Central Library in St. Louis 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 Central Library in St. Louis, Missouri. The project is one of 18 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2013 National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. 

Designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert, gifted by Andrew Carnegie and built in 1915, the Beaux Arts structure has long been the crown jewel of the city’s library system. But after decades of use – and amid changing technologies – Central Library was ready for a 21st-century makeover. 

Following a two-year, $70 million restoration and renovation, the library today blends thoughtful historic preservation with dynamic modern design and new construction. The redevelopment added 40,000 square feet of public space to the library without expanding beyond its original granite walls. .A coal bin became a 250-plus-seat auditorium, while bathrooms and staff locker rooms were transformed into centers for discovering popular books and new technology. A 7-story atrium was created out of what used to be the stacks, letting in natural light and putting the books on full display. The renewed beauty and inspiration of the Central Library draws an average of 1,000 visitors a day, helping to breathe life back into downtown St. Louis. 

“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.” 

The award will be presented to The St. Louis Public Library at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind., on November 1, 2013. 

Co-recipients are: Cannon Designs; Frens & Frens; and William Tao & Associates.

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 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. PreservationNation.org, @SavingPlaces