All application materials must be submitted electronically. The application deadline is May 1, 2023

Each year Preservation North Carolina honors individuals, groups, and organizations active in the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, or interpretation of the state’s architectural environment. Members and friends of Preservation North Carolina are invited to nominate candidates in any one or more of the following award categories:

The Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award
The Robert E. Stipe Professional Award
The L. Vincent Lowe, Jr., Business Award 
The Minnette C. Duffy Landscape Preservation Award 
The Stedman Incentive Grant
The DeWayne H. Anderson, Sr., Award for Housing
The Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit

Recognized contributions should fall into one of the following categories:

Preservation: Significant participation in the rehabilitation, restoration, and/or adaptive use of structures, sites, historic districts, streetscapes, gardens, and/or museum collections (e.g., furnishings linked to a historic structure and used in context).

Leadership: Significant accomplishments in preservation that reflect sustained efforts, high standards, and integrity.

Promotion: Increasing visibility and/or awareness of the state’s historic resources.

Philanthropy: Financial assistance to a preservation project through gifts of money or provisions of special financing.

Research: Significant research or writing, published or otherwise, available to the public, that contributes or may contribute to preservation or restoration.

The Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award, North Carolina’s most prestigious preservation award, is presented to an individual or organization that has made contributions of statewide significance to historic preservation in North Carolina. Originating in 1948, the award is named for Ruth Coltrane Cannon of Concord — president of the North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, 1945-1956 — in recognition of her outstanding contributions to preservation. The recipient receives an engraved pewter cup. The winner’s name is also added to a master Cannon Cup, which now includes a long list of North Carolina notables. Only one Cannon Award is presented each year.

The Robert E. Stipe Professional Award is the highest honor presented to working professionals who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to preservation as part of their job responsibilities. The award was established in 1983 to memorialize the many contributions of Robert E. Stipe of Chapel Hill, an educator in the field of historic preservation and a mentor to a generation of preservation professionals. The award recognizes career men and women who show exceptional leadership and/or dedication to the cause of preservation. Individuals working in the field of historic preservation are eligible, including staff of non-profit preservation organizations, architects, landscape architects, planners, teachers, contractors, craftspeople, consultants, and North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office staff. The recipient receives an engraved plaque and a $500 stipend.

The L. Vincent Lowe, Jr., Business Award is the highest honor presented to a business that assists or promotes historic preservation in North Carolina. Established in 1983 as the North Carolina Business Award, the name was changed in memory of Vince Lowe of Wilson, a longtime supporter of historic causes in North Carolina, who was serving as chairman of Preservation NC’s 50th Anniversary Campaign at the time of his unexpected death in 1989. The Lowe Business Award acknowledges the involvement of the business community in preservation and recognizes businesses that have shown vision, leadership and creativity in promoting the protection of the state’s architectural resources. The recipient receives an engraved plaque.

The Minnette C. Duffy Landscape Preservation Award is the highest honor given for the preservation, restoration or maintenance of landscapes, gardens, streetscapes, or grounds related to historic structures. This award recognizes the importance of the landscape in the preservation of historic structures. First presented in 1987, the award is made possible by the family of the late Minnette Chapman Duffy of New Bern, whose leadership contributed to the reconstruction of Tryon Palace. Landscape architects, preservation organizations, garden clubs, local governments, property owners or volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, research or work in landscape preservation are eligible. The recipient receives an engraved plaque and a $500 stipend.
The Stedman Incentive Grant is awarded to recognize and assist non-profit organizations in their efforts to preserve the state’s architectural heritage. Originating in 1976, the $15,000 award is funded each year by the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation of Greensboro in memory of Mrs. Covington’s father. The grant encourages and facilitates the rescue of endangered historic and architecturally significant properties in North Carolina. Only one Stedman Grant is awarded annually.

Non-profit, tax-exempt organizations that demonstrate initiative in preserving a significant structure or site are eligible for consideration. Proof of initiative includes development of a rehabilitation plan, completion of a fundraising plan, site improvements in progress, acquisition projects, or less-than-fee acquisitions, such as easements. Within one year of the award, the recipient of the Stedman Grant must submit a description of the project with copies of invoices and a report of disbursements. If the grant is used for any purpose other than that stated by the nomination form, the recipient will be liable for reimbursement to Preservation NC.

The DeWayne H. Anderson, Sr., Award for Housing is the highest honor given by Preservation North Carolina for the creation or preservation of housing in historic buildings. This award recognizes the innovative use of historic buildings to create new or updated housing.  Creative affordable or downtown housing solutions through historic preservation are of special interest. First presented in 2023, the award is made possible by the family of the late DeWayne H. Anderson, Sr., of Winston-Salem, whose career and leadership resulted in thousands of units of new housing in historic schools, mills and hospitals across the South.  His adaptive use of Piedmont Leaf Lofts into housing was instrumental in the remarkable revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem.  

The Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit were named in honor of the late Dr. Gertrude S. Carraway, a noted New Bern historian and preservationist. Presented since 1974, a maximum of 12 awards are given each year. These Awards of Merit give deserved recognition to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a genuine commitment to historic preservation through extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/or significant participation in preservation. Each recipient receives a framed certificate.


All materials must be submitted electronically in a single session (you will not be able to save your answers without submitting them) via this online application. Please review the required materials below and have everything prepared for submission before proceeding. 

Required materials:

1. A completed nomination form (this survey form you are in right now).

2. A concise, accurate narrative of 800 words or less about the individual, organization, or project being nominated in Microsoft Word format. The narrative is the basis of the award presentation. If nominating a project, it is helpful to follow a framework of (1) brief historic significance; (2) problem/need; (3) project/solution/outcome; (4) future plans or phases, if applicable. Please be sure to mention how principles of historic preservation were utilized in the project (ie: historic wood windows were retained and restored).  If nominating an individual or organization, please provide qualifying background and list relevant historic preservation experience/projects to indicate the breadth of experience. 

3. At least 10 photos in JPEG or PNG format (300 dpi and HI-RESOLUTION) of presentation quality. This means the file size of the photograph should be at least 800 KB to 1MB file size. The photos are used during the presentation of the award. Please make sure the images provide the best representation of the nomination. These photos should illustrate your nomination from start to finish. For example, if you are nominating a project, please include before and after images. If your nomination mentions a specific feature or person, please make sure there is a corresponding picture to illustrate. Printed photos will not be accepted. Ideally, your submission should include between 10-15 high-quality images of the project/person you are nominating. DO NOT SUBMIT ARTICLES (NEWSPAPER OR OTHERWISE) AS IMAGES.

4. Photo caption file. This can be a PDF or word document but it needs to include a list of all the images you submit (identify each image by the file name). The captions should clearly describe what is being illustrated. If the photo has a credit, please include that exactly as it should be printed. Please keep in mind that the award committee will likely not be familiar with your project or know what they are looking at. Indicate if an image is a "before" or an "after." If nominating a person, please include several pictures of the person in action for the role you want to be recognized. 

4. No more than five supporting brochures, letters of support, website articles, or news clippings. Other potential supporting documents may include but are not limited to Historic Register nomination excerpts (do not attach the full nomination), construction drawings, brochures, and letters of support.

Photographs should illustrate the following:

• For projects – Before and after images showing various interior and exterior views

• For programs – Important sites, products, or other pieces that illustrate the program and its operation

• For individuals – A good image of the nominee and photographs of work for which they are being nominated.  You MUST include at least 1 high-quality photo of the nominee but the more the better.