NSO Bell Building in Detroit 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 NSO Bell Building in Detroit, Michigan. 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 in 1930 as headquarters for Western Electric, the 12‐story Art Deco-style warehouse was originally used for manufacturing and shipping telephone equipment. Yellow Pages moved in 1958 and installed its iconic Michigan Yellow Pages sign. The building was sold in 1995, beginning a period of vacancy and deterioration that lasted for 12 years. 

Neighborhood Services Organization rescued the building by coordinating a $50 million historic rehabilitation that relied heavily on federal historic tax credits to make the financing work. The result is 155 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. The building will also serve as the new headquarters for the organization, bringing 200 employees to a disinvested area in need of additional foot traffic and local spending. 

“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 Neighborhood Service Organization at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, November 1. 

Co-recipients are: Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas; Kidorf Preservation Consulting; NTH Consultants, Ltd.; and O’Brian Edwards Construction Company. 

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 citizens’ 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