[Source: Mike Lange, Prescottenews.com] – Arizona native Nancy Burgess, whose decades-long historic preservation efforts have left an indelible mark on Prescott and the state, has been honored as the 2010 recipient of the Sharlot Hall Award for valuable contributions to the understanding and awareness of Arizona and its history. Sharlot Hall Museum Executive Director John Langellier presented the award to Burgess at the August 6th Western History Symposium dinner at the St.Michael Hotel in downtown Prescott.
Burgess, the retired Historic Preservation Specialist for the City ofPrescott, has had a life-long passion for the history of theGrand CanyonState. Since 1987 her work in historic preservation has included projects that provide protection, interpretation, education, rehabilitation and restoration of scores of significant and unique cultural resources inCentral Arizona. She played a major role in grants for several historic districts in the city, three walking tours and the creation of a handbook for owners of historic properties. Burgess also authored heritage preservation publications, produced a historic preservation ordinance, championed adaptive re-use of several properties including the magnificent Elks Opera House, worked diligently for the Citizens Cemetery, developed an impressive historic marker program, skillfully prepared numerous National Register nominations for the City of Prescott, the City of Sedona, the Federal Government, and for private property owners, and has been an important presence in statewide preservation. Her efforts paved the way forPrescottreceiving the prestigious designation of a Preserve America Community in 2005 and the following year joining the distinguished ranks of the National Trust’s Dozen Distinctive Designations. In addition, Burgess has found time to write books and articles on preservation while she and her husband have personally restored five National Register properties.
The annual Sharlot Hall Award originated in 1984 to recognize a livingArizonawoman as a counterpart to the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame, which honors women posthumously. A committee reviews nominations from aroundArizona. Museum founder Sharlot Mabridth Hall (1870-1943) achieved fame as a poet, activist, politician, andArizona’s first territorial historian. As early as 1907, she saw the need to saveArizona’s history and planned to develop a museum. She began to collect both Native American andpioneer material. In 1909, Hall was appointed Territorial Historian and became the first woman to hold territorial office. In 1927, she began restoring the first Territorial Governor’s residence and offices and moved her extensive collection of artifacts and documents opening it as a museum in 1928. For the remainder of her life, she worked to preserveArizona’s historic past. Her diligent efforts inspired others to continue contributing to the preservation of earlyArizonaand American history.