2024 Preservation at its Best Nominations Open

2024 “Preservation at Its Best Awards”: Nomination Guidelines


Preservation Iowa, a statewide non-profit advocate for historic preservation, welcomes nominations to honor preservation success stories across the state through our Annual Preservation at its Best (PAIB) Awards. An independent jury selects award recipients. Awards will be presented at the 2024 Preserve Iowa Summit to be held on June 6-8, 2024 in Mount Pleasant. In doing so, we hope to inspire others to take action to preserve, protect, and promote Iowa’s historic resources.

NOMINATION FORM DOWNLOADS (Note – you may need to RIGHT-CLICK on the link and select “Download”.  Contact jim@coachdavies.net if you have technical difficulties):


  • To qualify for a PAIB Award, a project must:
    Demonstrate outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation.
  • Be located in Iowa and be completed between January 1, 2022 and March 30, 2024.
  • Construction projects (rehabilitation, restoration, adaptive reuse) should meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Property owner(s) must be notified by the nominator before submission of the nomination, so they can be notified of the nomination status.


Adaptive Use – Conversion of a historic structure for a new or compatible use while retaining its architectural integrity. This category could include a mixed-use project.

Commercial (Small and Large) – Rehabilitation/restoration of a historic commercial structure. Commercial awards are given for both small structure (under 5,000 total square feet) and large structure (5,000 or more over total square feet). This category could include a mixed-use project.

Institutional – Rehabilitation/restoration of a publicly/government owned structure.

Residential Structure (Single/Multi-Family) – Rehabilitation/restoration and continued use of a residential structure. Residential awards may be considered for single family homes as well as multi-family structures.

Maurice Losey Sacred Place – Rehabilitation/restoration/reuse of a sacred site, sacred ground, sacred space, holy ground, or holy place, place of religious assembly such as a church, synagogue, mosque or other related property.

Paula Mohr Certified Local Government – Honors invaluable contributions by a person or organization to Iowa’s CLG Program and to historic preservation locally, statewide, regionally, and nationally.

Community Effort – A community’s concerted effort to save a historic structure, district, or cultural resource. Nominating groups could include, but are not limited to, downtown organizations, historic preservation commissions, city/county governments, development groups, neighborhood associations, preservation groups, etc.

Rural Preservation – Preservation or restoration of Iowa rural landscape, heritage or built environment.

Sustainability in Preservation – Incorporation of sustainable practices into the rehabilitation/restoration of a historic structure. Project does not need to be LEED certified to be considered for award but nomination does need to demonstrate sustainable practices used in project. Award can be made to any typology of building project.

Martha Hayes Preservationist of the Year Award – Individual or group that has championed historic preservation planning, policy or activities in Iowa.

Special Projects – Films, Books, Websites, Podcasts, Plays, etc. that tell Iowa’s stories and promote the preservation of Iowa’s historic resources.


Preservation Iowa invites a jury of preservation experts to review nominations for the Preservation at Its Best Awards. This panel of judges will also place nominations in their respective categories to give each project its highest scoring potential.

Projects will be judged on degree of historic preservation excellence, community impact, quality of work completed and thoroughness of the nomination submitted. Honorable mentions or multiple awards may be given if decided upon by the panel of judges.

Check out some past winning nominees on the Preservation Iowa website at: http://www.preservationiowa.org/programs/preservation-at-its-best-awards/


Tell a compelling, succinct story that demonstrates the impact of your project. The PAIB Awards convey the value of historic preservation to a statewide audience. Successful nominations make a persuasive case for the importance of their project’s story, encompassing its: historical context, specific goals and challenges, benefits to the people in the community and in Iowa, and lessons learned.

Describe the project’s scope of work clearly and completely. If you are nominating a project with multiple components, please include an explanation of each of the project’s elements. Remember to coordinate with other members of the project team, if needed.

Use a range of descriptive, high-quality photos. The photos in the nomination are often the only way that the jury can visualize a project. In addition to historic views and before/after shots, please include photos of the project in process and with people in them, as these will help bring the story to life.


There are no nomination fees.


YOUR Project’s Name should be used in the names of your nomination files.
**Please do not label your folder “2024 Preservation Awards.”

Submit one (1) copy of your completed nomination consisting of the following three (3) parts:

  • Part 1. Project Information file named “1_Project Information_YOUR Project’s Name”
  • Part 2. Project Team Contact Information file named “2_Project Team_YOUR Project’s Name”
  • Part 3. Project Photos file named “3_Project Photos_YOUR Project’s Name”

Our preference is to receive your completed Nomination as one email with a nomination zip file labeled with YOUR Project’s Name, or one email with the three (3) parts attached. If these options won’t work for you, the nomination may be sent as three (3) emails with one part attached to each email.

EMAIL DEADLINE: Monday, April 15, 2024 to jim@coachdavies.net We confirm receipt of all nominations via email. If you do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, please contact Jim Davies at jim@coachdavies.net or by phone or text at 641-425-4707.

Submission of a nomination gives Preservation Iowa permission to use the information in our programming. Submission of a nomination does not guarantee a project will be selected for an award.