves and their community.  Students were also required to submit a copy of their essay to at least one local decision-maker, such as a mayor or judge-executive, with a goal to stimulate young peoples’ interest in historic preservation and provide an opportunity for them to interact with local leaders regarding its importance to their community.  This year's award winners to be recognized Wednesday are:

High School Division (Grades 9-12)
First Place: Jenna Theisen
10th Grade, Highlands High School
Fort Thomas
Midway Café

Second Place: Eva Kay Leppert
12th Grade, Lafayette Senior High School
Julia R. Ewan Elementary School

Third Place: Eli Brockett
10th Grade, Highlands High School
Fort Thomas
Fort Thomas Armory

Middle School Division (Grades 6-8)
First Place: Hannah Elizabeth Wilson
8th Grade, Lebanon Middle School
The Beeler Home Place

Second Place: Mykel Northcutt
6th Grade, R.A. Jones Middle School
Rabbit Hash

Third Place: Aaron Phillips
7th Grade, Calvary Christian School
The Kerr Building

Elementary School Division (Grades 1-5)
First Place: Isabelle Pettey
3rd Grade, Western Elementary
Historic Eclipse Place Farm

Second Place: Mason Miller
4th Grade, Harlan Independent
Harlan County Courthouse

Third Place: Alicyn Newman
5th Grade, Home School
The Octagon House

Outstanding Participation Award: Highlands High School, Fort Thomas

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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 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.

Preservation Kentucky is a membership based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Kentucky's historic resources through education and advocacy. Preservation Kentucky provides an important link between the public and private sector and between local communities, state government, and national government and organizations. Education opportunities are offered throughout the year on timely and import preservation topics. PK also helps monitor and promote preservation-friendly legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. By working for the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic properties today, the economic benefits of historic preservation will help to safeguard the unique Kentucky landscape for future generations.


Last Updated 5/15/2009