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Now accepting applications for 2023 funding. Deadline: October 27, 2022, at 11PM EST.

The Silman Award will be presented biennially to an engineer, architect, or other design professional in a related field for a proposal exploring the preservation, restoration, or adaptive reuse of the built environment, in the spirit of Robert Silman. The proposal may focus on a real project or it may be a polemical exercise; in either case, originality is highly valued. The proposal need not be directly related to structural design, although reference to structural elements within a given project and/or the interaction of structure with related fields will be valued. The proposal must advance the art and practice of preservation in the United States. The product can be graphic, text-based or a combination of both and must be able to be shared with the preservation community. The award is for a sum not to exceed $15,000.

Criteria for Evaluation

Applications are reviewed by the Fitch Trustees. Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria and conditions of eligibility:

  • A demonstrated need for the proposed study and evidence of its value to advance the practice of historic preservation in the United States.
  • The applicant has a realistic plan for the dissemination of research and/or the final work product within twenty-four (24) months of receipt of the Award. Modes of dissemination include papers; lectures; conferences; presentations; or exhibitions.
  • The project has a clear and realistic goals, timeframe, work plan, and budget.
  • The project demonstrates innovative thinking, original research and creative problem solving and/or design.
  • Projects that lean towards research and proposals that lead to positive impacts among underrepresented communities will be valued.


  • Grants are awarded only to individuals, not organizations or university-sponsored research projects. Grants are not awarded for professional fees.
  • The applicant must be in a preservation-related field, such as engineering, architecture, historic preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, archaeology, architectural history, advocacy, resiliency design, economics, and preservation law.
  • Applicants must be legal residents or citizens of the United States.

Please email us with any questions concerning criteria for evaluation or project eligibility.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit the following materials:

  1. Cover page, including Project Title; Name of Applicant(s), including primary contact person; Applicant Address; Phone; Email. Also, please specify for which grant you are applying; specify the amount of grant money requested.
  2. Brief description of project, including how the final work product will be disseminated. Applicants are encouraged to be succinct and the description is not to exceed three (3) pages.
  3. Detailed work schedule and project budget, showing the grant amount requested from the Fitch Foundation and how this money will be spent.
  4. Curriculum Vita, including professional and academic background, and past and present grants received.
  5. Two (2) letters of support for the project to be included with the application. These may be emailed directly to Foundation staff (cpena@fitchfoundation.org) or submitted as part of a complete package.

Selection Process & Completion of Grant
Grants are awarded at the discretion of the Foundation. Recipients will be notified by mail in the Spring of 2023. Projects must be completed within twenty-four (24) months of the grant award. All grantees will be assigned a Trustee advisor who will provide feedback and guidance throughout the project.

Typically, grant awards are divided into equal payments, the first being presented upon the award of the grant. Substantial written progress reports are required for all subsequent payments. The final payment is awarded only upon completion of the project.

The Foundation shall be acknowledged in all publications. The Trustees reserve the right to publish the results if the recipient does not. The grant recipient must sign a release to the Foundation permitting such publication. Proper credit will be given to the grant recipient.


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Your Journey to Detroit Starts Here!


Join us in Detroit this November and see the revitalization

of this great city taking shape!

The APT Detroit 2022 Conference offers no better place to share your ideas, insights and obeservations in preservation. The conference audience, comprising of those committed to maintaining, conserving and protecting historic structures and sites for continued use, will be engaged in the presentations and discussions led from their peers - like you.

All papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in post‐conference issues of the APT Bulletin. APT reserves the right to publish all accepted abstracts on their websites and with conference registration materials. 

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2022 Track highlights are below, full descriptions are on the abstract site.

Pink Cadillac: The Composite Effect of Building and Industrial Design 

Detroit not only served as an epicenter of the automobile industry, but its citizens also championed industrial design and its intersection with architecture from the early 1920s until the early 1970s. Designers of all professions experimented with new materials and processes, such as concrete mixes, ceramics, plastics, metal alloys, and paints. This track explores the preservation, adaptation, interpretation, and enhancement of “modern” materials (both the historic Modern Movement and the new century’s design advancements) used at all scales around the world. 

Stop! In the Name of Renewal: Adaptive Reuse and Renovation in a Metropolis 

It just can’t be saved. It’s too far damaged. Just tear it down and build back better. This track will focus on the extreme ends of the adaptive reuse spectrum and what challenges building owners, developers, and historic districts must overcome. Like Detroit’s motto, “resurget cineribus,” these buildings shall rise from the ashes. 

The Dire Straits: Challenges, Opportunities, and Innovations within Marine Environments 

Before there were interstates and before there were steel rails, there was the Big Water, the Great Lakes. Settlement patterns and industry developed along the waterways, connecting remote settlements and bringing products to market and to consolidated industrial centers. This track will discuss the challenges of maintaining, preserving, and reusing maritime structures, including material choices and repair alternatives employed in the extreme exposure conditions. 

Dancing in the Street: (R)evolution of a City

The US’s one and only UNESCO Design City, Detroit has shaped the culture of not only the local region, but also the world, and gave inspiration to future artists of the visual, audio, and tactile arts. This track will study how books, music, movies, and social media can influence the culture and use of a building and how buildings will help preserve the story of the artists and local culture.

Presentations will be selected based upon a blind review process. 

Not able to submit an abstract this year? APT is also actively seeking volunteers to lend their talents as abstract reviewers. Email us for more information.

Connect with WCAPT on Linkedin for regular updates and events!




Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California 2023



About APTI

The Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) is a cross - disciplinary, membership organization dedicated to promoting the best technology for conserving historic structures and their settings. Membership in APT provides exceptional opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas. APT members, who hail from more than 30 countries, include preservationists, architects, engineers, conservators, consultants, contractors, craftspersons, curators, developers, educators, historians, landscape architects, students, technicians, and other persons directly involved in the application of methods and materials to maintain, conserve, and protect historic structures and sites for future use and appreciation. The international, interdisciplinary character of APT - with its outstanding publications, conferences, training courses, awards, student scholarships, regional chapters, and technical committees - makes it the premier worldwide network for anyone involved in the field of historic preservation.


To help promote APTI when giving presentations, APTI has developed some informational PowerPoint slides to add to your PowerPoint presentation. Download the PowerPoint images and a suggested script below.




Updated Seismic Retrofit Preservation Brief

The National Park Service has released an update of Preservation Brief #41 on Seismic Retrofit of historic buildings. The revised Brief contains expanded and updated information covering new technologies such as fiber wrap, as well as expanded graphic representations illustrating general issues and needs associated with the seismic rehabilitation of historic buildings. 

WCAPT is now an AIA CES Provider.        

The Western Chapter of the Association of Preservation Technology is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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