GREATER BOSTON AREA – April 14, 2009 – American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted a press conference at Faneuil Hall to launch the community-based Partners in Preservation program in the Greater Boston area, an initiative that provides $1 million in restoration grants to local historic sites. Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino were on hand to launch this innovative online program. Partners in Preservation encourages local residents and people across the country to participate by voting for their favorite historic place from a diverse slate of 25 sites across the Greater Boston area.
At the press conference, the 25 sites eligible to receive funding were unveiled for the first time!
The program was officially launched at Historic Faneuil Hall with The Honorable Deval L. Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts; The Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of the City of Boston; Richard Brown, Vice President, Philanthropy, American Express; David Brown, Executive Vice President, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Wendy Nicholas, Director, National Trust for Historic Preservation Northeast Office; and representatives of the 25 sites.
“Historic preservation not only protects our heritage, it also stimulates the economy by creating jobs in travel and tourism throughout the Commonwealth,” said The Honorable Deval L. Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee.
As noted during the press conference, research has shown that the rehabilitation of historic buildings generates as much if not more employment than new construction. Preservation also infuses money into the economy by purchasing materials needed to complete projects.
The Greater Boston area is the fourth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express, which previously supported preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago and New Orleans. Together, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are redefining preservation across the country through the Partners in Preservation program.
“Greater Boston’s central role in the founding of our nation, and the important place it holds in telling America’s tale, make it a perfect place for the Partners in Preservation program,” said the Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of the City of Boston and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee.
“Through the Partners in Preservation program, we seek to spotlight historic sites in Greater Boston, drive local tourism and business, while saving pieces of history,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “Every vote counts towards providing a better future for Greater Boston’s historic treasures. We encourage everyone to vote online daily and help us choose the winning sites to receive grant funding.”
“We work with communities to save the places that matter to them,” said David J. Brown, Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Partners in Preservation provides a way for individuals living in the Boston area to actively participate in the work to save our heritage. By helping us give away a million dollars for preservation, they are creating a lasting legacy for this community,” added Brown.
People can cast one vote per day online at: www.PartnersinPreservation.com now through May 17th, 2009.
The winner of the popular vote is guaranteed funding. Additional grants will be awarded on June 16th, 2009 to a number of the other sites after review by an Advisory Committee comprised of Greater Boston civic and preservation leaders, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In total, $1 million in preservation grants will be awarded.
American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation used specific criteria to select the chosen 25 diverse historic sites, including their historic, architectural and cultural significance, demonstrated community support, ability to complete a preservation project by December 2010, and potential to contribute to tourism or community development.Â They range from cultural centers to maritime treasures.
The 25 selected historic places in Greater Boston are as follows:
- Crane Estate, Ipswich
- Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, South End
- Edgell Memorial Library, Framingham
- Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury
- Jose Mateo Ballet Theater, Cambridge
- Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Concord
- Lowell’s Boat Shop, Amesbury
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge
- Museum of African American History, Beacon Hill
- National Monument to the Forefathers, Plymouth
- Norfolk County Agricultural High School Dairy Barn, Walpole
- New England Aquarium, Boston
- Norfolk Grange Hall, Norfolk
- Old North Church, North End
- Old Ship Meeting House, Hingham
- Paragon Carousel, Hull
- Paul Revere House, North End
- Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown
- Salem Old Town Hall, Salem
- Schooner Adventure, Gloucester
- St. Joseph’s High School, Coalition for a Better Acre, Lowell
- St. Peter’s Church, Dorchester
- United First Parish Church, Quincy
- VillaVictoria Center for the Arts, South End
- Vilna Shul, Beacon Hill
The Advisory Committee will hold a closed-door session to review the candidates on June 9th, 2009. The recipients will be announced at a press conference on June 16th, 2009.
About the Partners in Preservation Program:
Launched in 2006, Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, pledged $5.5 million over a five-year period toward preserving historic places throughout the United States. American Express has already allocated $2.4 million in preservation grants, which has allowed recipients to make significant progress in achieving their preservation goals.
In this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural landmarks. The program also seeks to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.
About American Express: American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments and travel company founded in 1850.
Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express’ involvement in the community, reflecting its recognition of the contribution of sites and monuments to a sense of national and local identity and the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods. As early as 1983, American Express launched a cause-related marketing effort that raised $1.7 million for the preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. From 1996 to 2005, American Express contributed more than $10 million to help preserve 126 historic sites in 62 countries from the World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. In June 2006, the company announced the American Express Partners in Preservation initiative, with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as its partner in the U.S. and the World Monuments Fund as its partner internationally.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation: The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history Â– and the important moments of everyday life Â– took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices-including the Northeast Office in Boston-29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.