The Historical Society of Rockland County will soon host the annual Rockland County Executive’s Historic Preservation Merit Awards, now in their 27th year. These awards, presented during National Historic Preservation Month in May, recognize outstanding historic preservation efforts in Rockland County.

HSRC welcomes nominations for and from individuals, organizations, businesses, and municipal representatives for achievements that have contributed to the continued preservation of Rockland County’s significant historical and cultural heritage. Self-nominations are encouraged. Activities, projects, and phases of projects that have been completed in the past 10 years are eligible.


  • Margaret B. and John R. Zehner Award for Historic Contribution: For contributions to the county’s history, and for underscoring the value of historic preservation to the community (usually nominated by the Historic Preservation Merit Awards Committee members).
  • Preservation Leadership: For individuals, groups, and government agencies that display outstanding leadership or continuing contribution to the preservation of historic resources in Rockland County.
  • Preservation/Restoration: Preservation is the maintenance of the historic form, appearance and materials of a property. Restoration is accurately recovering the form or details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by removing non-historic modifications or replacing or reproducing missing earlier work.
  • Continuing Use: Suitable for well-preserved commercial, industrial, and civic structures still used for original or similar functions that have retained their architectural integrity due to continued and sensitive maintenance. Possible examples include corner stores, diners, barbershops, restaurants, banks, and homes.
  • Adaptive Use: For successfully rehabilitating a property to a state of utility through repair or sympathetic alterations that makes an efficient new use possible while preserving those portions or features of the property that are significant to its historical, architectural, and cultural values.
  • Rehabilitation (new category): Acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property’s historic character.
  • Rescue: For historic sites or structures rescued from possible demolition and being reclaimed for further use.
  • Artisan: In recognition of those craftsmen, such as tinsmiths, masons, carpenters, and finishers, who use traditional materials and methods in the preservation process.


  • Nominations must be submitted to the HSRC with photographs and supporting information.
  • Activities and properties must be located within Rockland County and must have historical or architectural significance. However, they do not have to be designated historical in any way (such as being on local, state, or national registers).
  • Nominations can include buildings, districts, structures (e.g., bridges, roads, industrial structures, greenhouses, etc.), sites (e.g., archaeological, battlefield, designed gardens, park, landscapes), objects (e.g., monuments, sculptures, boats), or individuals involved in preservation activities.


The selection criteria for the awards will include, but will not be limited to,

  • Extent to which appropriate preservation standards and techniques have been adhered. This includes the extent to which available historical resources in design and materials have been incorporated, as well as how sensitively historic building materials have been treated.
  • The extent of “before” and “after” conditions.
  • Degree of positive influence on the community.


All winners will be invited to attend the awards ceremony and country supper on Sunday, May 21, 2017. The Historical Society will prepare and distribute publicity material to local media. An edition of the HSRC’s quarterly history journal, South of the Mountains, will highlight the award winners.

To contact the Rockland County Executive’s Historic Preservation Merit Awards Committee, email director@rocklandhistory.org or call the Historical Society at 845-634-9629.

All submissions must include complete contact information (daytime and evening) for the individual(s) making the nomination. Submissions with supporting material can be mailed to:

County Executive’s Historic Preservation Merit Awards
c/o Historical Society of Rockland County
20 Zukor Road
New City, NY 10956

Entries postmarked after March 1, 2017, may be considered for the 2018 award program.

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