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2012 Advocacy Award Recipient

Lead Region Historic Trust Prairie Spring Hotel, Willow Springs, Wisconsin, before restoration (1993The VAF Advocacy Award recognizes exemplary achievements in advocating for the preservation of our vernacular built heritage. It honors those who invest their time and energy to protect and promote these important heritage resources, thus insuring they will be handed down to future generations.

Tonight we honor an individual who has invested much of his life in exploring ways to preserve early settlement buildings in the Lead Region of southwestern Wisconsin. He has been an inspiration to his community and fellow preservationists advocating tirelessly for the restoration of these early buildings.

The 2012 recipient of the VAF Advocacy Award is Mr. Dana Duppler, Executive Director of the Lead Region Historic Trust.

Through his study and conservation work, Dana Duppler has become the foremost authority and advocate for handcrafted pioneer-era Lead Region buildings and has been instrumental in saving many of them from complete ruin or demolition. Since his first historic building project in 1975, Dana has inspired and taught others the value of these properties that illustrate the region’s early construction methods.

In 1992 Dana established the Lead Region Historic Trust, dedicated to furthering the appreciation and restoration of the area’s early vernacular buildings. The Trust’s newsletter, Lead Region Preservation and website have played an important role in these activities reaching a wider audience for ongoing support. As executive director, Dana has been a key figure in creating strategies that seek to retain these buildings as part of the region’s heritage landscape.

The field experience of this VAF conference was notably enriched by the opportunity to explore the Trust’s historic Prairie Spring Hotel and the collection of pre-Civil War cottages in Wiota, all illustrating Dana’s commitment to historic preservation.

Dana Duppler’s lifelong "passion to preserve" embodies advocacy for historic properties in the best sense, and the VAF is pleased to present you with this award.



Photo by Erin Kuykendall        Photo by Erin Kuykendall
Peter Maxwell of Falmouth Heritage Renewal ignites a lime rick, used in the                               Peter Maxwell discusses framing details with Falmouth Field School students.

traditional preparation of mortar and plaster.

These remarks were delivered by Louis Nelson, director of UVA's Falmouth Field School in Historic Preservation, at the VAF annual meeting in Falmouth, Jamaica:

Peter Maxwell has worked for well more than a decade for the material preservation of this remarkable city. As Falmouth Heritage Renewal's longest-standing Jamaican employee, Peter has been and remains an absolutely essential component of the preservation of Falmouth. He began by working with Jim Parrent, FHR's American director, to build relationships of trust in the community by digging soak-away latrines in the heart of the town's poorest district. Once established in the community, Peter has become an essential advocate for preservation among everyday residents of the community, working to help locals understand the significance of preserving Falmouth's smallest and most vulnerable vernacular buildings. He has also spend untold hours as a mentor in FHR's crafts training program, working to help at-risk youth embrace the disciplines of preservation carpentry and masonry, in the hopes that they translate those skills into viable employment with local building contractors. Peter has also been an essential fixture in the success of UVA's Falmouth Field School in Historic Preservation, serving for years as the American students' host in and to the community. We could never have completed our work without the steadfast and long-suffering Peter Maxwell. I venture to suggest that there has not been a single preservation effort in the city of Falmouth that has been undertaken without his deft hand and faithful commitment to the job at hand. It is for these reasons and many more that Peter Maxwell is the recipient of the 2011 VAF Advocacy Award.


No award was made in 2010.


Butte Montana street scene

Butte Montana Street Scene

The Vernacular Architecture Forum encourages and supports citizen efforts to protect our vernacular built heritage. We do so in part through our Award for Advocacy, which was established to recognize exemplary efforts and achievements in advocacy. This year, the VAF’s Advocacy Committee presented its second Award for Advocacy at the Butte Conference to Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization, better known as Butte CPR.

Butte CPR lives up to the high standard set by our inaugural award last year in Fresno, which was presented to the "Preserving California’s Japantowns" project, a statewide effort to identify, research and document historic resources located in Japantowns throughout California.

All those who attended the Butte Conference experienced the fruits of Butte CPR’s work firsthand. Founded 15 years ago, Butte CPR works with local government, businesses, civic organizations and individuals to preserve and promote the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark District and the nearly 6,000 historically-significant resources that it encompasses.

The City of Butte was literally built on a foundation of copper whose exploitation at first sustained the community, and then consumed it. While it’s hard to ignore mining’s legacy of environmental devastation, Butte CPR recognizes that this same legacy has endowed Butte with a unique heritage that--if wisely protected and promoted-- can provided the community with a sustainable future, providing the city with its competitive edge.

Through their educational tours, lectures, preservation workshops, website, articles, and participation in public forums and events, Butte CPR promotes public awareness of the value of historic architecture. Their award program celebrates individuals and groups for outstanding stewardship of historic structures.

Butte CPR provides financial assistance to preserve, restore, and revitalize historic buildings. Butte CPR's efforts have helped save or otherwise benefit dozens of buildings, both residential and commercial, including the Mary MacLane House, the Dumas Brothel, the O’Rourke, and the Acoma. When appropriate, they mothball abandoned buildings, securing and stabilizing them for future use. To date, they have given nearly $25,000 in small Historic Improvement Grants to local property owners.

Since its inception, Butte CPR has actively engaged in local government and policy. CPR advocates for economic revitalization through historic preservation that is supported by preservation-friendly public policy, and played a central role in the 2007 passage of a historic preservation ordinance that includes mandatory demolition reviews and renovation design guidelines.

In their nomination of Butte CPR for the VAF Award for Advocacy, the Montana Preservation Alliance noted that Butte CPR is a superior award candidate for its outstanding initiative, tenaciousness, creativity, and commitment. The VAF board couldn’t agree more, and congratulates Butte CPR for its achievements.


Japan Town Web Site

Screen shot, California Japantowns Website

The VAF made its inaugural Award for Advocacy at the recent Fresno Conference. The award was presented to Donna Graves and Jill Shiraki on behalf of the Preserving California’s Japantowns project.

Preserving California’s Japantowns is the first statewide effort to identify, research and document historic resources located in Japantowns throughout California. The project embodies all the qualities the Award for Advocacy was created to recognize. The Advocacy Committee was especially impressed by how the project has fulfilled the award criterion to "advance preservation and awareness of vernacular buildings and landscapes through education, publications, media, technology, and/or public outreach." The effort was consciously designed not only to document resources associated with California's Japantowns but also to lay the groundwork for stewardship, preservation and interpretation of these sites, whose histories have been hidden due to the violent disruption of WWII incarceration of all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

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