M. Rosalind Sagara to Receive Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to present its American Express Aspire Award recognizing emerging leaders in historic preservation

Washington, D.C. (October 24, 2012) –The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its American Express Aspire Award Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Historic Preservation to M. Rosalind Sagara of Riverside, Calif.  Ms. Sagara is one of 22 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2012 National Preservation Conference next week in Spokane, Wash.

In 1885, Riverside, California’s Chinatown had 450 permanent residents and served as the base for as many as 2,500 migrant workers providing skilled-labor to the burgeoning citrus industry. Over the ensuing decades, however, the town’s population fell dramatically, and by 1943 only one resident remained. In the mid-1970s, fire destroyed some buildings, and then the town’s last remaining buildings were demolished in 1977 to make way for commercial development.  

Today, M. Rosalind Sagara is leading the grassroots effort to ensure that this vital component of Riverside’s history is preserved. As chair of the Save Our Chinatown Committee, Sagara excels at joining the group’s efforts with those of other local organizations, finding commonalities and building community connections. She draws on her past experiences as a community organizer and filmmaker to cultivate a strong network that has engaged local students and created a new generation of preservationists. In the spring of 2012, the Save Our Chinatown Committee’s hard work paid off when a Calif. court invalidated the City of Riverside’s approval of a development that would have destroyed Chinatown.

As the group moves forward with planning for the future of this National Register site, Sagara is taking on a new challenge – this semester, she began pursuing a Masters degree in Heritage Conservation.

“The passion, dedication and creative leadership that M. Rosalind Sagara brings to the preservation of Riverside’s Chinatown is truly an inspiration,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “We are fortunate to have this dynamic young advocate in the field of preservation.” 

The award will be presented to Ms. Sagara at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Spokane, Wash., on Friday, November 2.

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 www.PreservationNation.org/awards.

The 2012 National Preservation Award Winners:

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. PreservationNation.org, @SavingPlaces