Preservation Awards


2019 Preservation Awards

Good Works of Preservation

The 2019 New Haven Preservation Trust Preservation Awards honor those who are doing good works in the world and doing the hard work of preserving our architectural heritage. From a home for those who could not otherwise afford a place to live — Habitat for Humanity saved an 1831 oysterman house, to Lyric Hall that has been reconstituted as a cultural resource — not only for the many performances it now accommodates, but as a piece of our history, to the 1930 home of the New Haven Museum which has been the subject of ongoing restoration over a generation, and lastly to the bold decision by Yale University to fully restore its Divinity School. Buildings are not just style, they can manifest our better angels. Historic preservation is not just about architecture and technology, or even history, historic preservation is the saving of who we are as a culture — at the essence of all good works that we do in that cause.


2018 Preservation Awards 

Saving New Haven

When buildings are torn down, history is lost — this year's awards celebrate when (and how) history is saved. From the Hague house on Foster Street where the 1940s equivalent of vinyl once killed the extraordinary work of a 1886 joiner, or the salvation of the lone original piece of the 1868 Trinity Home in the embrace of a brand new housing development, or the promise of reviving John Johansen’s extraordinary Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ, when we save buildings we live history. And Karyn Gilvarg has lived history in perhaps the most personally effective way imaginable as one of New Haven’s most thoughtful parts of city government, saving untold numbers of history’s gifts to live into our cultural future. Awards recognize what has been done, but also can underscore our values, now and in the future: the 2018 Historic Preservation Awards do both.


2017 Preservation Awards

At Home with History: Living in New Haven

There is no more essential purpose for a building than as a place to live. New Haven has a remarkable housing stock of every type and style. Throughout history private residences are often a source of great pride no matter how modest. Shared accommodations has allowed people of modest means, shared infirmity, or student status housing, and has been part of New Haven for over 200 years. Given the new focus on building places to live in New Haven, New Haven Preservation Trust celebrates the history of urban living in this year’s Preservation Awards. Homes both grand and small, preservation of Yale’s lone mid-century Modernist residential college, and a local hero of both neighborhood and single family residential preservation are honored in this year’s program.


2016 Preservation Awards

Adapt or Die: Changing Use and Applying Technology to Preserve New Haven’s Architectural Legacy

Darwin had it right: without adaptation living things do not survive. To keep New Haven’s architectural legacies alive and to contribute to the city’s cultural environment, buildings need to accept adaptation. They can become museums to the past, change to be useful in the present, or they can be gone forever. These awards celebrate the middle ground of adaptation, enabling them to live on in our midst.

Irrelevancy threatened three iconic structures in New Haven. Unless these significant pieces of architecture were thoughtfully adapted, their viability and value would be compromised. When a building loses value, it often becomes a liability: and liabilities are often removed. 

It’s a simple reality: adapt or die. Thoughtless adaptation ruins the reason to save our legacy buildings; these three buildings have been thoughtfully updated without being desecrated, and The New Haven Preservation Trust salutes their owners.


2015 Preservation Awards

Restoration as a Window to History: Celebrating the Provenance of Buildings by Their Restoration 

Buildings manifest a time and place. Three projects in New Haven are being renovated with a level of care and intelligence that rises to the level of restoration. Beyond style and appearance, history is found in the way historic structures were conceived and crafted. Restorations of the materials, techniques and methods used to build make history present again in the here and now.  

A home, a parish hall, and a private library do not have a common purpose, but in restoration they have a common message: history is well served when it is taken seriously in the renewal of our threatened buildings. Rather than simulate the techniques and effects of 19th century construction technology, these heroic and ongoing efforts often retain their original craft and materials originally implemented in their building.

Taking advantage of technology where it is invisible, the net effect is the salvation of not only the building, but its era's means and methods of construction. When these buildings were renovated, it took the extreme commitment of their owners to recapture their original craftsmanship and detailing rather than “paper over” history. The New Haven Preservation Trust is privileged to recognize the restoration of three unique parts of our city's heritage.


2014 Preservation Awards

New Haven Preservation Trust recognizes three projects that focus on the individual and civic risk-taking that preserves and enhances life in New Haven, and that are emblematic of larger effort to save historic resources — many, following decades of commitment.


Margaret Flint Award

Given in memory of Margaret Flint, a founding member of the New Haven Preservation Trust and an indomitable advocate for saving New Haven’s historic landmarks, the Margaret Flint Award is presented to an individual or organization whose support of preservation in the City of New Haven has contributed to the integrity of the community, the protection of its historic resources, and an appreciation of its history.

Doris Townshend (1985)

Elizabeth Mills Brown (1986)

Vincent Scully (1988)

Marianne and Richard Mazan (1991)

Gilbert Kenna (1991)

Elise Parker (1991)

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (2017)

Karyn Gilvarg (2018)