Every year the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia presents the Preservation Achievement Awards to individuals, organizations, businesses and projects from throughout the region that exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation. The Awards include Grand Jury Awards to specific projects and Special Recognition Awards to individuals and organizations whose extraordinary accomplishments in preservation contribute to the region’s unique character and sense of place.

The Alliance has presented more than 200 Grand Jury Awards and almost 100 Special Recognition Awards in the 20 year history of the Awards program. The most significant of the Special Recognition awards is the James Biddle Award, recognizing lifetime achievement in historic preservation. Biddle Award recipients include Barbara and Henry Jordan, Henry Magaziner, Penelope Hartshorne Batchelor, Roger Moss, Richard Moe, and most recently retired Alliance executive director John Gallery.


Award winners are celebrated in a gala fundraising event in May. In recent years this event has been a sit-down lunch and awards show in various historic spaces in Philadelphia, including the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building and the Ballroom at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue.  The date and details of this year’s events will be announced shortly.

Grand Jury Awards honor projects involving the preservation or protection of historic resources including the restoration, rehabilitation or adaptive reuse of historic properties; sympathetic new construction or additions to historic properties; or education, documentation and advocacy work on behalf of historic preservation.

Grand Jury Award nominations are now being accepted, for the 21st annual Preservation Achievement Awards, via an on-line submission process. The nomination deadline is 5:00pm on January 30, 2014.
To be eligible, projects must have been substantially completed in 2013 and be within Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Bucks, Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester Counties in New Jersey; and New Castle County in Delaware.

 Eligible projects encompass one or more of these activities:
• Preserving/protecting historic resources (in the built environment)
• Historic building restoration, rehabilitation or adaptive reuse
• Sympathetic new construction or additions associated with historic properties
• Education or advocacy efforts related to historic preservation
• Documenting significant historic resources (in the built environment)

A Grand Jury of preservation professionals meets to select the Award winners in February and the winners are celebrated in a gala fundraising event in May.  See last year’s winners and links to earlier winners lists, photos and program books at PreservationAlliance.com/awards.


The mission of the Preservation Alliance is to actively promote the appreciation, protection, and appropriate use and development of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes.

Although there are many nonprofit organizations involved in the preservation and management of historic resources in the Philadelphia region as well as many public agencies devoted to the protection of historic resources, the Alliance is the principal “public steward” of the historic landmarks of the Philadelphia area. Our task is not simply to protect the past; it is also to build public appreciation and support for the distinctive historic character of the city of Philadelphia and surrounding communities, and the assets that contribute to that character. The Alliance is also a public advocate for preservation policies and laws.  No other organization performs these functions in the city of Philadelphia; no other organization takes as its mission cooperative efforts with preservation organizations in all the Pennsylvania counties adjacent to Philadelphia to achieve these same objectives.