GSA Receives Two Prestigious National Preservation Awards
On November 2, 2012 at its annual awards ceremony in Spokane, Washington, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized GSA for two recently completed projects.
The Greyhound Bus Station/Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, received the National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation. Initiated through Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties, the sustained partnership between GSA and the Alabama Historic Commission (AHC) resulted in the reuse of the nationally significant bus station associated with the Freedom Rides of 1961 as a museum exploring the civil rights movement, providing a model for collaboration, preservation and interpretation. Leased to the AHC for a nominal fee, the building also houses a secure mail facility for the Frank M. Johnson Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust, applauded “the visionary leadership of federal and private partners that successfully transformed a once-humble bus station into a place where future generations will be able to learn about an important chapter in our nation’s history.”
The New Orleans U.S. Custom House was one of 22 projects nationwide to receive a Preservation Honor Award. Transforming response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster into an unforeseen opportunity, GSA and its partners expanded the scope of a modest project to comprehensively rehabilitate and restore the damaged, vacant 1881 U.S. Custom House, giving new life to the National Historic Landmark and the surrounding historic neighborhoods of New Orleans. “The Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable” and, Meeks noted, “demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and creating jobs.”
Chartered by Congress in 1949 and privately funded, the National Trust is the country’s leading historic preservation organization.