Each year in April, the Alexandria Historical Society presents the T. Michael Miller Alexandria History Award to a person or persons who have made noteworthy contributions to the preservation of the historic, cultural, and artistic heritage of Alexandria. In addition, outstanding history students from each of Alexandria’s four high schools are given an Alexandria High School History Award based on the recommendations of their teachers. From time to time, Special Awards are also given.
Awards Program Criteria
Past Alexandria History Award Recipients
Citations for Past Alexandria History Awards
Past Special Award Recipients
Citation for Past Special Awards
Past High School History Award Recipients
2013 History Award Winners
T. Michael Miller History Award
C. RICHARD BIERCE
Richard Bierce is an independent historical architect and preservation consultant and has worked on many sites in the DC Metro area, particularly in Alexandria and Annapolis. He believes that it is his duty as an architect to give back to the community and the profession, and has done so by serving on municipal review boards, being involved in professional architecture organizations, and assisting historical societies in Virginia and Maryland.
Mr. Bierce came to Alexandria in 1973 to oversee two Bicentennial projects — the restoration of the Carlyle House and the rehabilitation and adaptive use of Gadsby’s Tavern, which landed him the job as the City Historic Resources Director. Later he worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and during his tenure, he provided the first complete architectural assessment of the Lee-Fendall House. Erin Adams, Executive Director of Lee-Fendall House, states, “Without Mr. Bierce’s assessment, the Lee-Fendall House would certainly not be standing today. His report continues to serve as the guidepost for ongoing preservation efforts.”
Over the years, Mr. Bierce has served as a Preservation Consultant for Lloyd House, St. Paul’s Church, the Alexandria Academy, and the Bank of Alexandria. He assisted in the founding of the Alexandria Society for Preservation of Black Heritage, which saved the 19th century Alfred Street Baptist Church and led to the creation of the Alexandria Black History Museum. He continues to volunteer his time and expertise to historic sites and boards throughout Northern Virginia, as well as teach students at Goucher College, George Washington University, The University of Arizona and Virginia Tech.
Mr. Bierce was born in Iowa and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He received a B.A. in Architecture at the University of Arizona and a Master’s of Science in Architecture & Historic Preservation at Columbia University. He is married to Violet Ellen and has two sons, Jonathan and Mathew. He is also a grandfather.
Leaving an award winning architectural preservation practice in Texas, Al Cox was hired as a City Architect by the City of Alexandria in 1991, and has worked in Code Administration and the City’s Planning department. It was here that he met the late Peter Smith, and their dynamic collaborative efforts combined academic, legal, and practical knowledge of historic preservation, which culminated in such defining efforts as the Design Guidelines for Preservation for the Board of Architectural Review.
Over the years, Mr Cox has worked tirelessly to maintain the historic integrity of Alexandria’s neighborhoods. Working with the Office of Historic Alexandria, he has contributed his insights to programs, lectures and National Register nominations. He is the creator and designer of the Pavilion in front of City Hall. Mr. Cox also supported the Carlyle Design Review Board and now serves as Historic Preservation Manager of the two Alexandria Boards of Architectural Review.
Jean Taylor Federico, former director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, recalls “…With Al Cox we received…wisdom, wonderful down home expressions and a superb ability to make everything important very clear and easy to understand. I loved hearing Al talk about the type of mortar and the way bricks were laid to create what he would call a perfect bread and butter joint…. Al is outstanding in his ability to speak to homeowners as well as preservation experts.”
Mr Cox has also shared his time and expertise with non-profit organizations like Preservation Virginia, and with his arrival by motorcycle, he helped restore the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in Tennessee, a 130-year-old inter-denominational church listed on the National Register. He is a past President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Northern Virginia Chapter, and received the state AIA Award for Preservation in 2002. In 2006, he was elected to the AIA National College of Fellows. Mr Cox and his wife Cathy have lived in Old Town in a historic townhome for the past 20 years.
Ann Graham’s book, The Bounden Duty of the Progeny: A History: Robert E. Lee Camp, No. 726, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is hailed by Wanda Dowell, former Director of Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, as “the most comprehensive history of the Robert E. Lee Camp No. 726 in existence. For the research effort alone, this book is worthy of recognition as another documented chapter in the fabric that is woven together to create the history of Alexandria.”
Mrs. Graham has volunteered extensively in support of historic preservation and interpretation activities. She has been the Docent-in-Charge at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, served on the Docent Advisory Committee, and was the secretary of the Historic Alexandria Docents. She developed a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan for the City’s historic properties, and initiated a program to improve the structural integrity of Lee Camp Hall at 806 Prince Street, thereby bringing it into compliance with current city code.
Mrs. Graham has held top-level administrative roles in government that required professionalism, attention to detail, and determination. She also owned and operated a touring business in Old Town Alexandria, which provided tours for small groups and step-on guides for tour buses. Her skills, insights and love of history have served her well for she has won several awards for historic preservation, particularly for her efforts to save Robert E. Lee’s boyhood home.
As a 13th-generation Virginian, her love of history, especially Civil War Virginia, is rooted in her family’s history. Mrs. Graham lives with her husband and cat in Fairfax Station.
High School History Awards
RONALD J. WILTSIE
BISHOP IRETON HIGH SCHOOL
Teacher: Marie Markussen
MARTIN V. SHARP, JR
EPISCOPAL HIGH SCHOOL
Teacher: Richard Dixon, Ph.D.
ST. STEPHEN’S AND ST. AGNES UPPER SCHOOL
Teacher: Caroline English
T.C. WILLIAMS HIGH SCHOOL
Teacher: Michelle Hudgens