Celebrating Historic Preservation in Midtown Neighborhoods

For the past year, I have watched my neighbors working tirelessly every weekend, holiday, evening and spare moment on a house project on our street. We had all nervously watched a rental property on our block that had been empty for at least year and was getting more and more derelict. In true neighborhood historic preservation fashion, two neighborhood couples living in the vicinity pooled their finances, brains and brawn, bid on the house and won it with the intent on renovating and turning the building back into a single-family dwelling.

Projects like this are happening in neighborhoods and commercial districts all over Montgomery. The City of Montgomery and the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) want to acknowledge and celebrate these grassroots contributions to preserving Montgomery rich architectural heritage as well as current day communities. For the second year, the HPC will celebrate May as Historic Preservation Month with a Historic Preservation Awards Program. This is your chance to thank your neighbors within your community for making Montgomery a better place to live. The nomination process is simple so please look over and cruise your neighborhoods for possible candidates.

The goals of this year’s Historic Preservation Awards program are to encourage excellence in the planning, design, and execution of projects affecting the City’s historic resources and heritage and to raise greater public awareness and understanding of historic preservation efforts and their benefits to the City of Montgomery.

Any individual, organization, agency, or business that has demonstrated an outstanding achievement in historic preservation is eligible to receive a preservation award. Nominations may be submitted by any individuals, organization, agency, or business. Related projects must be

A panel whose members are knowledgeable in local history, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and historic preservation will judge and evaluate the nominations. The judges reserve the right to reassign award categories, to determine additional recipients for a given award, to disqualify nominations that are incomplete, and to eliminate inappropriate projects. The selection process will be based on the following general criteria:

  • The positive impact on historic resources in Montgomery
  • The overall quality of the work (application of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation)
  • The project’s or individual’s ability to serve as an outstanding example for historic preservation
  • The project’s or individual’s contribution to educating the public on Montgomery’s history and architectural resources

These are the categories in which awards will be given:

Residential Projects

  • Overall restoration
  • Reintroduction of detail (duplicate columns, brackets, doors, shutters, railings, reopen porches)
  • Best historic paint scheme (appropriate to the architectural style)
  • Reclamation of abandoned or poorly maintained property (neighborhood stabilization award)
  • Sensitive new additions to older buildings

Commercial/Adaptive Reuse Projects

  • Overall restoration
  • Best reintroduction of storefront
  • Creative repurposing of a building

Craftsmanship (recognition of craftspeople doing restoration work on a detailed level)

Other Recognition Categories for Consideration

  • UnderDog—Projects that are huge undertaking because of long neglect and deterioration
  • Landscape/garden restoration
  • Heritage education and outreach programming

The Robert G. Daniel Award is a special award that will be given for a long-time commitment to Montgomery and the preservation of its history and built environment. Mr. Daniel was a member of the Historic Preservation Commission for several decades. If you’re thinking about nominating a particular project or person you just need to fill out a nomination form including the proper documentations requested. Click here to download the nomination form as a PDF.

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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