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The Charlotte Gem Preservation Awards

Celebrate the Power of Preservation at the Charlotte Gem Preservation Awards, the premiere fundraising event for the Charlotte Museum of History. These awards celebrate restoration and building projects in the greater Charlotte region that exemplify the best of historic preservation. By shining a light on successful preservation projects that enrich our communities culturally and economically, the awards encourage everyone who calls Charlotte 'home' to save our historic built environment.

The Charlotte Gem Award

This year during the awards ceremony in addition to the six (6) awards listed below, we will also be honoring an individual - a "Charlotte Gem" - someone who actively works to make Charlotte and the Piedmont Region a better place to live through advocacy, volunteerism, and general support for our community. This special award is selected by the Charlotte Museum of History Board of Trustees. 2023 will be the first year we honor someone with this capstone achievement.

Charlotte Preservation Awards Categories

The Charlotte Preservation Awards honor restoration and building projects in the greater Charlotte region that exemplify the best of historic preservation. There are six award categories to which the public can make nominations:

  • Preservation (Residential) – Restoration of a historic residential structure; may include a new addition to the historic structure
  • Preservation (Commercial) – Restoration of a historic commercial structure
  • Neighborhood Infill (Residential) – New residential building that integrates sensitively with its historic environment
  • Neighborhood Infill (Commercial) – New commercial building that integrates sensitively with its historic environment
  • Excellence in Preservation – A person, group, or project (not covered in the previous categories) that preserves the cultural or built heritage of a neighborhood or community. Acceptable nominees include, but are not limited to: local governments, neighborhood associations, clubs, community groups, nonprofit organizations, or individuals.
  • Preservation in a Small/Medium Community – Restoration of a historic structure with population less than 100,000 (must be located within Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, or Union Counties).

How to Apply

To submit a nomination, please complete the Nomination Form. Nominations must be received by 5:00pm EST on February 24, 2023 for consideration. 

PLEASE NOTE: You are not able to save this nomination and then return to it later. We highly recommend moving through the questionnaire and copying the questions into a separate document, then use the back button to fill in your answers later. The form includes a section to submit a link to project photos. Photos must be shared in some type of file-sharing service, like Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox. Please read the instructions for submitting photos carefully. You can view the questions ahead of time by clicking the link below. Remember, you must use the Nomination Form link above to complete your nomination. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • For the purpose of these awards, residential projects include any structure used primarily as a residence, such as single-family homes as well as larger multi-unit buildings.

  • For the purpose of these awards, these include any non-residential structures, such as businesses, institutions, cultural facilities, etc.

  • Preservation projects aim to sustain and protect the historic form and/or fabric of a structure or complex of buildings because of its historic or architectural significance. Successful preservation projects may involve conservation, stabilization, restoration, and/or reconstruction. Successful projects are preceded by historical research, documentation, and analysis. Decisions about what type of intervention is appropriate are based on historical factors such as original design intent and changes to the site over time as well as current factors such as the amount and condition of surviving fabric, the context, and the budget.

  • Infill projects are new construction on a blank lot; they do not include additions to existing historic buildings. The new construction must integrate sensitively with its historic environment.

  • Excellence in Preservation nominations concerning physical structures are required to answer all applicable questions, including those under Project Specifics, Historical / Architectural Significance, Authenticity / Integrity, Integration with Setting, and Complexity / Extensiveness.

    Excellence in Preservation nominations concerning people or groups of people are required to answer all applicable questions, including Project Description and Historical / Architectural Significance.

  • This category is meant for residential or commercial preservation projects outside of Mecklenburg county in the Charlotte-metro area. Nominees must meet all other category requirements including: original structure built prior to 1972, project completed within the last 5 years, and exemplifying aspects of successful preservation. Projects must be located within communities with a population under 100,000 and in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, or Union Counties.

  • Yes! You may submit nominations for more than one project. However, one person/group may not submit multiple nominations for the same project.

  • The Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 6:00 pm on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at The Charlotte Museum of History (3500 Shamrock Dr).

  • Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 11, 2023.

  • All winners will receive a distinctive Preservation Award and will be honored at the Museum's awards ceremony. Information about award winners will be included in the Museum's Preservation Awards press materials, on the Museum website, and on the Museum’s social media channels.

  • Submissions will be shared with the judging committee for review. Submission materials, including quotes from application materials and submitted photos, will also be used in marketing efforts on the Museum website, social media channels, and in press materials.

  • Thank you for your interest in supporting the Charlotte Museum of History's Preservation Awards. Please contact Lauren Wallace, Development Director of the Museum at or (704) 568-1774.

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