WASHINGTON — The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships to the National Park Service’s Moton Field, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, in Tuskegee, Ala. The award is one of 23 to be bestowed by the National Trust during its 2010 National Preservation Conference in Austin, Texas, next week.
During World War II, Moton Field was where the famed Tuskegee Airmen learned to fly. These African American pilots—along with the gunners, navigators, mechanics and others who worked alongside them—signed up to fight in a global war. Some of their toughest battles, however, were fought at home. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Trainees at Moton Field faced hostility, resistance and poor treatment, but they persevered, learned to fly and served their country with honor. The accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II helped pave the way for full integration of African Americans in the U.S. military.
Since acquiring Moton Field in the 1990s, the National Park Service has worked in partnership with a private architectural/engineering firm, local government, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Tuskegee University and others to preserve the airfield. Eight badly deteriorated buildings were restored or rehabbed, another was completely reconstructed, and four missing buildings were conceptually interpreted. Postwar additions were removed, and the original landscape plan is being reinstated. Throughout the site, special care was taken to provide the required visitor infrastructure with the least possible impact on the site’s historic integrity.
“The Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy was born from the struggle of hard-won battles,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Thanks to thoughtful work by dedicated partners, Moton Field allows visitors to experience a special place where a new American identity took shape, and, because of that work, the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site takes its rightful place among America’s treasures.”
“Partnerships among diverse interests in pursuit of the best outcome for the greater good are essential for the proper functioning of both historic preservation and federal agencies, and that’s why the preservation of Moton Field is such a worthy recipient and exemplar of the federal partnerships award,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
The 2010 National Preservation Awards are sponsored by American Express. Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, said, “Congratulations to all 23 award recipients for their extraordinary work in protecting America’s heritage. As American Express expands its commitment to historic preservation, we’re honored to recognize the dedicated individuals who are saving places that matter across the nation.”
The award presented to Moton Field is bestowed jointly by the National Trust and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), which advises the President and the Congress on national historic preservation policy. The award will be presented to Sandy Taylor, National Park Service Superintendent of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field, at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Austin, Texas, on Friday, October 29, at 6PM CST. Co-recipients are: Robert A. Bass, President, Hartrampf, Inc. and Nationview.
The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear in the January/February issue of Preservation Magazine and online at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.