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Kentucky Heritage Council
Nominees sought for annual statewide historic preservation awards; public encouraged to nominate deserving individuals, projects and organizations

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 26, 2010  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office are seeking nominations for the 32nd Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards.  Each year, individuals, organizations and projects are honored that have made a significant contribution toward preserving Kentucky’s historic and prehistoric resources.  This signature statewide event recognizes restoration or rehabilitation of buildings, structures or community resources or a lifetime commitment to encouraging and promoting historic preservation.

Nominations are being accepted in three categories:

  • Preservation Project Awards recognize outstanding examples of historic building restoration or rehabilitation, or other types of projects that have had a positive impact on Kentucky’s built environment. 
  • 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. 
  • The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award goes to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth.  The 2009 honoree was Ann Early Sutherland of Louisville, Kentucky advisor emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Nominations must be submitted via mail or in person to the Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington Street, Frankfort, Ky., 40601.  Entries may also be submitted via email to or by fax at 502-564-5820.  All entries must be received or postmarked by Friday, April 16.
Nominations will be reviewed and awards made by a panel of judges representing various historical organizations across the state, including the Kentucky Heritage Council and members of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation.  Winners will be recognized during a special ceremony in Frankfort in May, which is National Preservation Month.

Award guidelines and nomination forms are available online at the Kentucky Heritage Council Web site,
During the ceremony, winners of the 12th Annual Statewide Photo-Essay Competition will also be honored.  The contest is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky, Inc., and open to all Kentucky schoolchildren in grades 1-12.  The 2010 theme, Preservation at Work, encourages students to consider how the preservation and reuse of historic buildings not only helps a community preserve its unique heritage, but also creates jobs, puts people to work locally and encourages the preservation of traditional building skills such as woodworking, masonry repair and plaster work, among others.

The deadline for photo-essay entries is Friday, April 2.  Entry forms, contest guidelines and winning photos and student essays from previous years are available at Preservation Kentucky’s Web site,

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 Governor 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.



Last Updated 3/26/2010