City of Sarasota receives national award for historic preservation efforts

Project last year documented more than 11,000 historic homes, businesses and churches

A member of the city project team documents details about a house in the city of Sarasota. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota’s Historic Preservation Board has been honored with a Commission Excellence Award from the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC), the city has announced.

The recipients of that recognition are chosen from a large pool of nominations submitted from across the country, a city news release says. The awards recognize outstanding efforts and achievements by local preservation, historic district, and landmark commissions, as well as boards of architectural review, the release adds.

“Sarasota earned the award in the category of Best Practices in Identification/Registration for an ambitious citywide survey of historic resources completed last year,” the release explains. “The project documented more than 11,000 historic homes, businesses and churches in Sarasota,” the release notes. It lays the groundwork for future preservation planning, as well as a range of public education initiatives for residents and visitors alike, the release says.

“It was a major effort by the city and a team of historic resource professionals to survey and catalog all of the significant structures built in the city in 1970 or earlier,” said city Senior Planner Clifford Smith in the release. “Collecting all of this information provides a tremendous resource for our community and will help to further preserve our rich history.”

The city’s Historic Preservation Board, an advisory board consisting of seven citizens appointed by the City Commission, makes recommendations on the designation of historically and archaeologically significant structures and districts and other historic preservation efforts, the release explains.

“The award was presented at NAPC’s biennial conference, FORUM, the only national conference dedicated to the important work of volunteer commission members in locally designated historic districts,” the release says. Because of health and safety concerns, the conference, originally set to take place in Tacoma, Wash., this summer, was transformed into FORUM 2020: Preservation Coast to Coast ~ at Home, NAPC’s first online conference, the release adds.

Founded in 1983, the NAPC says its mission is to build strong local preservation programs through education, advocacy, and training. For more information, visit