Preservation PA

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

2020 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards

  Submission Deadline: Monday, February 10, 2020


Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards are a celebration of excellence that began in 1979. 

Presented annually by Preservation Pennsylvania, the awards recognize significant contributions in the field of historic preservation made by both individuals and organizations. 

Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s only membership-based, private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving Pennsylvania’s historic places through creative partnerships, targeted educational and advocacy programs, and advisory assistance. 


● Five-year window: Projects nominated for awards must have been substantially completed between June 1, 2015 and January 31, 2020.

● National Register eligibility is not a requirement for submission.

● All work must demonstrate good preservation practices.

● Homeowner, municipal, and historic district infill projects are welcomed.

● Properties owned and/or maintained by Preservation Pennsylvania are not eligible.



Ralph Modjeski Award for Excellence in Transportation Design, Preservation or Archaeology - For an exceptional effort within the transportation field that results in an improvement in transportation systems while respecting and preserving the best practices of compatible design and historic preservation principles. 2019 Recipient: Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek (Philadelphia County) 2018 Recipient: Pine Bank Covered Bridge (Washington County)

Preservation Planning - For projects that demonstrate the best planning and development practices to promote historic preservation. 2018 Recipient: Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (Erie County) 2017 Recipients: Wilkinsburg Neighborhood Restoration (Allegheny County); Carroll Cabin (Fayette County); Washington’s War Tent, Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia County)

Public Impact Award - Given to a project or individual for excellence in using a historic building as a catalyst to enrich a community. 2019 Recipients: 820 12th Street, Altoona (Blair County); Lincoln Square Train Shed/Sprouts Market, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County); Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County) 


These awards recognize special initiatives, services, or commitment to preservation values in the previous year by an individual, organization, community, or group in the following categories.

Communication - For exceptional quality preservation/heritage publications or outstanding media coverage of preservation/heritage efforts or issues. 2019 Recipient: Delaware Canal Vision Study, DCNR, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Bucks & Northampton Counties) 

Community Involvement - For individual or organizational involvement in community preservation/heritage issues or projects. 2018 Recipient: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art - Bedford (Bedford County)

Education - For innovative and exceptional preservation/heritage educational programs or curricula. 2019 Recipient: Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit, PennPraxis, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County)

Emergency Response - For quick action to repair and/or preserve a historic resource after a threat or catastrophic event. 2018 Recipient: Saint Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church (Philadelphia County); 2013 Recipients: Erwinna Covered Bridge (Bucks County); Hillsgrove Covered Bridge (Sullivan County)

Grassroots Advocacy - For the efforts of individuals and organizations to help communities protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them. 2018 Recipient: Sydelle Zove for Abolition Hall (Montgomery County)

Stewardship - For exceptional stewardship efforts by an individual or group on behalf of a significant historic resource or resources. 2019 Recipients: Lancaster Central Market, Lancaster (Lancaster County); Yeakel Cemetery Preservation Committee, Wyndmoor (Montgomery County)

Sustainability in Historic Preservation - For the continual use and sustainable rehabilitation of an existing building; one that has conserved materials and energy; prevented environmental, social and economic impacts of demolition; and taken into consideration embodied energy. 2018 Recipient: Hill College House at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County); 2016 Recipient: Pottstown School District, Rupert Elementary School (Montgomery County)


The Honor Award recipients are selected by the Executive Committee of Preservation Pennsylvania. While applications are not accepted for these awards, suggestions are welcome.

F. Otto Haas Award - This award is named for noted preservationist and philanthropist F. Otto Haas (1915-1994), as standing recognition of his service and contributions to historic preservation. This award honors outstanding individual or group achievements in the field of historic preservation. 2019 Recipient: William Fontana, PA Downtown Center; 2018 Recipient: Natural Lands (Montgomery County); 2017 Recipient: The Progress Fund (Westmoreland County); 2016 Recipient: Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, SHPO (Dauphin County)

Henry A. Jordan Award - This award is named for Henry A. Jordan (1936-2010), a former Preservation Pennsylvania Board Chairman and life-long supporter of the historic preservation movement. In keeping with Henry’s belief that it is at the local level where real historic preservation occurs, this award honors outstanding historic preservation efforts at the local/regional level.  2019 Recipient: Eugene Di’Orio (Chester County); 2018 Recipient: Astride McLanahan (Blair County); 2017 Recipient: James L. Brown IV (Philadelphia County)


Construction Awards honor outstanding examples of

● Residential (Private/Homeowner)

● Restoration

● Rehabilitation

● Infill/new construction in a historic district

● Documentation (pre-construction)

Examples of possible submissions: a small business owner’s facade restoration; a homeowner’s sensitive update of a neglected building; or a company’s rehabilitation of a white elephant property for a new use.

Nominations are welcome from developers, municipalities, small business owners and homeowners. Nominations should include information about the resource’s history, any listing in local or national historic districts, or inclusion within the boundaries of a designated heritage area. If an adaptive re-use project, please indicate the building’s original use.

Work completed should follow good preservation practices. All information submitted should demonstrate how the work was undertaken in a way that respects, preserves, and maintains the resource’s historic character and integrity. 

PLEASE NOTE: The award is given to the PROJECT rather than individual architects/engineers/ consultants.



Please include the following

● 250-300 word executive summary of the project’s achievements, community impact or innovations

● Two-page MAXIMUM narrative summarizing the project and how it meets the criteria for the award category selected

● For Construction Awards only: An additional document that summarizes the project’s adherence to good preservation practices. (No more than 2 pages). DO NOT submit full drawings and/or specifications.

● No more than 25 digital photographs (PNG, JPGs only – NO PDFs, no text over the image

● $30 application fee, payable to Preservation Pennsylvania (ONE nomination FREE for members of Preservation Pennsylvania.)

Photography Requirements

● Photographs should be high quality (1MB minimum, no more than 4MB per photograph).

● No more than 25 photographs may be submitted. At least 3 images MUST contain people or activity or show the project in use. Historic photographs are also encouraged. Feel free to submit photographs that showcase the entire project. 

● Images may be horizontal or vertical format and should illustrate various aspects of the project or program; before and after results taken from the same angle, overall exteriors and interior shots. Significant architectural details should be included.

● Please do not overlay text. DO NOT paste into a doc. Additional information/captions/photo credit (if any) should be provided in a photo key page.

● Please ensure you have rights to submitted photographs and you grant Preservation Pennsylvania permission to use.

Additional Requirements

● Applications must be received by Preservation Pennsylvania by the deadline of Monday, February 10 , 2020. 

● All application materials become the property of Preservation Pennsylvania and will not be returned.

● Preservation Pennsylvania retains the right to exhibit and/or publish the application materials, including photographs, in furthering preservation and educational goals.

Evaluation and Selection

● Initiative, Construction and Special Focus Award Applications are evaluated by a committee of peers in the fields of architecture, archaeology, and historic preservation.

● Based on their knowledge and experience, the committee may consider projects not formally nominated. The committee may also move applications between categories as appropriate.

● There is no requirement or presumption that there will be an award given in each of the listed categories; additionally, some categories may include more than one awarded project.

● Honor Awards are evaluated and selected by the Executive Committee of Preservation Pennsylvania. Suggestions are welcome.


Award recipients will be notified in writing in advance of the awards ceremony, which will take place at the Statewide Conference on Heritage in June 24 -26, 2020. 

All applicants will be notified by email regardless of the decision.


Melonie Babich, Advocacy & Development Assistant

(717) 234-2310 x4

All applications must be received by February 10 , 2020