On September 22, 2012, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) presented 14 projects and individuals with a Minnesota Preservation Award at a ceremony held at the newly renovated Ford Center in Minneapolis. The Awards recognize significant achievement in historic preservation statewide and celebrate those who have chosen to sustainably reuse and reinvest in our existing built resources.
The Minnesota Preservation Awards Program
This year, more than 50 nominations were received, representing everything from small, community-led projects to large-scale, high-profile rehabilitation efforts. PAM assembled a distinguished panel of jurors for the difficult task of choosing the award winners. The jury, consisting of individuals skilled in the fields of architecture, engineering, historic preservation, and real estate, selected 14 exceptional projects for recognition due to their significant contribution to Minnesota’s preservation accomplishments.
Among those that were honored:
- New Ulm Retail Development Corporation, New Ulm – Main Street Four Point Award
- Willmar Design Center, Willmar – Main Street Design Award
New Ulm Retail Development Corporation (NURDC), a new member of Minnesota Main Street, launched their program as a part of New Ulm’s tourist attraction, Oktoberfest. With the goal to reach both residents and out-of-towners, NURDC sponsored “& More” activities (including interactive learning opportunities with baby penguins!) spread throughout the downtown district that brought a culturally diverse crowd in contact with many of the unique things New Ulm has to offer as a destination.
New Ulm Retail Development Corporation receives top honor in the state
NURDC was named the recipient organization “for having demonstrated exemplary commitment to the protection and preservation of Minnesota’s historic resources” using the Main Street Four Point Approach Award, specifically for its “& More” events (of Oktober
fest 2011). The award was given PAM. “With over fifty applicants vying for the honor, the NURDC’s board of directors and staff were delighted to receive news of the honor,” stated Board Chair, Audra Shaneman. “The board is appreciative of the many community volunteers and sponsor organizations that partnered with the NURDC to make the day of events happen in downtown — both during Oktoberfest 2011 and 2012. Crowds of all ages turned out for an arts and crafts fair, children’s petting zoo, heritage demonstrations, children’s activities and numerous other forms of family-friendly entertainment.”
NURDC’s mission is helping existing retail businesses achieve greater success and attracting additional retail business to the City of New Ulm, thus contributing to a vibrant retail sector, with a particular emphasis on the downtown historic district. NURDC also works to promote, encourage, and assist in community development on a broader scale, recognizing that what strengthens one segment of the community strengthens retail as well. Its goal in doing so is to stimulate retail growth, employment opportunities, and stability for the community. NURDC became a Designated Main Street Program in 2011.
A partnership between the Willmar Design Center and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Willmar has successively demonstrated the difference collaboration can make on preserving existing buildings in a small city. DEED grants matched by private investments were used to fund an initial $1 million investment to work on major systems and facade improvements; since then, a second grant has been awarded and there is now a waiting list to take part in this innovative program.