Valdosta men awarded for historic preservation efforts

Dr. Richard Saeger, Valdosta Historic Preservation Planner Emily Foster, Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Harry Hamm and Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. Absent from photo is David J. Sutton. / City of Valdosta

Two Valdosta men have been awarded for their contributions to historic preservation.

The City of Valdosta honored Dr. Richard Saeger and David Sutton with the Harold M. Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award. This year marks the first time two individuals have received the award, named in honor of Valdosta's "Father of Historic Preservation."

Dr. Saeger has also served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Alliance of Preservation Commissions, representing the south central region of Georgia, as well as the Board of Directors for the Valdosta-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity, where he has helped to integrate compatible new housing in the Valdosta Historic District.

Sutton, a Lowndes County native, also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of historic preservation influence. Sutton was instrumental in saving two historic sites in the city, Barber-Pittman House and the J. T. Roberts House.

The Historic Preservation Commission began the annual awards program in 2009, as part of the city's observance of National Historic Preservation Month, to recognize property owners who do outstanding work to preserve historic buildings or promote historic preservation.