OLLU’s Main Building receives Preservation Honor Award

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Lady of the Lake University and Kell Munoz Architects were awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of Main Building. The project is one of 22 award winners that were honored during the 2012 National Preservation Conference last week in Spokane, Wash.

Main Building, with its distinctive silver spires, was the first structure erected on campus in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence. Main has always served as a landmark for the community and beyond with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes sitting atop the roof between the two majestic spires.

When a four-alarm fire ravaged the fourth floor and roof of Main Building on May 6, 2008, many thought the dreams of the Sisters went up in flames with the building. It marked a new beginning for OLLU.

The University embarked upon an ambitious effort to rebuild the San Antonio landmark and to redefine Main Building as the center of OLLU’s campus life and with the help of Kell Munoz, the rebuilding process was completed in November 2010—six months ahead of schedule and on budget. The spires, which were once engulfed in flames, stood atop Main Building again, visible in the San Antonio skyline for miles.

A major goal of the renovation project was to maintain the historic charm of Main while updating its features to provide a safer, greener, building with state-of-the-art educational technology for the OLLU community. Main reopened in 2011.

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organization, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of their architectural and cultural heritage.