Beth Savage Receives Prestigious Cabinet-Level Award

Beth-Savage-DOI-Preservation-Award-Ceremony-23-June-2015-1Under Beth Savage’s leadership, GSA’s Center for Historic Buildings has been cited as the “gold standard” in its sophistication and commitment to preservation. No small accolade, in large part due to Beth’s energy and commitment. She has dedicated herself completely to GSA’s historic building programs and projects. On June 23rd, her years of service and accomplishments were celebrated with a 2014 Secretary of the Interior Federal Historic Preservation Officer of the Year Award.

With a third of the GSA portfolio–486 buildings–either listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Beth directs the stewardship of GSA historic buildings and sites across the nation. Dedicated to preserving these irreplaceable treasures, she is also an advocate for reinvestment and reuse to keep these properties occupied and financially viable. Half of GSA’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding–$2.78 billion–was spent on historic buildings and the payoff is notable. In Grand Junction, Colorado, the historic Second Renaissance Revival Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is GSA’s first target net zero building.

Over the past several years, Beth and her team have completed National Register nominations for more than 100 buildings. Sixty-three GSA buildings have been added to the National Register since 2014. Importantly, Beth has made sure that the agency’s 540 modern-era buildings have been evaluated prior to any project development as they approach the National Register’s 50-year eligibility threshold.

She has worked across business lines to issue GSA’s first ever policy on leasing and preservation entitled “Lease Requirements for Protection of Environmental, Archeological and Historic Resources.” She is a Federal Preservation Officer (FPO) and the GSA Administrator’s designee to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). In this latter role, Beth stands out as one of only two FPOs to be a formal designee for the head of an ACHP member agency.

In the last three years, Beth and her colleagues have received 58 regional and national awards recognizing 25 GSA historic building projects in 19 states. As Public Buildings Service Deputy Commissioner Michael Gelber noted at the Department of Interior ceremony, “Beth is the gatekeeper, supporter, rallying point, and strategist of GSA’s historic preservation program.” The 2014 Secretary of the Interior Federal Historic Preservation Officer of the Year Award appropriately recognizes her outstanding contributions in a federal agency to the preservation of historic places.

July 8, 2015 | Thomas Walton, Communications Specialist, Public Buildings Service