ROCK HILL, SC, June 27, 2017 –– Governor Henry McMaster presented Historic Rock Hill representatives with the Stewardship Award at the 2017 South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony held on Friday, June 16, at the State House in Columbia, SC. The SC Department of Archives & History Stewardship Award recognizes those who have ensured the ongoing preservation of historic buildings, structures, or sites through long-term care, planning, management, protection, or continuous ownership. Award criteria include length of stewardship, obstacles overcome, impact on the community and/or the state, demonstrated pattern of ongoing planning and management activities that are sensitive to the historic character and prevent deterioration of the historic property(ies), and the degree to which the nominee serves as an outstanding example of long-term commitment to historic property stewardship. “We are so pleased for Historic Rock Hill to be recognized statewide for the work that has been done by many committed volunteers over the decades,” said Ashley Barron, chair of the organization’s Preservation Programs and Initiatives Committee. “Current leadership is dedicated to continuing that legacy of protecting our community’s historic resources.”
Established in 1986, Historic Rock Hill has diligently worked to raise awareness of the importance of historic preservation through hosting forums, lectures, programs and special events, as well as partnering with various other local groups who share similar historic preservation goals. The organization has also been instrumental in multiple public preservation efforts, including at least four residences, one business and one church, which entailed restoring properties threatened by demolition or neglect. Historic Rock Hill's largest preservation project to date, The White Home, was a multi-year effort that involved extensive research into the history and structural integrity of the house, and included a $2.2 million fundraising effort to cover restoration expenses. Today the home serves as a premier historical tourist destination, houses a collection of historic photographs and documents which are used to educate tourists, locals and school groups about Rock Hill’s history, and serves as a rental venue for weddings, parties and corporate events. A private 501C3, Historic Rock Hill is a membership-based organization and does not receive any ongoing public funding, relying solely on the donations of individuals and businesses in the private sector. Its mission is to “Preserve and protect the historic resources of Rock Hill, SC, and enhance the livability of its historic areas through offering educational programs, hosting special events and community activities, and by leading preservation initiatives."