The National Trust for Historic Preservation presented a Driehaus Preservation Award to the Charles W. Morgan whaleship of Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn. The project is one of several award winners honored by the National Trust during its 2016 PastForward National Preservation Conference in Houston, Texas, November 16, 2016.
The Morgan is the second oldest American ship afloat and the world’s only surviving wooden whaleship. Today she is a National Historic Landmark. Her restoration and 38th Voyage in 2014 was made possible by more than five years of work and $12 million raised in a broad national campaign.
The Morgan’s voyage promoted the stewardship of intangible heritage and public history, educating nearly 65,000 people about everything from the diversity of those who worked in whaling to human-whale interaction. She has since returned to Mystic Seaport to resume her role as a permanent floating exhibit: a significant landmark in herself and the preserver of wooden shipbuilding for years to come.
“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Driehaus Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting our nation’s cultural heritage,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “From prominent gothic building along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue to a 19th-century whaling ship in Connecticut, this year’s Driehaus Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and helping preserve the unique fabric of communities throughout the country.”
“Mystic Seaport is honored to receive the Driehaus Award for the restoration of the Morgan. There are many significant, historic structures in America, but rarely are historic ships spoken of in the same breathe as buildings,’ said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “The Driehaus Award validates the work of Mystic Seaport’s shipwrights as crucial custodians of historic design and function. All shipwrights and maritime preservationists will be honored by this recognition by the national trust, and, thus. we are most grateful.”
The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.PreservationNation.org