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Tersh Boasberg

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Lifetime Achievement Award 

Tersh Boasberg is honored for his revolutionary advocacy of historic preservation, land use, and environmental law, and as founder of Preservation Action, a national grassroots lobby. His active leadership in Washington, D.C. zoning battles has provided regional growth through the protection of historical beauty for our future.

Tersh Boasberg is a pioneer for American historic preservation and land use. As Founder and General Counsel of Preservation Action, the nation’s first and grassroots preservation lobby,and an attorney specializing in environmental law, his transformative career has helped to save and shape major land development projects in the United States for nearly three decades.

Boasberg’s founding advocacy for historic preservation has successfully preserved large portions of our nation’s history. Under his leadership, Preservation Action continues to make historic preservation a national priority. Regionally, Boasberg’s efforts as Counsel for Save the Battlefield Coalition notablyconserved Manassas Battlefield by preventing the construction of a large shopping mall on the site, and subsequently added 500 acres to the existing National Park. He also effectively preserved over 1500 acres of the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War as Counsel to the Brandy Station Foundation in Culpeper, Virginia. Additionally, he worked to save the Kernstown Battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley and to successfully stop plans to build a Disney theme park at Manassas.

Within the District, Boasberg served as President and Founder of the Cleveland Park Historical Society, which successfully rezoned the third largest local and national historic district in D.C. He is also the former Chair of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and Trustee of the National Building Museum. Currently, he serves as President of the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Law and Historic Preservation at the Georgetown Law Center and Goucher College.

From 2000 to 2010 Boasberg served as Chair of the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board where he presided over many landmark preservation cases, including the rejuvenation of downtown. With his colleagues at Georgetown, he is responsible for organizing, indexing, and publicizing the preservation decisions of the city’s Mayor’s Agent and the courts.

Boasberg graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1956 and from Harvard Law in 1959. He is a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., where he raised his four children with his wife, Sarah Szold Boasberg, a landscape designer. Tersh Boasberg’s lifetime achievements have directly improved the quality of life for millions of people by protecting the sustainable beauty of the capital city and the nation.


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