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2008 Heritage Awards

In 2008, an independent jury selected ten Heritage Award recipients and one Lucybeth Rampton Award recipient from a field of many worthy candidates. Chris Vanocur announced 2008's winners, celebrating their preservation work completed during 2007.

Every year through its Heritage Awards Program Utah Heritage Foundation recognizes projects, organizations, and individuals across Utah that exemplify excellence in the preservation movement.

Each award recipient represents a model that others can look to for meeting the challenges of preservation. As a group, the recipients represent the many and varied ways preservation is accomplished in our communities. They include: exciting adaptive use projects, the tireless efforts of dedicated homeowners, threatened buildings that have been saved from destruction, and lifetime efforts of committed preservationists. Through this awards program Utah Heritage Foundation congratulates all of the award recipients and thanks them for their contribution to preserving Utah's architectural heritage. In 2008, the foundation presented ten Heritage Awards along with the Lucybeth Rampton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert Bliss, Salt Lake City

Lucybeth Rampton Award

The Lucybeth Rampton Award was established in 1994 in honor of former First Lady Lucybeth Rampton. Mrs. Rampton was a founding member of Utah Heritage Foundation and a lifelong advocate of the preservation of Utah's architectural heritage. The Lucybeth Rampton Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to historic preservation and whose vision and activities have significantly impacted the preservation movement in Utah.

Robert Bliss had been interested in architecture from a young age. He attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina where he began taking architecture and design courses. When Bob left Black Mountain College he enrolled at MIT where he studied until being called into the Army. After four years in the army and the Merchant Marines, he returned to MIT where he continued studying with many world renowned architects.

After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from MIT and a year of bicycling through Europe with his wife, Anna, Bob returned to Cambridge where he worked for several firms as well as teaching a basic architectural course at MIT. One year later he was offered a position at the University of Minnesota where he began teaching classes. He also took an interest in advocating to save local, historic buildings.

After 11 years in Minnesota, Bob was invited to head the architecture department at the University of Utah. Under his direction, the architecture program became a separate professional school and in 1974 Bob was appointed the Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture. During this time Bob was active in voicing his concerns about local issues in preservation. Bob, along with fellow preservation activists, were the original board members of Utah Heritage Foundation.

One of the first projects proposed by Bob and the Board of Trustees was the identification and registration of Utah's existing historic sites. Under Bob's guidance The Utah Catalog of the Historic American Buildinsg Survey was completed and published. Bob was instrumental in saving many buildings like the David Keith Mansion on South Temple, the Devereaux Mansion, and the City and County Building, just to name a few. He also a played a key role in gathering preservationists to save Gilgal Garden.

Robert Bliss is our Lucybeth Rampton award winner for his exemplary dedication to preservation and community service, and for his vocal passion of art, architecture and landscape.