The Ballinger Award commemorates a restoration or renovation that best exemplifies the traditions of Palm Beach’s original houses and the architects who designed them. The Ballinger Award was first presented by the foundation in 1988 in honor of the late Robert I. Ballinger Jr., former chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission. Mr. Ballinger worked tirelessly for many years to instill pride in the island’s architectural heritage. The medal itself, struck by noted sculptor Edward Grove, bears the likeness of a bust of Mr. Ballinger that was sculpted by Mr. Ballinger’s wife, Didi Ballinger. The award is featured in December of each year at the foundation’s membership luncheon.
The Polly Earl Award was founded in 2005. It is given to recognize a Palm Beach property owner for outstanding service to the cause of preservation, specifically through restoration of an existing landmarked property or property of historic significance that is not necessarily a large estate. Mrs. Earl was the foundation’s executive director for some 20 years. She died in 2004. The first award was given toward the restoration of a house on Seabreeze Avenue, in one of the original neighborhoods of Palm Beach that were important to Mrs. Earl.
The Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award was founded in 2005 by Mr. and Mrs. Schuler to recognize new architecture that is designed and built in keeping with the traditional styles of Palm Beach architecture. John Schuler served as chairman of the Town of Palm Beach Architectural Review Commission for many years and as the Treasurer of the Foundation’s executive committee of the board of trustees.
The Lesly S. Smith Landscape Award was founded in 2011. The award recognizes a landscape design that is both in keeping with the character and traditions of Palm Beach, yet also original and forward-thinking. To be considered an individual landscape design must have been completed in Palm Beach within approximately the past 3 years. The design does not have to be part of a historic or landmarked property in town. The award is named in honor of former Palm Beach Mayor and Foundation Trustee Lesly S. Smith in recognition for all the work she has done for Palm Beach and preservation. Her late husband, Earl E. T. Smith was the Preservation Foundation’s first Chairman and the Foundation’s Earl E. T. Smith Park is named after him.