Outstanding examples of recent historic preservation projects are being sought for awards for preservation excellence.
"These awards are a way to reward and promote those owners and organizations that are improving historic properties in our city," said Logan Smith, president of the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission. "This is one positive step toward our goal of encouraging the community to value and care for historic properties."
The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission is seeking nominations of projects that highlight best practices in historic preservation.
Categories include "Best Downtown Development Award" for the most improved downtown building, "Best Old House Award" for excellence in historic preservation of a private residence, "Best Investment in Preservation" for excellence in historic preservation of a commercial site, "Best Not-for-Profit Project" for excellence in historic preservation by a not-for-profit organization, "The City Beautiful Award" for outstanding landscape and streetscape enhancements to an individual historic property or an area within or adjacent to a historic district, "Volunteer of the Year Award" for dedicated service that furthers historic preservation in the city of Elkins, "The Momentum Award" for significant contributions toward the future of historic Elkins by a public or not-for-profit organization, and "The Good Neighbor Award" for historically sensitive new construction within or adjacent to a historic district.
Projects being nominated should be substantially completed within the last two years; should emphasize appropriate preservation practices in renovation, restoration and rehabilitation; and should involve properties listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Nominations may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail to EHLC, PO Box 1863, Elkins WV 26241 or hand delivered to the Darden House, 421 Davis Ave. or to any Landmarks Commission member. Nominations should be submitted by May 1.
Award winners will be announced and honored at the biennial Toast to Preservation awards reception at 4 p.m. May 22 at the Darden House.
The Toast to Preservation event is one of three activities for May Preservation Month being planned and hosted by Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission.
On May 6, a Historic Preservation for Realtors training is being offered at the Darden House. The free training, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will offer information about historic preservation issues for Realtors and others interested in historic properties. This training has been approved for continuing education units for Realtors. Training will be provided by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation office. Funding for the workshop is provided by the National Park Service and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
At 6 p.m. May 30, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation office will host a public meeting at the Randolph County Community Arts Center to seek comments regarding the states historic preservation comprehensive plan and ideas for the direction of historic preservation efforts for the next five years. Input from the meetings and surveys will be used to draft a new comprehensive plan, which will be finalized by June 2014.
All of those active or interested in historic preservation are urged to attend. A questionnaire to provide comments is available at www.wvculture.org/shpo/shpoindex.aspx or by calling 304-558-0240.
May was established as Preservation Month in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission joins other preservation groups, historical societies, business and civic organizations across the country in planning events to promote historic places for the purpose of instilling national and community pride, promoting heritage tourism and showing the social and economic benefits of historic preservation.
The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission is the municipal commission entrusted by the people of Elkins to support historic properties and their owners within Elkins. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. every third Wednesday at the Darden House, 421 Davis Ave.
The Commission Preservation Resource Library, at the Darden House, is stocked with literature and materials concerning historic maintenance and repair. The library currently is open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, or by appointment. All are welcome. More information is available at www.historicelkins.org.