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Orchids & Onions

Orchids & Onions

Since 1977, Preservation Idaho has hosted the annual Orchids & Onions Awards, a ceremony designed to celebrate those individuals and organizations that have made a positive contribution to historic preservation, and in turn, to bring awareness to those projects which have shown an insensitivity to historic preservation.


Nomination are now open!

Nominations are due March 10, 2017


Awards Ceremony

Location: The Community Library, 415 Spruce Avenue North, Ketchum, Idaho 83340

Date: May 20, 2017

Time:  5 PM with reception afterwards (no luncheon this year)


The first 75 registrants will be invited to a local historic landmark, which can be visited by invitation only.


Orchid Award Categories

Orchids categories include Excellence in Historic Preservation, Preservation-sensitive New Construction, Friend of Preservation, Distinguished Preservationist, Cultural Heritage Preservation, and Heritage Stewardship. Onions are issued to raise awareness of projects or programs that are insensitive to historic preservation. Recipients include individuals and corporations who demolish historically significant buildings or sites and new construction that is uncomplimentary to a neighborhood’s history.

► Excellence in Historic Preservation

Awarded to projects that have demonstrated outstanding adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards in preservation, restoration, renovation, or adaptive reuse (residential or commercial).

► Contribution to Historic Preservation

Awarded to projects that have been successful in the tasteful restoration, addition, or remodel of an existing building (residential or commercial.)

► Preservation-Sensitive New Construction

Awarded to new construction that enhances a historic neighborhood or historical theme (residential or commercial).

► Friend of Preservation

Awarded to non-professional individuals distinguished for service in historic preservation. This includes, but is not limited to, those who volunteer for preservation organizations, historical societies or museums.

► Distinguished Preservationist

Awarded to professionals distinguished for service in historic preservation. Nominees for this award are to those whose job it is to further the cause of Historic Preservation in Idaho through direct projects or education.

► Cultural Heritage Preservation

Awarded to educational programs and projects that have made a positive impact toward the preservation of cultural heritage and open spaces, as well as the restoration and rehabilitation of historic landmarks and roadside architecture.

► Heritage Stewardship

Awarded to organizations or individuals that have shown dedication to historic preservation through the long-term maintenance and care of historic, architecturally significant, or culturally important sites and structures.


Examples of projects or programs insensitive to historic preservation can be awarded to:

  • Individuals or corporations who demolish historically significant buildings or sites; or
  • New construction that is insensitive or ignorant of the neighborhood’s history.

Evaluation and Selection

Each year, an impartial jury is appointed by Preservation Idaho to review all nominations. This jury is typically made up of architects, preservationists, and historians. Evaluations are based upon information submitted in the nomination application.