Local Documentary, “History Reborn,” Receives Regional EMMY Award Nomination


The Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance (SSGA) is proud to announce that “History Reborn'' a documentary about the demolition and reconstruction of the Old State Capitol in the 1960s and produced locally by The Storyteller Studios, has been nominated for an EMMY at the 47th annual Mid-America Regional EMMY Awards. The winner will be announced at the Mid-America Regional EMMY Awards ceremony on September 30 in Branson, Missouri.

“History Reborn,” which premiered on numerous PBS stations throughout five states on President’s Day weekend earlier this year, chronicles a lesser-known piece of Springfield’s history and the perseverance of the visionary Springfield architects who made the project happen; Augie Wisnosky, Paul O’Shea, and the late Don Ferry, and Wally Henderson. The 30-minute piece features interviews with Wisnosky and O’Shea and describes some of the immense challenges involved with dismantling and rebuilding the Old State Capitol, which is now considered one of Springfield’s (and our nation’s) most important Lincoln-era monuments.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to think about the fact that this project started with the simple idea to tell a story that we thought deserved to be remembered and really embodies who we are as a community,” said Ryan McCrady, President and CEO of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance. “To see this documentary now be nominated for a Regional EMMY is amazing and such a great way to pay homage to everyone who was involved in rebuilding the Old State Capitol. This film is a true testament to the innovative spirit of Springfield. ”

“History Reborn” was presented by the SSGA in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and produced by a local production company, The Storyteller Studios in association with BAM Marketing. The documentary is one of five nominees in the historical documentary category and was selected from a pool of 17 entries.

"Not all media awards carry the same weight - the Regional Emmys really are set apart,” said Josh Hester, Principal & Executive Producer at The Storyteller Studios. “Work is judged by past winners, our peers in the industry in other markets around the country, using rigorous criteria. The best of the best is put forward through nomination. In many ways, the Mid-America Regional Emmy Awards demonstrate more integrity than even the National Emmy Awards. Of course, we're proud of the recognition, but we share it with our partners at the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. We would not have had this opportunity in the first place if they had not trusted us with their vision. And, most importantly, it means this story about the incredible efforts of all involved is being told. It's a remarkable story for Springfield, then and now. We hope it brings the architects and engineers the honor they are due. Without them, it's very possible the Old State Capitol building would've been lost to history. Their legacy reminds us that the people of Springfield are capable of extraordinary things."

In addition to candid interviews with the architects about the project, the documentary also includes never-before-seen film footage of the project underway as well as newspaper clippings from the 1960’s and historic Lincoln-era photos supplied by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“We are delighted that History Reborn is being considered for a Mid-America Emmy,” said Justin Blandford, Superintendent of State Historic Sites Springfield for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “Regardless of the outcome, our reward was playing a role on the tremendously talented team that created this incredible film. We think this video will inspire and educate people for years to come.”

The “History Reborn” documentary can be viewed on Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6QeH53Q6CI.

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