The co-founder of Bloomington-based Cook Group is being recognized for more than 40 years of work to restore and preserve historic places throughout the state. Indiana Landmarks has awarded Gayle Cook with the 2021 Williamson Prize, which honors “outstanding leadership in historic preservation.”
Indiana Landmarks says Cook and her family have restored more than 60 structures, the majority of which are in Indiana. Among them are the Monroe County Courthouse, the historic Taylor building in downtown Bloomington, the West Baden Springs Hotel, and the 1834 Colonel Williams Jones House in the Spencer County town of Gentryville, which was built for Abraham Lincoln’s merchant employer.
“I can think of no other family in the world who has done more for historic preservation,” Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis said in a news release. “Beyond the sheer number of properties they’ve restored, Gayle and her family have elevated preservation in a very public way as both a social good and a practical economic activity.”
Davis presented the Williamson Prize to Cook at the Monroe County History Center earlier this month. She will also be honored during Indiana Landmark’s virtual annual meeting in September.