Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield, Iowa to Receive Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to present award at its national conference

Posted on November 8th, 2013 11:06 am

Posted October 25, 2013 | Contact pr@savingplaces.org or 202-588-6141

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of the Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield, Iowa. The project is one of 18 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2013 National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis, IN.

In recent years, the challenges facing Greenfield, Iowa mirrored those in many small farming communities across the nation: erosion of its local economic foundation, a declining and aging population and a resulting lack of professional and cultural opportunities. In the face of these challenges, the community took action by preserving the historic E.E. Warren Opera House. Built in 1896, this Romanesque-inspired building was a local landmark for decades, but eventually time took its toll and the building was showing its age.

When Greenfield was made a Main Street Iowa community in 1996, the town redoubled its efforts to preserve the Opera House. Led entirely by volunteers, the E.E. Warren Opera House Association raised $4.5 million – an astonishing feat for a rural community of less than 2,000 people. The project’s diverse mix of private and public funding – including state and federal historic tax credits – enabled an expert rehabilitation. The project also catalyzed several other downtown rehabs, including a boutique hotel and new restaurant Best of all, the Warren Cultural Center’s success has elevated the arts locally, revived the town square and transformed the town’s future – proving how a committed group of people can accomplish anything.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Whether it’s the spectacular restoration of an iconic public library in St. Louis or the transformation of a warehouse into housing for previously homeless residents in Detroit, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places bolsters local economies and creates jobs in communities across the country.”

The award will be presented to the E.E.Warren Opera House Association at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind., on November 1,2013..

Co-recipients are: Greenfield Chamber of Commerce and Main Street; INVISION Architecture; the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office; and Lang Construction Group.

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizens’ attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.

The 2013 National Preservation Award Winners:

Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: Richard Moe, Washington, D.C.

National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Presidio Public Health Service District, San Francisco, Calif.

The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Historic Preservation: Alison King, Phoenix, Ariz.

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation: Don Worth – Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, Miami, Fl.

National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Riverside Plaza, Minneapolis, Minn.

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Tony Goldman Award: The Maritime, New Orleans, LA.

Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM.


African Meeting House, Boston Massachusetts

Boyle Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Fort Sam Houston, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Indiana Landmarks Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

Kelly Cullen Community, San Francisco, California

NSO Bell Building, Detroit, Michigan

Ogden High School, Ogden, Utah

St. Augustine Mission, Los Lunas, New Mexico

St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, Missouri

Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield, Iowa


To find out more, go to: www.PreservationNation.org/awards