The Missouri Preservation 2013 Conference, Preservation a Bridge to the Future, was held last week in Boonville.  Nearly 250 people attended the three day conference held at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel. Each year at the conference, Missouri Preservation honors local community preservation by giving out Missouri Legacy Awards. These awards recognize significant achievements in advancing preservation in the host community.

David Oswald was recognized for his contribution to historic preservation. Since 1991, David has worked to restore Turner Hall. Turner Hall began as a Baptist Church in 1847. The building was in much need of renovation when David discovered it. He was looking for a place to house his leather works business. David bought the building and began renovations. The roof was leaking and the water damage had destroyed the walls and the flooring in the wings. The building no longer had its Victorian porch and a second floor had been constructed in the ballroom and wings. 

David decided to return the building to its use as a community gathering place and put his leather shop in the back. He removed the two story addition and loading bay on the front of the building and restored the big windows at the end of the wings and on the front porch. He recreated the Victorian porch from pictures. Inside, he removed the second floor in the wings and ballroom. He refurbished the wooden dance floor. The building now looks much like it did at the turn of the century. Since 1996 it has been the location for many community celebrations. The Friends of Historic Boonville use the hall twice a year as part of the Big Muddy Folk Festival and the Missouri Festival of the Arts.  In 2003, the Turner Hall River Rats for the Arts formed as a cultural arts organization based out of Turner Hall. The River Rats host events in the hall every year that allow local artists to share their talents. 

David not only brought back a dilapidated building to its historical heritage he has provided a gathering place where history and local heritage continues to be made as well as enjoyed by the community. David Oswald is a deserving recipient of the 2013 Missouri Preservation Legacy Award.  Buy Local, Play Local, Preserve Local, Go Boonville.