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2024 Michael C. Duda Preservation Awards

2024 Duda Preservation Awards

2024 Duda Preservation Awards

On Saturday, April 20, 2024 Texas Historical Foundation presented the inaugural Michael C. Duda Preservation Awards to honor the memory of Architect and Former Texas Historical Foundation Board Member, Michael C. Duda, who passed away in 2019. 

The winners of the 2024 Michael C. Duda Awards represent substantial preservation initiatives that will have far-reaching impacts on Texas heritage education and tourism. THF awarded the top three projects with grants of $100,000, $30,000, and $20,000 to be used towards the completion of the project. 

THF is honored to offer these awards in the same spirit of service and enthusiasm for Texas heritage preservation that characterized Michael's life and legacy. Proceeds from the Michael C. Duda Historic Preservation Awards event will benefit the work of THF to preserve the rich and diverse history of Texas.

Michael C. Duda
Film by Mark Birnbaum

2024 Michael C. Duda Preservation Award Winners

Friends of the Wheelock School House
Wheelock, TX

Through their work at the 1908 Wheelock School House, the Friends of the Wheelock School House have consistently demonstrated the potential of grassroots organizing and the power of community engagement to preserve a cherished public space. The group was awarded $100,000 for their preservation of the School House, funds they plan to use to complete exterior restoration of the wood frame school-turned-community center. Film by Mark Birnbaum.

Flower Hill Foundation
Austin, TX

Situated in Austin’s urban core, the 1877 Smoot House is home to the Urban Homestead Museum, operated by the Flower Hill Center. The property’s distinctive main house and outbuildings offer a window into the city’s past while highlighting the civic engagement of the Smoot family and promoting local arts and culture. The Flower Hill Center received $30,000, which the group plans to use in the house's stabilization. Film by Mark Birnbaum.

Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum
Cuero, TX

Since opening in 2013, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum has exemplified the transformative power of preservation in small-town public life, both on and off the Museum campus. The group received $20,000 towards the restoration of the 1894 Trautwein and 1920 Cook & Day buildings, part of a plan to expand the museum campus to create space for exhibitions on Texas history, art, regional culture, and public gatherings. Film by Mark Birnbaum.

Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum
Houston, Texas

For decades, the Yates Museum has preserved what is among the most complete examples of an urban Freedmen’s Town, drawing into focus a rich portrait of this critical piece of Texas history. The group received an honorable mention Texas Historical Foundation Directors’ Award of $11,000 to go towards their work at the 1907 Isabella Simms Cottage. Their vision of a restored Simms Cottage as one of six museums interpreting Houston’s Freedmen’s Town Historic District will allow visitors to engage with this dynamic site in its totality.

Event Sponsors


Bangs /  Costanza Families
The Lewis and Dilworth Family Fund
Fritz and Mary Lee Duda
Wahlquist / Tillotson Families


Doell / Marz Families
Lee and Candyce Pfluger


Interested in applying for the 2026 Duda Awards?

Sign up below to be notified when applications open in mid-2025. You can also find more details about the application process on our Duda Awards Grants Page

Image credit: 

The image for the 2024 Michael C. Duda Preservation Awards is of Michael Christopher Duda drawing the Alamo from a bronze relief sculpture for the Michael Christopher Duda Center for Preservation, Resilience, and Sustainability by Andrew Wilson Smith located at the Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, University of Notre Dame, 2022.