About the Historic Preservation and Restoration Awards | Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

About the Historic Preservation and Restoration Awards

Submission Guidelines

About the Historic Preservation and Restoration Awards | Wisconsin Historical Society
Enlarge Exterior view of First Congregational Church in winter.

First Congregational Church, 1962 ca.

Exterior view of First Congregational Church in winter. View the original source document: WHI 29299

The Wisconsin Historical Society invites nominations of exemplary projects that have restored or preserved a part of the Wisconsin's historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural heritage. Three awards will be given each year, two for historic restoration and one for historic preservation.


  • Property must be in Wisconsin
  • Nominated work must have been done in the last two years and must be completed
  • Property must be listed on or be determined eligible for the State Register of Historic Places or be listed in a certified municipal register of historic properties

Eligibility for Historic Restoration Award

This award will recognize two Wisconsin restoration projects each year. One category of award will be for projects with a total cost under $1 million and the other category will be for projects with a total cost over $1 million. Eligible projects should involve comprehensive work to restore a historic building, structure, object or site. Examples of eligible projects include the restoration of a historic house, commercial building, bridge, statue, a designed landscape, or a burial mound. Routine maintenance, such as painting or reroofing, is not considered restoration work for the purposes of this award.

Historic Restoration Award Criteria
  • The quality of rehabilitation, reconstruction of missing features, or conversion to new use
  • Inclusion of strong elements of restoration of the form, features and character of a property
  • If project includes the reconstruction of missing features, the work must be done accurately and sources documenting the property's historic appearance should be provided if available
  • Work must substantially comply with the Secretary of the Interior's standards or, in the case of objects and archaeological sites, comply with other accepted professional conservation standards

Eligibility for Historic Preservation Award

This award will recognize the best work in protecting a threatened historic property in Wisconsin. The historic property may be a building, structure, object, site or district. Commendable community and individual efforts such as advocacy, fund raising, creation of a protective ordinance, physical stabilization, and repair will be recognized.

Historic Preservation Award Criteria
  • The degree to which projects have overcome a significant, tangible threat to the historic resource (the type and degree of the threat to the property should be identified)
  • The degree to which the project has successfully protected a historic resource from harm
  • The degree to which efforts have been made to ensure the future protection of the property through fund raising, covenants, reuse, and rehabilitation plans or other measures

Due Date

March 10 of each year (postmarked or delivered)

How to apply

Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form (PDF, 122 KB). Please attach the following:

  1. Description of the project in 500 words or less. Describe any special restoration or preservation techniques, research, or difficult problems that were overcome. If the property was threatened, identify the type and degree of the threat to the property. Note any special efforts or plans to ensure the future protection of the property.
  2. Four to 10 color photographs or digital images showing the historic property before and after the project was completed. Digital images must be at least 300dpi and 480 by 600 pixels. No materials will be returned, and the Society reserves the right to use the images in publications, Web sites and databases.
  3. Copies of historic photographs of the property if available. Please cite the source of the photographs.
  4. If the property is not listed on the State or National Register, documentation showing the property is eligible for listing on the registers, or that the property is listed on a certified municipal register.
  5. Other documentation, such as magazine or newspaper clippings, photographs or brochures that support or explain the achievements of the nominee.
Send applications to:

Historic Preservation Awards Committee
State Historic Preservation Office
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Awards are initially reviewed by a committee of judges appointed by the Society and then approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Curators.

The date and presentation of the award will be made at a time and location convenient for the recipient. Employees and members of the Board of Curators of the Wisconsin Historical Society are not eligible to receive awards.

Recent Award Winners

Read about the recent Historic Preservation Award and Historic Restoration Award winners.

Have Questions?

For more information, contact Ian Gort or write to the address above.