Over the weekend, building crews took a break from working on new high-rises headed for the downtown Sarasota skyline. And at the same time, acts of historic preservation were celebrated.

Along with nominations from the public, a jury of local architecture and history experts and advocates pored over this year’s historic preservation project applications to decide which might earn a Heritage Award from Sarasota County. Four stood out, and were announced the winners at a luncheon at the Sarasota Garden Club last weekend.

Applicants’ projects were judged for their success in the rehabilitation, restoration or adaptive use of a historical building, and judges took into account the impact of the project on the community.

“It’s important to celebrate these successes and is a way to share information about the people and places working to preserve our heritage,” says Lorrie Muldowney, chair of the awards committee and immediate past president of the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation. 

In most cases, it would have financially behooved the winners to tear down the once-sagging, neglected buildings and start over, but these were “labors of love,” says Muldowney. “And it’s important to let people know that they can accomplish award-winning work and that we appreciate them."

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