Sandi Servaas Memorial Award

Outstanding Achievement

Indiana Landmarks’ Servaas Memorial Award recognizes outstanding achievement in historic preservation in two categories.

Exhibit Columbus Servaas Award winners 2016
The Columbus Area Visitors Center received a Servaas Memorial Award for supporting preservation of the city's Mid-Century Modern architectural legacy. (Photo: Columbus Area Visitors Center)

Servaas Memorial Award Criteria

The Sandi Servaas Memorial Award recognizes outstanding achievement in historic preservation, interpreted broadly to encompass a wide range of activities and accomplishments, in two categories. In both categories, we welcome self nominations.

Organizational category

In the nonprofit public institution, or public agency category, activities—individually or in combination—that might warrant a nomination include but are not limited to:

  • projects that saved or protected a historic place;*
  • campaigns, programs or events that substantially raised preservation awareness in a community;
  • advocacy to save an endangered place;
  • downtown and neighborhood revitalization programs.

The judges look for a compelling narrative that conveys how the nominee:

  • displayed high standards and success in historic preservation;
  • revitalized a neighborhood, town or place, or otherwise had a positive
  • impact on the community.

The award in the organizational category comes with $2,000 and the Servaas Memorial Award sculpture, “No Doors to Lock out the Past,” by Evansville artist John McNaughton.

Youth category

In the youth-serving category, the award for achievement in historic preservation might go to a teacher, a student, a school or youth-serving organization for a preservation-related program. Winners in this category have included a 12-year-old boy who analyzed the energy efficiency of historic windows and presented his findings in a paper and presentation; a high school that involved students in research and writing about historic places for tourism promotion; and a nonprofit organization that offers an annual summer enrichment program for elementary students centered on preservation.

The judges seek youths involved in preservation in a deep, meaningful way.  For schools and youth-serving agency nominees, judges prefer programs that engage young people in preservation or elevate their appreciation of landmarks, with special points for programs that are ongoing rather than one-and-done.

The award in the youth category comes with $1,000 and the Servaas Memorial Award sculpture. Indiana Landmarks presents the Servaas Memorial Award at our September annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Nomination Deadline

The nomination deadline for the Servaas Memorial Award is May 19, 2017. Download the nomination form here.

Servaas Memorial Award Background

At her untimely death in 1975, Sandi Servaas worked for Indiana Landmarks, generating public awareness and support for preservation. To remember Sandi’s contributions and dynamic spirit, Indiana Landmarks and the Servaas family established the annual Sandi Servaas Memorial Award in 1976.

*For stellar brick-and-mortar transformation of a landmark, Indiana Landmarks gives the Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration, presented each year in April. For individual leadership in preservation, we present the Williamson Prize each September.