City releases video honoring Historic Preservation Award winners

The City-County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission has announced the winners of its annual Historic Preservation Awards.

Normally, the winners are honored with an in-person ceremony but due to COVID, the commission and city staff collaborated with Erin Schermele Films to create an awards video celebrating those who had made contributions to historic preservation in 2020.

HPAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Historic Preservation went to Arlyne Reichert, who is also known as “The Bridge Lady” for her decades long effort to save the 10th Street Bridge.

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“She is also the co-founder and inspiration behind the non-profit group, Preservation Cascade. Due to Arlyne’s tireless efforts, the 10th Street Bridge was saved from demolition and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. She was also instrumental in raising over 1 million dollars to restore the bridge, which will soon be open to the public for pedestrian use. There is no finer sight in Great Falls when the bridge is lit up for everyone to enjoy. We thank Arlyne for her efforts,” according to the city’s release.

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HPAC’s Outstanding Craftsmanship in Historic Preservation Award was awarded to Mike and Barb Winters.

“Together, Mike and Barb own Winters Stained Glass Studio. Mike and Barb are being recognized for their five decades of wonderful stained glass window work in the city and county. Together, they have performed important stained glass work as part of historic preservation projects such as the Belt Theater restoration, the Charles and Nancy Russell Residence restoration, and the Union Bethel AME Church steeple stabilization,” according to the city.

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HPAC’s Outstanding Restoration and Historic Interpretation Award was awarded to the C.M. Russell Museum.

“The museum has spent many years carefully restoring the Russell home and studio that were listed as a National Landmark in 1965. The restoration projects on both the home and studio physically returned them as closely as possible to the period of time when Charlie and Nancy lived and worked in Great Falls. In addition to this painstaking restoration work, the Russell Museum staff have provided interactive interpretation opportunities so the many visitors to the home and studio can gain a better understanding for how the restoration work has been accomplished as well as how Charlie and Nancy lived their lives.”