Josiah K. Durfee Award

Josiah K. Durfee’s architectural and engineering talents were applied to a diverse collection of properties, many of which remain today. His notable accomplishments include Potter’s Covered Bridge and the Model Mill, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Josiah Durfee Award is given at the discretion of the NPA’s Board of Directors on behalf of the NPA membership to the local citizen or organization that has made the most significant positive contribution to NPA’s mission. Outstanding achievement in historic preservation may be a single event or a cumulative contribution over several years.

2015 Winner

Josiah Durfee Award for Corporate Philanthropy

Awarded to John Elliott and Kroger Corporation

Is it coincidence that John's first year with Kroger in 2007 was also the first year Kroger began sponsoring the Annual Home Tour? Probably not. Kroger has faithfully donated to every Home Tour since then, and for two of those years, John even pushed to have tickets for the home tour available for purchase at the customer service desks in area Kroger stores.

Historically, Kroger has not only supported NPA, but also several other local organizations. Their involvement in the community has had a major impact.

John and his wife, Karen, live on North 10th Street in a prominent historic home, the Harrell House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. They have been patron-level members of NPA since its inception.

John's mother and father, Sandy and George Elliott, were founding members of NPA, lending their home, talents, and perhaps most importantly, their copier, to NPA's newly hatched operations. They were instrumental in saving the Craig house from demolition by moving it across the street. NPA offers many thanks to John, his family, and Kroger for their strong support of our community and the mission of NPA.

 Josiah Durfee Neighborhood Spirit Award

Chris Owens and Noblesville Main Street

Awarded to Chris Owens and Noblesville Main Street Noblesville Main Street is this year's recipient of the Josiah Durfee Neighborhood Award. Under the leadership of Chris Owens, Exectuive Director, Noblesville Main Street has received both state and national accreditation.

Through events and programs like First Fridays, the Street Dance, the Farmers Market, the Back to School Bash, and numerous others, Noblesville Main Street seeks to actively promote our historic downtown while bringing people into our neighborhood to see all that downtown Noblesville has to offer. Noblesville Main Street has a mission to lead and organize community resources to develop and promote the cultural vitality of downtown Noblesville, while preserving and enhancing authentic historic assets.

Chris calls downtown Noblesville home both professionally and personally. He and his wife, Maggie, bought and have been restoring their home on Conner Street since 2012. They enjoy raising their son Wyatt (5), daughter Caroline (2), and their beagle Sparky within walking distance of so many Noblesville events. When they're not enjoying events, you might find them taking a family walk around town and getting ice cream at Alexander's on the Square.

Josiah Durfee Award for Individual Merit

Alan and Gail Booker

Alan and Gail Booker began restoring a French Second Empire gem on North 10th Street in the 1980s when it wasn’t the cool thing to do in Noblesville, in a time when locals shook their heads in confusion at people willing to throw themselves into refinishing floors, restoring front porches, and saving original windows. The Bookers went even further, conducting a restoration that set an early local standard for quality workmanship and attention to period detail, making their home a favorite on several NPA Home Tours. Alan’s master craftsman’s touch with detailed trim work and Gail’s no-drama demeanor were well suited for a 25-year labor of love.

Both Alan and Gail sat on NPA’s board for many of its early, formative years. Alan served a term as president, and Gail served several years as secretary. For many years, NPA monthly board meetings were held in the comfy confines of their ornate dining room, with beer, wine, and food a regular feature. It was a compelling time for a group of people trying to save the best of Noblesville’s built history, and the Bookers were the hosts. Alan and Gail set an early standard for quality restoration and worked to inspire the next generation of old house stewards in the process. And for all the attention to Victorian detail, the Bookers have kept their house fun for modern living, complete with a hot tub room inside and a pool and pool house out back, the site of regular summer Sunday water volleyball games.


Special thanks to the Noblesville Preservation Alliance Sponsors