Donovan Rypkema of Washington to Receive Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to Present Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award at National Conference

Washington, D.C. – The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its prestigious 2012 Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award—the national preservation movement’s highest accolade—to Donovan Rypkema of Washington, D.C.  Mr. Rypkema is one of 22 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2012 National Preservation Conference next week in Spokane, Washington.

Few people have had more influence on all aspects of preservation than Donovan Rypkema. Rypkema, the principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm, has worked on projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 42 foreign countries. His areas of expertise include rightsizing, training in community-based development, economic revitalization of downtowns, and the rehabilitation of historic structures. Rypkema’s best-known book, The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide, originally published in 1995, is an invaluable resource for preservationists across the country.  He has worked with the Urban Land Institute, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, the American Planning Association, the International Downtown Association, the World Bank, and hundreds of other international, national, statewide and local organizations.

There are few people in the field of preservation who have more fun than Rypkema.  His dry sense of humor and clever wit, combined with his intellectual yet straightforward approach to saving historic resources, help him forge connections with decision makers and effectively deliver the message of preservation’s economic benefits. Countless neighborhoods, Main Streets, and individual sites are still standing today because he has conveyed the undeniable benefits of saving those places for the future. And countless preservationists are committed to the field today because Rypkema has inspired them.  At a time when many battles in the field are won by proving preservation’s economic impact, Donovan Rypkema is simply priceless.   

 “We are proud to present the National Trust’s highest honor to Donovan Rypkema,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “One of Don’s many assets is that he manages to be both a dreamer and a realist. In addition to having a gift for imagining what a successful restoration project could be, Don is also pragmatic and excels at framing historic preservation as a fundamental economic development tool. In short, he is one of the preservation movement’s foremost thinkers who also knows what it takes to get the job done.” 

The award will be presented to the Mr. Rypkema at the Richard H. Driehaus
National Preservation Awards ceremony in Spokane, Washington, on Friday, November 2nd.

The Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest national recognition. Named for one of the National Trust’s founding trustees, the award is made with the greatest care and only when there is indisputable evidence of superlative achievement in the preservation and interpretation of our historic, architectural and maritime heritage.

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 online at


Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: Donovan Rypkema, Washington, D.C.

National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station--Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery, Ala.

The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Preservation: M. Rosalind Sagara, Riverside, Calif.  

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation: Enid Pinkney, Coral Gables, Fl.

National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Saint Luke’s Manor, Cleveland.

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minn. 

John H. Chafee Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy: John Andrew Gallery, Philadelphia.

Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: The Jane Addams Hull House, Chicago.


30th Street Main Post Office, Philadelphia.

ASM International Headquarters, Materials Park, Ohio.

Charles H. Shaw Technology and Learning Center, Chicago.

Leavenworth Building 19, Leavenworth, Kan.

Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island’s Preservation of Duey’s Home, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The Historic Park Inn Hotel, Mason City, Iowa.

Main Building at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio.

Market Square Place, Pittsburgh.

New Orleans U.S. Custom House, New Orleans.

Oswego Iron Furnace, Lake Oswego, Ore. 

Accident Fund National Headquarters/Ottawa Street Power Station, Lansing, Mich.

SIERR Building at McKinstry Station, Spokane, Wash.

Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, Kansas City, Mo.

Washington State Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative, Wash.  



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces