Jean Taylor Federico, Alexandria’s recently retired Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, which she guided for 23 years, was awarded Alexandria Historical Society’s 2006 History Award last Wednesday night during ceremonies at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
In presenting the award, State Sen. Patricia “Patsy” Ticer (D-30), to Frederico said, “Our honoree tonight far exceeds the criteria. The Award Committee had no problem in selecting their recipient this year.”
That criteria calls for “one or more persons who have made especially noteworthy contributions to the preservation of the historic, cultural, and artistic heritage of Alexandria.
Individuals who have written research papers, theses, dissertations, books and materials which publicly disseminate information on the social and cultural history of the area.”
Among her accomplishment as head of the Office of Historic Alexandria, Federico secured accreditation for three of the city’s museums by the American Association of Museums, raised funds for the renovation of the Lloyd House Garden and the exhibition “Securing the Blessing of Liberty” at Alexandria’s Black History Museum, and promoted partnerships with Historic Alexandria Foundation and later with the “Antiques in Alexandria” Committee to support two antique shows within the City.
Other accomplishments included securing National Register nominations for seven Alexandria African American sites and the “2004 Preserve America Community” status for the City. She served as city staff for the Historic Alexandria Resources Commission, the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, and the City’s 250th Anniversary Celebration.
Federico has been a strong supporter of the Historical Society’s annual city history awards, which marked its thirteenth year with this ceremony. She served as chair of the selection committee for many years.
“I never thought I would be the one standing here tonight,” she said in accepting the engraved silver server from Ticer. Referring to her retired she admitted, “I’m really enjoying my other life. Doing what I want to do when I want to do it.”
PRIOR TO RECOGNIZING Federico, Ticer presented the Society’s four High School History Awards. They were presented to Philippe Halbert, Bishop Ireton High School; Travis Thompson, St. Stephen’s St. Agnes High School; and Gustaf Cavanaugh, T.C.Williams High
School. Also receiving an award, but unable to attend, was Catherine Coley, Episcopal High School.
Mary Ruth Coleman, president, Alexandria Historical Society, opened the ceremony joined by Jim Johnson, chairman, History Award Committee. Serving with Johnson on this year’s committee were, Audrey Davis, Ann Smith Paul, Jim MacKay, and Dr. Oscar P. Fitzgerald. Bill Tabor served as chairman of the High School Awards Committee.