We received word yesterday that Sam Kaye, longtime preservation architect from Columbus, Miss., died on New Year’s Day. His funeral is Saturday in Columbus. Kaye served on the state’s National Register Review Board, and was president of that board the last two years (as well as at other times in his 35-year tenure). Kaye won the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2012:
Sam Kaye of Columbus received the Al and Libby Hollingsworth Lifetime Achievement Award, which is Mississippi Heritage Trust’s highest award for outstanding service to historic preservation in Mississippi. Sam Kaye has been a great champion for the preservation of historic sites not only in his hometown of Columbus, but throughout the state of Mississippi! Since 1974, he has operated his architecture firm in Columbus with special emphasis on community planning and historic preservation. He has worked across the state on preservation projects bringing back to life historic buildings ranging from residential, commercial, educational, and institutional, all of different sizes and complexity. His firm also worked on putting numerous historic districts and sites on the National Register of Historic Places across the state.
The MDAH Historic Resources Database lists a few of the restoration projects he oversaw. He also worked with historic Main Street communities around the state in revitalizing their downtown buildings. Less visibly, Kaye conducted a valuable documentary survey of historic buildings on the state university campuses in the 1980s, and his materials are available in the MDAH Historic Preservation Division’s building files.
The Commercial Dispatch
By: Carmen K. Sisson
January 3, 2013
Sam Kaye, noted as one of the state’s leading historic preservationists, died Tuesday, leaving a legacy that his friends and colleagues say will endure the test of time.
Kaye, 72, an architect by profession, built his life around history, working tirelessly to preserve Mississippi’s historic buildings, saving them from demolition and restoring them to new viability while carefully maintaining their historic and architectural integrity.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has called him “one of Mississippi’s finest preservation architects,” and the Mississippi Heritage Trust in May 2012 awarded him the Al and Libby Hollingsworth Award for Lifetime Achievement — the state’s highest award for outstanding service to historic preservation.
At the time, former Gov. William Winter said he knew of no other architect who has done more to develop a public appreciation for preservation.
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