Saving historic structures doesn’t happen by accident. That’s why 17 groups and organizations received awards Thursday evening for historic preservation in the Big Bend.The awards, presented at Florida’s Historic Capitol Museum, saluted the dedication of people to saving their history.”This is not only about highlighting the projects, but about the people,” said Tiffany Baker, director of the legislative research center that oversees the old capitol. “This is about highlighting people’s commitment to preservation and their commitment to their communities.”The awards were part of a program that kicked off National Historic Preservation Month in Florida. For the third year, the Florida Department of State, which oversees historic preservation in Florida, held a Rotunda Rendevous to kick off the national month of awareness.It combined forces this year with the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, which has given out historic preservation awards since 1987. This was the 10th awards ceremony, an intermittent span that recognizes the many years it takes for historic preservation projects to be completed.The 17 awards spanned projects over several years in three counties. They included such Tallahassee projects as restoration of the Historic Capitol Dome, re-thatching of the roof of the Apalachee Council House at Mission San Luis, construction of the city’s Civil Rights Heritage Walk, creation of the Taylor House Museum, building of the Riley House Visitors Center and rehabilitation of The Columns, one of Tallahassee’s oldest structures, which is now home to the James Madison Institute.The awards also saluted spiritual restorations, such as the rebound from financial difficulties — thanks largely to volunteer-led events — of Tallahassee’s historic Goodwood Museum and Gardens.”Four years ago, there was the potential for Goodwood to (close),” said Fred Gaske, the former state historic preservation officer who is now treasurer at Goodwood. “But the community rallied around us.”Many communities clearly care about historic preservation. Secretary of State Ken Detzner noted the Florida legislature — for the first time in recent memory — passed a budget that fully funded all historic preservation requests. The budget provides more than $10 million in historic preservation projects and maintenance statewide. It includes $140,000 for Mission San Luis, Tallahassee’s only National Historic Landmark.”I’m thankful for the people in this room,” Detzner said. “It’s the dedication of people like you who got the attention of the legislature.”Historic Preservation AwardsFor a complete list of all Thursday’s winners, visit: