Newport Couple, Augusta Woman to Be Honored at State Preservation Awards

The 40th annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards will be presented in Frankfort on Wednesday afternoon at the Berry Hill Mansion.

Among this year's winners are a Newport couple.

Michael and Catherine McElwain will receive the Service to Preservation Award, which is given to those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to historic preservation, had a positive impact on preserving historic or prehistoric resources through advocacy or education, or developed innovative or model preservation programs.

The McElwains' work is well-known in Newport.

They will share the award with Herb Fink of Louisville, and Governor Matt Bevin, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet and Kentucky Division of Historic Properties.

Dinah Bird-Westerfield, of Augusta, will receive the Grassroots Preservation Award, which is given to those who have committed their personal time and resources to take on a challenge that addresses preservation of historic resources at the local level.

She will share that honor with the Historic Beaver Dam Depoist Bank.

Ida Lee Willis, for whom the state preservation awards are named, was the first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now Heritage Council), appointed in 1966. The foundation was chartered in 1979 to honor her legacy by creating an annual awards program in her name.

The awards are presented each May during National Historic Preservation Month and recognize excellence for the protection, rehabilitation, and preservation of historic buildings and cultural resources.

-Staff report

Photo: Ida Lee Willis (provided)