Phoenix Preservationist to Receive American Express Aspire Award

National Trust and American Express to present award at its national conference

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express will present the Aspire Award to Alison King, founder of Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network and King is one of 18 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2013 National Preservation Conference next week in Indianapolis, Ind.

The American Express Aspire Award recognizes emerging preservation leaders who demonstrate innovative thinking and achievement in advancing historic preservation in their local, state or national communities.

For the past 10 years, King has been researching, documenting and writing about Arizona’s modern culture and architecture. Phoenix experienced explosive population growth after World War II, and many new residents at that time chose Midcentury Modern as the architectural style for their homes. As a result, the city is full of neighborhoods that reflect this era. King began her project as a way to catalogue these neighborhoods and went on to create a hub for research, reporting and activism to preserve and restore Modern buildings in Phoenix. Her work has engaged a new generation of preservationists and has sparked a movement of like-minded Modern enthusiasts.

“Alison King’s remarkable work shows how citizens can take their passion for a particular issue and inspire grassroots advocacy, mobilize fellow preservationists and celebrate historic places in their communities,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “This year’s award winners comprise a diverse collection of remarkable projects, professionals and organizations who exemplify preservation excellence.” 

“American Express believes we need strong leaders protecting our historic places to ensure that their history lives on,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “We applaud the spirit and commitment that Alison brings to her work and salute all of the Preservation Award Winners for protecting their communities’ vibrant history.” 

The Aspire Award will be presented to Alison King at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind. on November 1, 2013.

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 the 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


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