The Robert Kuehn Community Preservation Award


The Community Preservation Coalition is pleased to announce the initiation of a new award program - The Robert Kuehn Community Preservation Award – developed to honor the memory and work of Bob Kuehn.  Bob Kuehn, President of Keen Development Company, was actively involved in the process of drafting and passing the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which was ultimately signed into law in the fall of 2000.  Bob was also one of the founders and main supporters of the Community Preservation Coalition (CPC), and served as Chair of the Steering Committee until his death in June of 2006.


Bob had many interests, but his professional work focused on historic preservation, particularly the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and affordable housing. Bob was always willing to use his expertise to help communities with their complex housing projects.  He was especially active in assisting the communities of Martha’s Vineyard and Cambridge, where he lived.


The Robert Kuehn Community Preservation Award program will honor completed CPA projects that best exemplify the spirit of Bob Kuehn’s legacy.  The selection committee will look for projects that meet as many of the following criteria as possible:


            Projects that…

-         Demonstrate broad community support

-         Serve more than more than one CPA purpose

-         Produce highest cost/benefit value

-         Leverage other public and/or private funds

-         Save CPA eligible resources that would be lost

-         Target an underserved segment of your community’s population

-         Match community planning goals

-         The committee will also take into the consideration your overall CPA program, looking for successful and well-rounded programs.


There are two categories for the competition.  The large community category includes CPA cities and towns with FY2008 local surcharge revenues over $400,000 and the small category includes those whose surcharge revenue is under $400,000. The winning community in each category will receive an award of $3,500 and award amounts must be fully deposited in the winning community’s CPA Fund.  The Keen Charitable Foundation is donating the award money in Bob’s memory. 


The judges for the awards will include some of the founding members of the Community Preservation Coalition: Aaron Gornstein of CHAPA, Tom Callahan of MAHA, Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Laura Johnson of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Ernest Cook of the Trust for Public Land, and the CPC Board Chair, Clarissa Rowe.


The deadline for nominations is 5:00 PM on January 31, 2009.  Any individual or organization is invited to nominate a project for this award, however, only projects completed in communities that are members of the Community Preservation Coalition as of the deadline are eligible. 


To nominate a CPA project for the Robert Kuehn Community Preservation Award, please submit the following information:


1.      A one-page description of the project (required)

2.      At least three photographs of the completed work (required)

3.      Cost breakdown on the project, including information on non-CPA sources of funding that might have been used on the project (required)

4.      Testimonials about the project from community leaders, affected parties, or citizens of the community (optional)


Submissions should be sent via email to:

Questions may be directed to the Community Preservation Coalition at 617-367-8998.


The award winners will be chosen by: March 31, 2009.