Best of Maryland Awards

Preservation Maryland’s annual awards celebrate the best of Maryland! For honoring legislative champions and municipal stewards to talented craftspeople and community grassroots efforts, it’s also one of Maryland preservation’s best events to mingle and network. Let’s celebrate what makes Maryland our home, together.

Photo: Awardees in the Artisan category for their work on the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore, 2016.

Our Awards Event

Preservation Maryland invites you to a very special evening event at Jerusalem Mill Village on Saturday, October 1st from 4-7p where we will celebrate some of our Best of Maryland Awards recipients. 

Submit An Award Nomination

Since 1985, Preservation Maryland has presented awards to individuals and organizations for their contribution to preserving and telling our State’s rich, authentic, and diverse history.

Preservation Maryland will once again showcase our Best of Maryland Awards at our Phoenix Rising Event on October 1st 2022! The Best of Maryland awards show us what is possible when we work together to preserve Maryland’s rich history.

ELIGIBILITY

Chances are, you’re eligible! We seek to make the nomination process efficient for all involved; the application process is a single online form. We encourage you to apply!

Individuals, non-profit and for-profit organizations and businesses, and government agencies are eligible. You may nominate yourself. You may submit multiple nominations. You may re-nominate projects that were not selected previously.

Awards are granted upon the sole discretion of Preservation Maryland; an award from each category may or may not be awarded each year, multiple awards in a single category may or may not be awarded. Please select the award category that best fits your nominee. We understand that some nominations may be eligible for multiple categories and will evaluate nominations across categories.

Materials submitted will be used in digital and print materials by Preservation Maryland.

Nomination InstructioNS

We suggest reviewing the Award Categories first as they are outlined below, reviewing the online nomination form and then preparing your responses in a separate document before entering them into the online form for submission. You cannot save your nomination form. If you cannot complete your nomination as instructed, please contact Jessica Feldt jfeldt@presmd.org.

We currently present the following awards:

LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Presented to an elected official in Maryland that champions historic preservation policy, programs, and supporting funding, and recognizes the importance of preserving Maryland heritage. Nominations will be evaluated based on the impact of the officials’ support on preservation in Maryland.

PRESIDENT’S LEADERSHIP AWARD

Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize exceptional leadership and commitment to preserving Maryland’s rich and diverse heritage. Nominations will be evaluated based on the length and nature of service or project, record of achievement, and the nominee’s overall impact on the statewide preservation movement.

 

GEARHART PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AWARD

Presented to an individual who is employed as a professional by a historic preservation organization, agency, or academic institution and who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, knowledge, and creativity in the protection and preservation of Maryland’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archeological sites. Nominations will be evaluated based on the impact of the person’s achievements and their contributions to the preservation of Maryland’s history and culture.

 

THE PHOENIX AWARD

Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize projects demonstrating excellence in the revitalization of threatened or abandoned historic resources. Nominations will be evaluated based on the project’s impact on historic preservation and community revitalization.

 

SMART GROWTH EXCELLENCE AWARD

An award honoring an individual, organization, or project that best exemplifies the core tenets of smart growth. Smart growth is a broad and diverse movement which embraces environmentally and economically sustainable development patterns to create better opportunities for all citizens.

STEWARDSHIP AWARD

Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize exemplary stewardship of Maryland’s historic buildings, collections, landscapes, and archaeological sites. Nominations will be evaluated based on the degree to which the project conforms to applicable professional standards, such as the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the degree to which the project has successfully protected a historic resource from harm. Nominated projects should have been completed within the last two years.

 

GEORGE T. HARRISON AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTIONS

The Harrison Volunteer Awards has been presented by Preservation Maryland semi-annually since 1985 and is the organization’s oldest award. This award goes to individuals or organizations to recognize outstanding volunteer contributions to historic preservation in Maryland. Nominations will be evaluated based on the extent to which the individual or group’s preservation project made a substantial contribution to saving historic resources in Maryland

 

PRESERVATION ARTISAN AWARD

Presented to an individual or group of individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the art and artistry of a craft or trade that is used in the preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, or archaeological sites in Maryland. Nominations will be evaluated based on the person’s demonstrated excellence in the practice of their craft as well as their ability to inspire and willingness to teach others the skills needed to perform their trade.

Recent & Past Awardees

2021 Award Winners

Preservation Maryland is honored to shine a spotlight on the ceaseless work of our Best of Maryland Award winners – volunteers, stewards, artisans, and elected officials doing the essential work of protecting the places that make Maryland such a special place to live, work, explore – and celebrate.

Smart Growth Excellence Award: Black Women Build

Black Women Build-Baltimore was founded to train black women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing while rehabilitating vacant and deteriorated houses. This training not only provides training for these valuable skills, but also promotes neighborhood revitalization and home ownership with participants given the opportunity to purchase the homes they work on when they are complete. The program builds community, provides a way to build intergenerational wealth, and gives skills that can help the women demand higher salaries and maintain their new homes. This innovative approach to growth in existing communities not only brings back the built environment, but creates a community of first-time black women homeowners.

Stewardship Award: Montgomery County Parks, Josiah Henson House

Josiah Henson House

The Josiah Henson Museum and Park is home to a portion of an original plantation where Reverend Josiah Henson lived and worked as a slave from 1795 to 1830. Henson’s 1849 autobiography is said to have inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The project transforms the former plantation site to tell the story of Henson’s life based on facts and evidences, with a new visitor center and the only remaining historic structure rehabilitated as an interpretive exhibit. Located within a suburban context, the Parks Department spent nearly 15 years building relationships and consensus with the neighbors and the community. An extensive amount of resources were needed to not only restore a severely deteriorating structure from the 19th century and building a state-of-the-art visitor center, but also for historical research, archaeological exploration, and expert analyses. With the goal to continue telling the story for many decades to come, Montgomery County Parks utilized the community support, advocates and funding to make this investment.

Preservation Champions: Jan Gardner, Frederick County Executive; Senator Guy Guzzone, State Senator Howard County

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner

As Frederick County Executive, Jan Gardner stewards one of the state’s fastest-growing counties. She has shown a continued commitment to preservation through the county’s smart growth-minded comprehensive plan Livable Frederick, increased funding for land preservation, new grants for historic preservation, and the effort to document African-American history in the north county. County Executive Gardner has been a key partner of Preservation Maryland and has worked diligently to invest in the County’s rich urban core, protect its vibrant agricultural community, and to ensure that preserving the past is part of Frederick County’s future.

Senator Guy Guzzone

Senator Guy Guzzone of District 13 in Howard County was the Senate sponsor of key historic tax credit legislation in 2021. The Small Commercial Tax Credit has been the backbone for many Main Street projects across the state and can be used to transform vacant houses into vibrant historic homes for many for whom home ownership had long been out of reach. Unfortunately, due to the success of the program, it had run out of funding. Despite the unprecedented constraints of a wholly virtual session of the Maryland General Assembly, Senator Guzzone successfully stewarded a bill that extended the life of the state’s Small Commercial Historic Tax Credit by increasing the authorization for the program by an additional $1M. Senator Guzzone understands the value of the historic tax credit to economic development and community revitalization across the state, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

Midge Ingersoll

Harrison Volunteer Award: Midge Ingersoll, Handsell House

Midge Ingersoll helped found the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance to preserve the Handsell Historic Site.

Since its founding in 2009, the organization has helped not only ensure the preservation of Handsell itself, it has also worked to tell the stories of all three cultures whose history makes up the tale of this site: the Native People of Chicone Village, African Americans and Colonial settlers with missions of “Three Cultures—One Story.”

The Phoenix Award: The A. Hoen Lithograph Building

The A. Hoen Lithograph BuildingThe A. Hoen Lithography Co. left the East Baltimore neighborhood in 1981 and what once was a thriving community hub became a vacant disinvested neighborhood for years to come. The campus is comprised of three historic structures dating to the late 1800’s and two non-historic warehouse buildings on a site occupying a whole city block. Cross Street Partners took care to preserve the building’s historic fabric and story and to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, while incorporating modern building systems and amenities. Overcoming the challenge to balance necessary improvements for energy efficiency with historic requirements, the project uses 21.6% less energy than a typical building of this type. Working with a more than 100-year-old complex gave importance to how the redevelopment could continue to serve the community for another 100 years. The A. Hoen Lithograph campus is now The Center for Neighborhood Innovation (CNI) and serves as a new model for neighborhood transformation.

Artisan Award: John W. O’Rourke, Sotterley

John O’Rourke has served as Sotterley’s Restoration Manager for over two decades. He served as expert advisor and facilitator for the development of Sotterley’s extensive Preservation Plan. He then served as project manager in the first phase of critically needed structural repairs on the Manor House and overseeing the extensive renovations that included installing fire suppression, climate control and security systems, while doing so in a way that protected the historical integrity of the building. In his long relationship with Sotterley, John has done restoration work on almost all of Sotterley’s two dozen buildings, and has performed an analysis of many of the buildings which has been used to establish restoration priorities. John began his career as a restoration carpenter working at Historic St. Mary’s City starting in the early 1980s. John worked periodically over a span of more than 25 years as a restoration carpenter at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate. The largest and most complicated project that John undertook was to reconstruct Washington’s stone whiskey distillery, which was one of the largest operations of its kind in the country when the original building was constructed in 1797. John is now retired, but continues to serve as an advisor to Historic Sotterley, and he has been recognized by the organization as a “Sotterley Fellow” for his incredible dedication and service.

Gearhart Professional Award: Amanda Shores Davis, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

Amanda Davis, Executive Director of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore

Amanda Shores Davis is the Executive Director of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.  Davis was president of the Greater Baltimore History Alliance from 2017-2020, is the secretary of the Maryland Four Centuries Project, and serves on the Small Museum Association Conference Committee. Under Davis‘ leadership, the Flag House was awarded accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums in March of 2019. Accreditation is the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, 1,000 are currently accredited. The Flag House is one of only 23 museums accredited in Maryland.

President’s Award: Christian Havemeyer, Chestertown, Md.

Christian Havemeyer is a philanthropist, preservationist, and lover of architecture. Christian played an important role in the wave of historic preservation that took Chestertown by storm in the 1970s and has continued to this day. His forethought, patience, and leadership have been vital to the preservation and documentation of Chestertown’s storied history.

 

 

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