The Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station/Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Ala., to Receive Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to Present National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation at National Conference

Washington, D.C. – The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its 2012 National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation to The Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station/Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Ala.  The project is one of 22 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2012 National Preservation Conference next week in Spokane, Washington.

In Montgomery, Ala., two of the Civil Rights Movement’s most significant buildings stand side by side. One is an elegant federal courthouse, from which U.S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. presided over crucial civil rights cases. The other is a modest Greyhound bus station where in 1961 young Freedom Riders used nonviolent methods to protest segregation. 

In the 1990s, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) began planning for the expansion of the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Recognizing that the bus station’s location next to the Frank M. Johnson courtroom offered unique opportunities for interpreting a shared history, the GSA, the Alabama Historical Commission, the U.S. District Court, and members of the Greyhound Bus Station Advisory Committee devised a plan to preserve the bus station—and GSA agreed to lease the station to the Historical Commission for a small fee.

The commission soon developed a plan to open the Freedom Rides Museum. Transportation and state funds were used to clean and re-point the bus station’s façade, replicate the original Greyhound signs, rehabilitate the interior and develop permanent exhibits detailing the history of the bus station as well as the courthouse. On May 20, 2011, the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, the museum opened with a celebration that included remarks from original Freedom Riders, including Congressman John Lewis.

“Thanks to an innovative partnership between a federal agency, local government and private interests, visitors will now be able to fully appreciate the role both of these buildings played in the Civil Rights Movement,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We applaud the visionary leadership of federal and private partners that successfully transformed a once-humble bus station into a place where future generations will be able to learn about an important chapter in our nation’s history.”

“The General Services Administration, the Alabama Historical Commission, concerned citizens and their partners did a magnificent job of recognizing the importance of historic properties and their potential to present underappreciated American history to the public in a compelling manner,” said ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA. “Their success resulted in making an important chapter of our nation’s history more accessible to current and future generations.”

The award will be presented to the U.S. General Services Administration at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Spokane, Wash., on Friday, November 2.

Co-recipients are: Alabama Historical Commission; Greyhound Bus Station Advisory Committee; and U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama.

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