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A pair of Sauk County institutions are about to pick up historic preservation awards.

This week the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation listed Dr. Evermor and the Al. Ringling Theatre among its 2016 award winners. The organization annually recognizes building, design and construction projects that maintain the character of historic places in Madison and the surrounding area. The awards ceremony will be held May 19.

The theater won recognition for undergoing a $3 million restoration project. Celebrating the playhouse’s centennial and propelling it into a second century, the long-awaited project restored the downtown Baraboo gem to its original luster.

“We're very pleased that the prestigious Madison Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen to honor our amazing theater,” said Beth Rozman, associate director of the Al. Ringling. “The cooperation and efforts of our donors, as well as the state and federal governments, made funding this restoration possible. We are very grateful to all who contributed to the success of the project.”

Sauk Prairie scrap metal sculptor Tom Every, better known as Dr. Evermor, will be honored as a “friend of preservation.” For many years curious visitors have been drawn to his sculpture park off U.S. Highway 12, across from the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Now facing health challenges, Every famously used everything from old buses to lawn mower blades to create giant metal creatures and other sculptures.

His wife Eleanor Every said the artist will attend the awards ceremony in Madison. “He was honored,” she said. “It’s quite an award.”

A dozen recipients will be recognized for restoration projects, new construction efforts, and advocacy work. Vince Micha, senior project architect for the 2008 eco-friendly addition to Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1951 First Unitarian Meeting House, will deliver a presentation.

The Madison Trust is dedicated to saving historic places through advocacy and education. A volunteer board of trustees guides the nonprofit organization. It works with state and local historic preservation groups and is a local chapter of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Preserving and renovating historic structures and landscapes creates jobs, protects the environment, and revitalizes neighborhoods,” Madison Trust board president Sam Breidenbach said. “I encourage community members to join us at this gathering so they can learn more about the innovative historic preservation work that is being done in Madison and the surrounding area.”

Baraboo News Republic Senior Reporter

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