Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Minnesota Preservation Award winners
From affordable apartments to luxury hotels, mural restoration to urban archaeology, the 2007 Minnesota Preservation Awards offered up a diverse array of winners last night.

An unprecedented 64 award nominations were received this year more than twice the number of nominations typically received. “The sheer number of award nominations indicates that historic preservation is a growing community reinvestment tool,” said Bonnie McDonald, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota executive director.

The Alliance created a new award this year: the Charles Nelson Award of Excellence, which posthumously honors state historical architect and Alliance board member, Charles Nelson. Nelson, who died in January, was a founding member of the state’s preservation community.

The 2007 Minnesota Preservation Award honorees, in order of award category, are:

Adaptive Reuse Award
• Crane Ordway Apartments, St. Paul
• Riverwood Pines Apartments, Little Falls

Addition/Expansion Award
• Petters Pavilion, Collegeville

Advocacy Award
• Diane O’Brien-Berge, Kasson

Archaeology Award
• Diamond Point Park, Bemidji

Community Effort Award
• Deer Creek Historical Museum, Deer Creek
• Elliot Park Archaeology, Minneapolis
• Marty Aldinger and Deb Raiche, Amboy
• Central Avenue Buildings, Faribault

Restoration/Rehabilitation Award
• Jackson County Courthouse Mural Restoration, Jackson
• Farmers and Mechanics Bank – the Westin Hotel, Minneapolis
• Malcolm Willey House, Minneapolis

Stewardship Award
• Bloomington Old Town Hall, Bloomington
• University of Minnesota – Morris Historic Preservation Plan, Morris

Career Achievement Award
• Richard Berg, Minneapolis

One of the more intriguing winners was the Elliot Park Archaeology project in Minneapolis. Since 2004, Kent Bakken has been the driving force behind one of the most successful community outreach archaeology projects in state history. Bakken, a resident of the neighborhood, began the project as a way of fostering neighborhood awareness and a sense of historical connection. Over the last four years, the project has grown to become a widely-anticipated event in which many neighborhood residents and volunteers, professional archaeologists, and local officials join forces to uncover and appreciate the history of the Elliot Park neighborhood. For more on the project, check out this backgrounder (there are links to previous year's digs) and this Downtown Journal article.

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