Historic Preservation awards presented

Historic Preservation awards presented The Clay County Board of Commissioners and Clay County Historic Preservation Commission have announced the 2003 recipients of the county's annual historic preservation awards.

These awards recognize the exemplary contributions of individuals and organizations for historic preservation in Vermillion and Clay County. This year, seven awards were presented to worthy recipients.

They include: Dan Christopherson � Preservationist of the Year; The University of South Dakota � Organization of the Year; Dean and Judy Clark � urban residential preservation at 103 Willow St., Vermillion; Roger Jeck � urban residential preservation at 23 and 25 Elm St., Vermillion; Red Shirt, Inc./Carey's Bar � commercial preservation at 18 and 20 West Main Street, Vermillion; Alex Ufford � agricultural preservation at 31828 Fairview Ave., Fairview Township; and the Vermillion Area Arts Council � miscellaneous/other preservation at the Washington Street Arts Center, 202 Washington St., Vermillion.

The Preservationist of the Year and Organization of the Year are new award categories this year. The intent of these awards is to recognize the exceptional and lasting contributions of people and organizations that protect and/or enhance the historic resources of Clay County. These two awards will be presented on an "as warranted" basis and may not be distributed every year.

The 2003 recipients � Christopherson and The University of South Dakota � have clearly exhibited the qualities for which these special awards were conceived.

Christopherson served as project manager for the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission (CCHPC) to establish the Downtown Vermillion Historic District and listing on the National Register of Historic Places. He also renovated buildings in the downtown area of Vermillion to serve as commercial and residential properties, reversing the deterioration and decay process for and extending the functional life of the historic structures. In addition, Christopherson volunteered as the project manager for the CCHPC's very popular National Register of Historic Places plaque program.

The University of South Dakota was recognized for its restoration/renovation work on several campus buildings (Old Main, Old Armory and New Armory � redesignated as the Al Neuharth Media Center) and new campus lighting and signage.

The Clay County Historic Preservation Commission expresses its gratitude and thanks First National Bank-Vermillion and CorTrust Bank of Vermillion for their generous donations to this year's historic preservation awards program. Their donations permitted the CCHPC to purchase engraved, wooden plaques that were presented to Christopherson and The University of South Dakota.

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