Historic Dillon House wins 2nd national honor

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- It's National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week and Topeka's Historic Dillon House is getting an award for doing just that!

The building next to the Statehouse won it's the 2nd national honor. Its owner, Pioneer Group, was presented the 2015 Preservation's Best award from the National Trust Community Investment Corp.

"The team that put it together was just tremendous, the architects, engineers and all the laborers," Pioneer Group President Ross Freeman said.

In 2014 that team and Freeman restored the Historic Dillon House, originally built in 1911.

Wednesday in Washington they received their second national award for excellence of historic rehabilitation.

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins wasn't able to be there, so Friday, Freeman recreated the ceremony.

Jenkins said, "We of course have an interest at the federal level because this is what can happen with historic tax credit and that kind of public policy decision-making that encourages projects like this. So, it's just been a real treat."

"There has been legislation introduced of which she's a cosponsor that's going to improve the federal historic tax credit program, which has made all of this possible," Freeman said.

Although the Dillon House won the 2015 Preservation's Best award for the restoration of the home, the historic house continues to win the hearts of the people with its location.

"It's immediately adjacent to the State Capital building that has just undergone a tremendous renovation itself and is now probably the number one visitor attraction in Topeka," Freeman said.

"It really is a gem for this community and for the state of Kansas," Jenkins said.

Freeman and his team said they like to think of the Dillon House as Topeka's hidden treasure.

"A building we thought had great bones had a great location had great potential and to see all those come true is really gratifying," Freeman said.

Celebrations wrapped up around 7 Friday night, but Freeman said the Dillon House door is open to anyone who is in need of an entertainment space or a history lesson.