JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 30, 2021 – Amanda Burke of the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) was recognized with the National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation on Thursday, Nov. 4, for her involvement in the rehabilitation of the Black Officers Club at Fort Leonard Wood.
"Having the opportunity to meet so many people and being able to assist in the restoration of this national treasure has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life," said architectural historian Amanda Burke. "This project brought together people and agencies from across the nation and has resulted in taking a once little-known World War II temporary building at Fort Leonard Wood, only exceptional for containing a mural by Samuel Countee, and made it the most sought after venue on the base."
Amanda Burke and Toni Prawl, director of the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, facilitated consultation for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, resulting in the rehabilitation of one of only two remaining World War II-era black officer clubs in the nation.
The rehabilitation project of the World War II-era Black Officers Club at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was honored with the award during the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual PastForward Conference National Preservation Awards.
The award, a joint venture of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, honors outstanding partnerships that advance the preservation of important historic resources and have a positive impact on the community. It celebrates a project or program in which a federal agency and one or more non-federal partners have achieved an exemplary preservation outcome.
This project began when the building was declared excess property in the late-2000s. Without a use for the historic building, the plan was to demolish the building and move the mural to a museum. However, it became clear the building itself was significant to American history, being only one of two World War II black officer clubs remaining in the nation. In 2010, a use as a training facility was identified for the building and consultation began on how to rehabilitate it. With years of careful consultation, selective demolition and construction, a nationally significant building was saved and part of nation’s history preserved.
For more information about the award, visit: forum.savingplaces.org/blogs/forum-online/2021/11/04/the-2021-national-preservation-awards.
The project garnered national and state accolades since its completion. Besides being this year’s recipient of the Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation, it received the ACHP Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation in 2020 and the Preserve Missouri Award from the statewide organization, Missouri Preservation, in 2019.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks is responsible, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service and local governments, in carrying out the mandates of the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 89-665, as amended) in Missouri. The SHPO is supported in part by the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and works with citizens and groups throughout the state to identify, evaluate and protect Missouri's diverse range of historic, architectural and archaeological resources.