All application materials must be submitted electronically by March 31, 2024.

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 DeWayne H. Anderson, Sr., Award for Housing
The Alexa Aycock Grassroots Leadership Award
The Stedman Incentive Grant
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 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 Alexa Aycock Grassroots Leadership Award
is the highest honor presented to an individual that has been a catalyst and leader in generating community engagement and support of historic preservation at the local level through advocacy and education. This award recognizes the importance of grassroots preservation campaigns to the success and continuation of the preservation movement across the state. First presented in 2024 by the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation of Greensboro, the award comes with a $500 stipend and an additional $500 award directed to a historic preservation organization or project of the recipient’s choice. The award is possible by the Covington Foundation in honor of Alexa Aycock, who served as the Foundation’s grants coordinator and Executive Director for more than 30 years. The foundation funded more than $4.7 million in grants to preservation projects under Alexa’s leadership. 

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 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, 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.

Nomination deadline: March 31, 2024.

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 500 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) and credits/source details for each photo. The captions should clearly describe what is being illustrated. Please include a credit line for every image you submit, 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. Up to five supporting materials including: letters of support, news articles, videos, etc. Other potential supporting documents may include but are not limited to Historic Register nomination excerpts (do not attach the full nomination), construction drawings, and brochures. Letters of support are strongly recommended to demonstrate community 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
Each nomination will be scored by the committee according to the following considerations:
  • Complete Nomination: Are all requested components included? Is the application organized and easy to follow? Are there an adequate number of photos to reflect the nomination and are they labeled (historic, before-and-after’s, people at work, etc)? Is the narrative succinct and to the point?
  • Statewide significance: Degree to which the individual/organization/project has a statewide significance and impact. This may not apply to Carraway awards, but should be a consideration for the “Big 7” awards where only one is awarded each year. 
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: Does the nomination reflect inclusivity? Does the individual, organization or project reflect the history, successes or stories of more than one group of North Carolinians?
  • Community support: Is there documented support from the local or statewide community for the individual/organization or project? Specifically reflected through letters of support, events, documented community input, etc.
  • Preservation best practices: Does the individual/organization or project illustrate best practices in historic preservation? Strict adherence to Secretary of the Interior Standards is not necessary, but a project should be distinguished as a preservation project as opposed to a renovation project. A person or organization should have a background of support for preservation.
  • Creativity and innovation: Does the individual, organization or project illustrate a creative approach or new method of historic preservation?
  • Impact: This is the WOW factor – does the individual, organization, or project illustrate a remarkable transformation, long advocacy effort or career?