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Crown Square development is recognized by National Trust for Historic Preservation

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 19, 2010 - The Crown Square development project in north St. Louis is receiving an excellence award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The award's official title is lengthy -- the National Trust/Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation -- and it goes to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance for their work in rehabbing 27 historic buildings to create 80 mixed-income residential units and 33,000 square feet of commercial space.

The award will be presented to the two nonprofit organizations on Oct. 29 at the 2010 National Preservation Conference in Austin, Texas.

"In Old North St. Louis, there's a new spirit of achievement and optimism. The rehabilitation of this vibrant, diverse neighborhood is creating jobs, spurring additional revitalization and demonstrating there's no building that's more green or more sustainable than a historic building given new life,'' stated Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust, in the press release announcing the award.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the values of preservation. The group is honoring 23 projects this year. Click here to see the list of award winners.

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined the St. Louis Beacon staff in April 2008 after a 17-year career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a reporter and an editor in the features section. Her work has been cited for awards by the Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors, the Missouri Press Association and the Illinois Press Association. In 2010, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis honored her with a Spirit of Justice Award in recognition of her work on the housing crisis. Leonard began her newspaper career at the Belleville News-Democrat after earning a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she now serves as an adjunct faculty member. She is partial to pomeranians and Cardinals.

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