A new tool in Bristol, Virginia could help in the preservation of historic places in the city.

The Bristol Virginia Historic District Preservation Award Committee has been developed so that property owners who demonstrate excellence in preservation of their historic property can be recognized and rewarded.

The first of the annual awards has been given to noted Bristol historian Bud Phillips who owns "Pleasant Hill," a home on Johnson Street built in 1873.

We're told the city hopes this will encourage others to invest in historic properties.

Catherine Brillhart, Chair of the Bristol, Virginia Historic District Preservation Award Committee tells us, “Looking at the excellence in preservation and hoping to decrease blight in the city, and just honor those that are doing major renovation projects or else maintaining their property."

She also says that properties may be nominated for next years awards from now until March 31st, 2015. One property from each of the five Bristol, Virginia historic districts may be considered.