Groups in Fox Lake, Muncie honored for preservation work

Organizations won Indiana Landmarks’ 2024 Sandi Servaas Memorial Awards for impact in communities.

Organizations in the communities of Fox Lake and Muncie have won Indiana Landmarks’ 2024 Sandi Servaas Memorial Awards, recognizing outstanding achievement in historic preservation.

The Fox Lake Preservation Foundation in Steuben County won for its work to raise awareness of Fox Lake, a resort community established for African Americans outside Angola in the early twentieth century.

The Time Travelers program, established by the Ball State CAP Center for Historic Preservation, won for its innovative curriculum aimed at helping children ages 9-12 gain a deeper appreciation for history and their community’s heritage.

As winner of the youth-serving category, the Time Travelers program receives $1,000, and organizational winner Fox Lake Preservation Foundation receives $2,000. Both groups will receive an original sculpture “No Doors to Lock Out the Past” by late Evansville artist John McNaughton.

Established in 1976, the Sandi Servaas Memorial Award honors the dynamic spirit and contributions of former Indiana Landmarks staffer Sandi Servaas, who was working to raise public awareness and support for preservation before her untimely death in 1975.

Fox Lake Preservation Foundation
Beginning in the 1920s, Fox Lake developed outside Angola in northern Indiana as a resort community for African Americans, who were not allowed to vacation at white resorts. Today, it’s classified as a rare surviving Black lake resort in the country, retaining a collection of modest lakeside cottages and untouched natural areas. It remains a special retreat for families that live and summer there.

Seeing how new development has changed the character of similar communities, a group of concerned property owners formed the non-profit Fox Lake Preservation Foundation in 2020 to be proactive in protecting the lake’s natural environment, cultural heritage, and historic architecture.

The foundation has also focused on preserving Fox Lake’s built environment, hiring a professional photographer to document the community’s still-standing historic cottages and advising owners on maintaining them.

“We want Fox Lake to be remembered and remain standing for the next 100 years,” says Kathryn Hawkins, foundation president and third-generation resident. “It’s thrilling to receive this award because I feel like so many people are working to get places of importance on the map, so being recognized for the work we’re doing in this small piece of the world is just so flattering.”

Time Travelers Program
Recruiting the next generation to care about historic places and community heritage can require outside-the-box thinking. In Muncie, children ages 9-12 sculpted building façades in clay, trained camera lenses on column capitals, and practiced building landmarks of their own as part of the Time Travelers program, a workshop series organized by the Ball State CAP Center for Historic Preservation.

Through scavenger hunts and walking tours of downtown, students discovered local landmarks in a new way, learning about architectural details and taking photographs to re-create them in clay. Back at their home base at Madjax, a maker-space located in a historic factory, students explored the building looking for clues to how it developed over time—learning how wood, brick, and stone served as building materials. To test their new-found knowledge of architectural styles and historic details, the Time

Travelers took guided tours of the Cornerstone Center for the Arts and Emily Kimbrough House and neighborhood.

“Kids are sponges. After the program, my sons would point out buildings around downtown, noting architectural details such as turrets and keystones. This made me realize they were seeing their surroundings in a new way,” says Megan Dee Berland, whose sons Owen and Simon participated in the program. “Our family travels quite a bit and they would connect Muncie’s architecture to other cities around the world, both empowered by their knowledge and proud of their hometown.”

“I believe how a community values ‘place’ is intrinsically linked to the health of that given place,” says J.P. Hall, associate professor and leader of the program. “By encouraging students to look around and see what they encounter every day in a different light, we’re planting the seeds about the importance of architecture, design, community, and making quality places.”


About Indiana Landmarks
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, strengthens connections to our diverse 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

Media contact:
Mindi Woolman, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534,


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