Lowcountry institutions among state preservation award winners

The preservation and expansion of the circa 1955 Courtenay School, now Charleston Progressive Academy, won an honor award from state preservation groups on Friday.

The author of a history of the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Charleston Progressive School and McLeod Plantation all received state preservation awards Friday in Columbia.

Robert Weyeneth, who has taught historic preservation at the University of South Carolina, received the Governor’s Award, the top honor given annually by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, the S.C. Department of Archives and History, and Gov. Nikki Haley’s office.

Weyeneth wrote “Historic Preservation for a Living City,” which was published in 2000 and chronicled the first 50 years of the Historic Charleston Foundation. He also has directed or co-directed the university’s Public History Program.

Lowcountry honorees included The Ponds Conservancy in Summerville, which won a stewardship award for its care of the historic, mid-19th century farmhouse and grounds there.

And Charleston Progressive Academy received an honor award for the rehabilitation and expansion of its urban mid-20th century building — one built during the equalization era.

The McLeod Plantation Historical Site, which opened last month on James Island, also received an honor award for interpreting that property’s ties to Sea Island agricultural heritage, the Civil War and black history.

York Mayor J. Edward Lee won the elected official award for his work in forming a coalition of city leaders to address the preservation needs of the York County Courthouse. He also has taught history at several universities and written history books.

The Heritage Tourism Award went to the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, a Columbia museum house that reopened last year after eight years of research and rehabilitation.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.