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Group photo at the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Awards2016 Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards

Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown of Goshen were recipients of the 2016 Memorial Award presented by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and Kentucky Heritage Council during the foundation's 38th statewide historic preservation awards ceremony May 25 at the Governor's Mansion. The awards recognize investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, lifelong commitment and significant achievement.

The Memorial Award is presented to those who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth. Mr. Wilson and Ms. Brown were cited for their vision as creators of 21c Museum Hotels, which have been established in rehabilitated, historic commercial buildings in Lexington, Louisville and elsewhere and garnered national and international attention for their innovation and hospitality.

Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards are presented each May during National Historic Preservation Month. 2016 also marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the founding of the Kentucky Heritage Council. The awards are named for Ida Lee Willis, widow of former Gov. Simeon Willis at the time she was appointed first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now the Kentucky Heritage Council) in 1966.

Preservation Project Awards recognize outstanding examples of rehabilitation or preservation of historic buildings, or other types of projects that have had a significant impact on Kentucky’s built environment or historic or prehistoric places:

  • The 1857 Boutique Hotel, Paducah, and owners Paul Gourieux and Jorge Martinez, for their vision to see the potential in two historic buildings that had been vacant for decades, one even slated for demolition;
  • Ouerbacker Mansion, Louisville, for being beautifully and thoughtfully restored per the Secretary of the Interior Standards by Oracle Design, despite the building being severely neglected;
  • Potter’s Castle, Bowling Green, and owners Steve and Patsy Morgenthaler, for their painstaking and detailed rehabilitation of a classic Queen Anne Victorian, one of Bowling Green’s most iconic historic residences.

Right: Governor Matt Bevin presents a proclamation declaring May National Historic Preservation Month

Governor Matt Bevin presents a National Historic Preservation Month proclamationService to Preservation Awards honor those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to historic preservation, had a positive impact on preserving historic or prehistoric resources through advocacy or education, or developed innovative or model preservation programs:

  • Gudrun Allen and Jennifer Tijou of Pleasanton Goods, Paris, for demonstrating how rehabilitation of a building that had suffered decades of neglect can be completed for a reasonable amount of investment; 
  • Bernie and Susan Hunstad, Danville, for their purchase of Third Street Methodist Church and their willingness to take on an abandoned historic building that had many challenges and put the building back into use;
  • Jack Jouett Archaeology Project, Versailles, for creating a unique public archaeology project open to anyone regardless of ability, and for educating the public about how artifacts expand our understanding of historic places;
  • Scot Walters, Frankfort, retired KHC Site Development Program manager, for a career spent in public service and for his personal and professional commitment to educate people about the importance of preservation and good community design.

Grassroots Preservation Awards honor individuals who have committed their personal time and resources to take on a challenge that addresses preservation of historic resources at the local level. 2016 recipients were:

  • Mayor Scott Madon of Pineville, for seeing a need and taking action, and for his leadership in establishing an aggressive movement to clean up and revitalize the downtown and generate new enthusiasm and economic upturn;
  • Shirl Marks of Stamping Ground, for preserving Stonetown Haven, her family's historic home dating to the early 1800s, and for her work researching and preserving African American history and heritage in Scott County and central Kentucky.

High-resolution group photo, above [JPEG-439KB]

List of all winners 1979-current [Word - 68KB]


Related Content
Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards
2016 Award Tributes
Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown
1857 Boutique Hotel
The 1857 Boutique Hotel, Paducah
Ouerbacker Mansion
Ouerbacker Mansion, Louisville
Potter's Castle
Potter's Castle, Bowling Green
Pleasanton Goods
Gudrun Allen and Jennifer Tijou, Pleasanton Goods, Paris
Third Street Methodist Church
Bernie and Susan Hunstad, Danville, Third Street Methodist Church
Jack Jouett Archaeology Project
Jack Jouett Archaeology Project, Versailles
Scot Walters
Scot Walters, Frankfort, retired KHC Site Development Program manager
Scott Madon
Scott Madon, Mayor of Pineville
Shirl Marks
Shirl Marks, Stamping Ground, for Stonetown Haven [Photo courtesy Lexington Herald-Leader]

Last Updated 9/12/2016