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Community Initiative Awards

The Community Initiative Award from the PA SHPO recognizes organizations, municipalities, agencies, individuals, and others whose work embodies the theme of Pennsylvania's recently released statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere

#PreservationHappensHere is the idea that great preservation activities are happening every day across Pennsylvania. These activities may or, may not be thought of as traditional historic preservation, but nevertheless, need to be discovered, shared, and celebrated.

How to Enter

There is no formal application or deadline for the Community Initiative Awards. The PA SHPO selects candidates for consideration in the following ways:

    • monitoring social media coverage and traditional press reporting,
    • reporting on active projects that utilize federal or state programs,
    • tracking use of the #PreservationHappensHere hashtag and,
    • reviewing Preservation Success Stories submitted through PA-SHARE.

Organizations, municipalities, agencies, and individuals interested in being considered for a Community Initiative Award are encouraged to use the #PreservAtionHappensHere hashtag in all of their social media posts and submit their Preservation Success Story through PA-SHARE

2018 CIA Award WIAC.JPG

The Walk In Art Center (WIAC) was one of the 2018 Community Initiative Award winners.

Entries are reviewed each year, typically in the fall, with awards made shortly thereafter.  Please note that awards may not be awarded each year.  The PA SHPO works with each awardee to design an award ceremony that meets their needs, spotlights their preservation success, and engages the local community.  The Award is a framed certificate and time capsule for awardees to commemorate their project along with feature posts on the blog and e-news.

Please note that the Community Initiative Award does not require that a property is opened to the public for visitation, does not require the owner to comply with any state or federal regulations, and does not automatically grant the property any historic status. 

Previous Awardees


  • Old Erie on Foot (Erie, Erie County)
  • Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka (Millvale, Allegheny County)
  • Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc. (Waynesboro, Franklin County)

Learn more about the 2020 awardees in this post.


  • Mahoning Drive-In Theatre (Mahoning, Carbon County)
  • Fighter's Heaven (Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County)
  • Lazaretto (Tinicum, Delaware County)
  • McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation/Roxian Theater (McKees Rocks, Allegheny County)

Learn more about the 2019 awardees in this post.


Learn more about the 2018 awardees in this post.


  • Bradford Revitalization Team (Bradford, McKean County)
  • East Liberty Development Inc. (Pittsburgh, Allegheny County)
  • Hidden City Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Philadelphia County)

Learn more about the 2016 awardees in this post.

For More Information

Read more about the Community Initiative Award on the blog.

If you would like additional information about the Community Initiative Award or past winners, please contact PA SHPO's Education & Special Initiatives Coordinator, Shelby Splain, at or (717) 787-0772.