Preservationists in Indy, Noblesville, Attica Honored

Indiana Landmarks awards prizes at annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Indiana Landmarks presented the annual Servaas Memorial Awards for achievement in historic preservation and the Williamson Prize for outstanding individual leadership in historic preservation on Sept. 10 at the organization’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.

For 40 years, preservation and community revitalization have driven Sallie Rowland, the winner of the 2017 Williamson Prize. As head of Rowland Design, an architecture and interior design firm in Indianapolis from which she is now retired, Rowland directed high-profile restoration projects across the state.

As a volunteer, she led the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission beginning in the late 1970s, a turbulent period when local designation of historic districts caused such high emotion that public hearings required security. “She relied on fairness and calm rationality to steer the commission’s designation of landmarks and historic districts, including Circle Theatre, Union Station, Chatham-Arch, Fletcher Place, Wholesale District, and the Old Northside,” noted Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis, who presented the award.

“Back then, people wanted to tear down historic buildings in favor of new buildings or even just surface parking lots. Folks who favored preservation were viewed as obstructionists and anti-progress. Now people see the value in saving and repurposing historic places,” Rowland noted.

“Sallie Rowland played a major role in that transformation,” said Davis, “in part by injecting joy into the process of preserving historic places.” She has remained active as a leader in preservation, steering the successful initiative to create design guidelines for downtown Indianapolis, serving six years on Indiana Landmarks’ board, and co-chairing its last capital campaign.

Randall Shepard, Indiana Landmarks’ honorary chairman and head of the awards panel, credited Rowland’s gutsiness 40 years ago, and commended her steadfast commitment and leadership in the decades since. “Her positive, intentional and pragmatic vision for preservation has made an extraordinary difference.”.

The Williamson Prize includes a $1000 cash award and the Williamson Prize sculpture by Evansville artist John McNaughton. The award is named in honor of Reid Williamson, president of Indiana Landmarks from 1973 to 2005. Under his leadership, Indiana Landmarks created regional offices, and grew in membership, staff, and endowment.

At the same event, Shepard presented a Servaas Memorial Award in the nonprofit organization category to Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), along with $2,000. “The organization creates housing for low-income people in the wealthiest county in the state—a steep challenge when census data sends grant funds elsewhere,” Davis noted.

HAND has restored three historic buildings to provide low-income apartments and revived a blighted area in downtown Noblesville. The Roper Lofts occupy two formerly deteriorated vacant buildings, 304 and 347 South Eighth Street, built c.1870 and c.1898 respectively.

HAND expanded its presence on the block, tackling a late-nineteenth century building across the street that had been vacant 10 years. “We applaud HAND’s restoration standards and its commitment to combining low-income housing, preservation, and community revitalization,” commented Davis. HAND’s executive Director Jennifer Miller accepted the award.

Fountain County Landmarks received the Servaas Award in the youth-serving category. The nonprofit organization recognized nearly 30 years ago that the future of Attica would eventually depend on those who were in elementary school at the time. “Fountain County Landmarks created a program to introduce students to Attica’s history and landmarks, one that continues to improve and expand,” noted Randall Shepard, honorary chairman of Indiana Landmarks, who presented the award.

Shepard also pointed out that this is the second Servaas Memorial Award for Fountain County Landmarks, which also received the recognition in 1990; the group is one of only four organizations to repeat as winners in the 41-year history of the award.

The program takes fourth graders on a walking tour that leads them to Cottrell Village, a museum complex with a restored church, houses, an outhouse, smokehouse and garden. In the following two years, elementary student council members become docents at the village.  “The program establishes the value of historic places in the minds of young children,” declared Marsh Davis, Indiana Landmarks’ president.

For Attica’s Sesquicentennial, retired teachers and Fountain County Landmarks volunteers Lee Bauerband and Carolyn Carlson created a more intensive new curriculum in 2015 and 2016, adding more field trips to local landmarks. “Attica’s citizens, young and old, are more appreciative of the community’s past, and better prepared to preserve it, because of this program,” said Carlson, a sentiment echoed by two former mayors and the school superintendent.

Bauerband and Carlson accepted the award for Fountain County Landmarks, along with a $1,000 cash prize and the Servaas sculpture by Indiana artist John McNaughton. In celebration, the group will hold a reunion for current and former students and docents, “Attica History Kids,” 5-6 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Old Church in Cottrell Village, followed by a band concert in McDonald Park at 6:30 p.m.


Media contacts:
Tina Connor, Executive Vice President, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534,

Sallie Rowland, 317-545-5880,

Lee Bauerband, Fountain County Landmarks, 765-762-3201,

Dennis Kovar, President, Fountain County Landmarks,

Andrea Davis, Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND),, 317-674-8108, 317-698-1440 (mobile)


Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit



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