African Meeting House in Boston to Receive Preservation Honor Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation to present award at its national conference

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present its Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of the African Meeting House in Boston, Mass.  The project is one of 18 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2013 National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

Built primarily by freed African-Americans, the African Meeting House opened in 1806 in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. It is one of the nation’s oldest African-American churches that is still standing. Also known as the Black Faneuil Hall, the meeting house served various functions including, a church, school, meeting place, and synagogue. It also played a key role in the Abolitionist Movement, hosting prominent leaders like William Lloyd Garrison, Thomas Paul and Frederick Douglas.

For more than 160 years, the African Meeting House was at the center of community life for Boston’s African-American residents. As time proceeded, this National Historic Landmark underwent numerous renovations that took a toll on the original framework.  By 2004, its owner, the Museum of African American History, decided to restore the building to its 19th century splendor. By 2011, the restoration of the African Meeting House was complete. Original wooden floorboards that dated back more than 205 years were preserved. The original color and composition of the interior paint was identified, and a new wing was built to house modern amenities.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the spectacular restoration of an iconic public library in St. Louis or the transformation of a warehouse into housing for previously homeless residents in Detroit, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places bolsters local economies and creates jobs in communities across the country.” 

For more information on the African Meeting House, please visit,

This award will be presented to the Museum of African History at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind. on November 1, 2013.

Co-recipients are: JG Waite Associates Architects PLCC and Shawmut Design and Construction.

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


The 2013 National Preservation Award Winners: 

Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: Richard Moe, Washington, D.C.

National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Presidio Public Health Service District, San Francisco, Calif.

The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Historic Preservation: Alison King, Phoenix, Ariz.   

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation: Don Worth – Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, Miami, Fl.

National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Riverside Plaza, Minneapolis, Minn.

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland, Ohio.  

The Tony Goldman Award: The Maritime, New Orleans, LA.

Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM.



African Meeting House, Boston Massachusetts

Boyle Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Fort Sam Houston, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Indiana Landmarks Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

Kelly Cullen Community, San Francisco, California

NSO Bell Building, Detroit, Michigan

Ogden High School, Ogden, Utah

St. Augustine Mission, Los Lunas, New Mexico

St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, Missouri

Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield, Iowa



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