HMPS awards MMM Preservationist of the Year award

Nell Schley Rutherford Preservationist of the Year awarded to Midtown Movement

The Historic Mobile Preservation Society announced its nine 2016 Preservation Award winners today. For 61 years, the society has honored recipients who exhibited outstanding architectural projects relating to the restoration or renovation of a historic property.

This year, however, the society is also honoring recipients in the field of advocacy and service with the inaugural Nell Schley Rutherford Preservationist of the Year award. The Rutherford award honors an individual or group of individuals who have made a significant impact in the field of historic preservation in Mobile County, either through research, service, activism, or economic development.

“This award pays homage to the late Nell Rutherford’s tireless efforts, selfless service and dedication to preservation,” said David Newell, President of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society’s board of directors.

This year’s recipient of the Rutherford Preservationist of the Year award is the grassroots organization, the Midtown Mobile Movement.

“Their organization reminds us of our beginnings as a grassroots organization, 81 years ago,” said Melanie Thornton, HMPS Director. “We applaud them for their community activism including their efforts with the Augusta Evans Redevelopment Plan. Livable cities need organizations like the Midtown Mobile Movement to bring a balance, a voice for the community.”


The society’s other top award, the Stephens Croom Excellence in Preservation Award, recognizes an outstanding historic property renovation. This year’s recipient is Rogers and Willard, for the restoration of the Buick Building on St. Louis Street, which served as a catalyst for additional development along the corridor.

Additionally, the 2016 Preservation Award Recipients are:

  •  Murphy Alumni Association, for the Carlen House restoration
  •  Pace Burt, the adaptive reuse of Marine Street Lofts
  •  Vicky Rye, Chamberlain Avenue house renovations
  •  Elise Poche and Naude Gouws, renovation of the Haberdasher on Dauphin Street
  • Clifton and Ginna Inge, adaptive reuse of the Steeple, formerly known as the St. Francis Street Methodist Church
  •  Gerald and Michael Diane Keehn, Augusta Avenue Gulf Coast cottage renovation
  •  Downtown Mobile Alliance, leadership and service in lobbying for the renewal of the Alabama State Historic Tax Credit

All of the recipients will be honored at the society’s annual fundraiser and awards ceremony, “Columns and Cocktails,” on Thursday, November 3 at 960 Government Street, in the courtyard of the Antoinette Apartments beginning at 5:30pm. Awards ceremony will begin at 7pm.