The group is one of 23 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2011 National Preservation Conference next week in Buffalo, NY.

Santa Barbara’s mission architecture is world famous. And for nearly 50 years, one group has been the caretaker of the town’s historic buildings, and the diverse stories they tell. The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) was created in 1963. Their initial charge was to restore the Presidio, the Spanish colonial fort where the city was founded.

Working in conjunction with California State Parks, SBTHP did much more than simply restore it: the Presidio is now a living history site in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Educational programs, exhibits, artifacts and research interpret the city’s Hispanic heritage. Volunteers help with restoration efforts, which have rebuilt the Presidio Chapel and roughly 20 rooms to date. The organization also restored the 1820s home of a Santa Barbara patriarch and several mid-19th century adobes. In partnership with the state, it operates two historic mills and El Cuartel, California’s second-oldest building. More recently, the organization acquired Jimmy’s Oriental Tavern—a beloved local landmark and the last remnant of the city’s Chinatown—for incorporation into the El Presidio State Historic Site. The acquisition enhances SBTHP’s ability to interpret Santa Barbara’s multi-layered history, including Native American, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese settlers over the past 200 years.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Thanks to the ambitious work of the Santa Barbara Historic Trust for Historic Preservation, the varied past of this beautiful seaside town is alive and well.”

The award will be presented to Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, October 20, at 5:30 PM EST.

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at

To download high resolution images of this year’s National Preservation Award winners, visit

The 2011 National Preservation Award Winners:

Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: Robert Wilson – Few philanthropists have done more for the preservation movement. He has helped the World Monuments Fund save irreplaceable monuments worldwide, and enabled the New York Landmarks Conservancy to restore beloved religious landmarks closer to home, thanks to his support of their Sacred Sites program. His $5 million matching grant to the National Trust’s Partners in the Field program put boots on the ground in 30 states, helping to protect more than 1,600 historic places nationwide. Wilson’s grants have transformed the organizations that protect America’s cultural heritage, building a stronger, more mature movement in the process. The benefits of his vision will be felt for generations to come.

The National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Ft. A.P. Hill/Camden Innovative Preservation Project, Abingdon, Md./Camden, Va. — Partnering with Virginia Department of Historic Resources, The Conservation Fund, and the community, the Army accomplished on-post Section 106 mitigation through an off-post conservation easement, preserving the rural historic landscape and Indian village within an archaeological district in Camden, Virginia.

The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Preservation: Evan Thompson, Executive Director, Preservation Society of Charleston, Charleston, S.C. — Evan Thompson began his career as a lawyer in private practice, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that his true calling was historic preservation. In his first year as head of the Preservation Society of Charleston, he has emerged as an influential voice in the city, and under his leadership the 90-year-old society has a central role in determining Charleston’s future.

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement: Pamela Bates, Amesbury, Mass. — Working tirelessly and on a completely volunteer basis, Pamela Bates has ensured the preservation, perpetuation, and revitalization of Lowell’s Boat Shop in Lowell, Massachusetts.

National Trust Board of Advisors’ Award: American Brewery Project, Baltimore, Md. — An abandoned 1887 brewery in East Baltimore was restored and reused as headquarters for Humanim, a social services organization with roots in the community.

The National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Using creative financing such as historic and low-income tax credits, the Volunteer Ministry Center rehabilitated Minvilla Manor into a 57-unit permanent supportive housing development with offices and community space, spurring revitalization in the surrounding community.

The Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: Guam Preservation Trust, Hagatna, Guam — The Guam Preservation Trust has not only provided funding for capital preservation projects throughout the island, but also built a sense of pride for Guam’s unique history and culture.

The John H. Chafee Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy (co-recipients): Defenders of New Mexico Heritage and Wilderness Battlefield Coalition, Washington, D.C. — Two advocacy coalitions from opposite ends of the country proved what grassroots preservation advocacy can achieve. The Wilderness Battlefield Coalition worked to protect the historic Wilderness Battlefield in the face of encroachment by Walmart. The Defenders of New Mexico Heritage worked to defeat legislative erosion of New Mexico’s historic preservation laws, saving sites such as New Mexico’s Mount Taylor.

The Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation — The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation was created in 1963 with the initial charge of restoring the Presidio, the Spanish colonial fort where the city was founded. Since then, the group has become the caretaker of the town’s historic buildings and the diverse stories they tell.


Ghost Ranch Lodge, Tucson, Ariz. — The historic Ghost Ranch Lodge, originally designed by renowned Swiss architect Josias Joesler in 1941, was rehabilitated and converted into much-needed affordable senior housing.

Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles, Calif. — The Downtown Women’s Center Project restored and renovated a dilapidated, six-story historic shoe factory to provide housing and offer supportive services to homeless women on Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

USDA Forest Service, HistoriCorps Program, Golden, Colo. — HistoriCorps is a model public/private partnership that puts people to work to save long-neglected historic buildings on public lands. Supported by resources from the U.S. Forest Service, volunteers put vacant and under-utilized buildings back into public use as vacation rentals, recreation facilities, or interpretative sites.

Roshek Redevelopment/Dubuque Roshek Building, Dubuque, Iowa — Dubuque Initiatives, Inc. restored and rehabilitated a nine-story, significantly outdated department store in downtown Dubuque, Iowa, into a modern international call center for IBM and a retail destination reminiscent of its former opulence.

Lower Washington Street Theater Revitalization, Boston, Mass. — Boston’s Modern, Paramount, and Opera House theaters, recognized collectively in 1995 as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust, have been brought back into active use while maintaining their historic integrity.

Thompson Falls High Bridge Rehabilitation Project, Thompson Falls, Mont. — The rehabilitation of the century-old Parker-Pratt Deck Truss High Bridge over the Clark Fork River exemplifies 30 years of persistent vision, partnerships, and fundraising perseverance.

Acworth Meetinghouse Restoration Project, Acworth, N.H. — After discovering that the steeple of the 1821 Acworth Meetinghouse was in imminent danger of collapse, the residents of Acworth, New Hampshire, jumped into action. The Acworth Meetinghouse Restoration Project resulted in a million-dollar, full-building restoration in a rural community of only 900 people.

Louis I. Kahn Bath House and Day Camp, Princeton, N.J. — Louis Kahn’s Bath House and day camp were Modernist marvels when they were constructed for the Trenton Jewish Community Center in the mid-1950s. Thanks to the cooperation of groups in Princeton, New Jersey, the Bath House’s 38-acre site is now beautifully restored as a senior center and summer camp.

Community Properties of Ohio Revitalization Columbus, Ohio — Community Properties of Ohio has rehabbed more than 200 buildings over a seven year period in Columbus, Ohio. These rehabilitations have provided housing for 1,300 families, and have had a significant impact on seven Columbus neighborhoods.

Martin House Restoration Corporation, Buffalo, N.Y. — The Darwin Martin House is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-era masterpiece. Thanks to the work of the Martin House Restoration Corporation, this architectural gem was saved though a 20-year restoration and is once again open to the public.

Seashore Farmers’ Lodge Museum, Charleston, S.C. — In the years after the Civil War, the Seashore Farmers’ Lodge served as the community center of the South Carolina Lowcountry community of Sol Legare. Thanks to a true community effort, the Lodge has been restored and is once again central to the community, serving as a cultural center and museum.

Galveston Historical Foundation, Galveston, Tex. — In the wake of Hurricane Ike, the Galveston Historical Foundation transformed an 1891 cottage into the Green Revival House. The house is the first historic home renovation in the country to earn LEED Platinum certification and has drawn thousands of visitors.

Rockhill Creamery, Richmond, Utah — Rockhill Creamery, a micro-dairy and artisanal cheese operation, is bringing Utah’s rich agricultural heritage to life. Owners Pete Schropp and Jennifer Hines have painstakingly restored and re-purposed seven historic structures on their property, and Rockhill Creamery has become a community centerpiece in the Cache Valley.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.