Celebrating National Trust Award for Montgomery
December 6, 2012
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (NTHP/ACHP) recognized the Southeast Sunbelt Region with its 2012 Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation for the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Presented on November 2, 2012 in Spokane, Washington, the project was one of 22 award winners honored by the National Trust during its conference. (The New Orleans, Louisiana U.S. Custom House also received an award).
A ceremony was held on Thursday, December 6 in Montgomery, where the local community turned out to recognize the collaboration of all involved partners. The prestigious award was bestowed in the historic courtroom in the Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse next door, where landmark decisions in the civil rights movement were made. The event was an opportunity to involve local participants and honor those who made the museum possible, including the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. District Court, the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and the Greyhound Bus Station Advisory Committee.
National Trust Trustee Sheffield Hale spoke as to the value of historic preservation to American culture and community life, gave an overview of the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station mission, and explained why the NTHP/ACHP gave the award to the project. He theninvited the agency principals/awardees to make remarks about their respective organization’s involvement. Judge Watkins of the U.S. District Courts, Shyam Reddy, GSA’s Regional Administrator, Frank White (AHC) and a representative of the Freedom Rides Museum/Greyhound Bus Station Advisory Committee reciprocated with celebratory comments. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange concluded with observations on the preservation partnership’s significance to the city, then Mr. Hale presented the award, and afterwards, the group adjourned to the museum for staging of the permanent display.
Montgomery Advertiser Links: Celebration Coverage
Article Freedom Rides Museum Honored (Dec. 7, 2012)
Video (Regional Administrator Shyam Reddy)
Photo Gallery Freedom Riders Museum Gets Award
Other Related Links:
National Trust Blog Honoring A Small Bus Station for its Big Contribution to Civil Rights
Alabama 13 National Trust Recognizes Freedom Rides Museum
Cullman Times National Trust Recognizes Freedom Rides Museum
Freedom Rides Museum & Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
In Montgomery, Alabama, two of the Civil Rights Movement’s most significant buildings stand side-by-side: an elegant Federal Courthouse, from which U.S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. presided over crucial civil rights cases, and a modest Greyhound bus station where in 1961 young Freedom Riders used nonviolent methods to protest segregation. In the 1990s, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) began planning for an annex to the Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. The selected site contained several historic properties including the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station. As a result of our collaboration, GSA agreed to retain the Bus Station as part of the court's complex. GSA used the Bus Station during the construction of the Annex and the renovation of the historic Courthouse before outleasing the Bus Station for a Civil Rights Museum for over a decade. (A portion of the Bus Station is also used by the courts as a secure mailroom).
After many years of coordination and consultation, on May 16, 2011, the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just four days later, the Freedom Rides Museum located in the bus station, opened to the public on the 50th anniversary of the historic event (May 20, 2011). The celebration featured remarks from original Freedom Riders, including Congressman John Lewis.
Below is a link to the November 2nd National Trust Award ceremony In Washington - the segment on Montgomery begins a little over 39 minutes in from the beginning of the video. The film that was also shown features a fantastic overview of the two GSA historic properties, the Frank M. Johnson Jr. U.S. Courthouse, and the Greyhound Bus Station, which became the Freedom Rides Museum.
National Trust Award Ceremony November 2, 2012 (Reminder: Slide over to 39 minutes in to view the pertinent Montgomery segment).
Other National Trust Links: