Indiana Landmarks Announces Annual Award Winners

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Stanley Madison of Princeton won Indiana Landmarks’ Williamson Prize Stanley Madison of Princeton won Indiana Landmarks’ Williamson Prize

Princeton, Wabash and Valparaiso have won awards for achievement in historic preservation from Indiana Landmarks. The annual Servaas Memorial Awards and the Williamson Prize for outstanding individual leadership in historic preservation will be presented September 15 in Indianapolis.

Stanley Madison of Princeton won the Williamson Prize for his work to rescue Lyles Station School in the 1990's. The now restored building was the only schoolhouse in the African American farming community established in the 1850's, and has since served as a museum that supplied exhibits for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“The school was collapsing, and lots of people said we’d never be successful when we were washing cars in the parking lot at Wal-Mart to raise money for the project, but Reid Williamson offered encouragement, financial support, and advice, and how could we thank him enough? I’m so honored to receive this award named for him,” Madison said, “and to collect it from Marsh Davis, who worked with us, then and now, to help us realize our vision.”

Madison remains chairman of the Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corp and still offers his knowledge on guided tours of the school. The school and museum will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking August 31-September 3.

Wabash Marketplace will be the recipient of the Servaas Memorial Award in the nonprofit category, and will also be awarded $2,000. The 1981 founded organization has restored downtown Wabash with work including a facade grant program and a revolving loan fund to attract business. Executive Director Steve Downs says four historic buildings are currently being renovated, and plans are in the works for a fifth. 

The Porter County Building Trades Corporation won the Servaas Award in the youth-serving category. The group saved Valparaiso's 1912 depot, which has been transformed into a learning lab for the county's vocational program. Jon Groth leads the corporation and was able to raise funding to move the building four years ago as Canadian National Railroad had applied to demolish the structure. About 40 building trades students worked three years restoring the depot, which has reopened as the Hair Depot, a classroom for the cosmetology program. 

The awards will be presented by Indiana Landmarks honorary chairman former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard. 

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