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Help Us Give Away Three Million Dollars!

April 30, 2012

Last Thursday, we launched our Partners in Preservation Program in New York City with the help of singer and actress, Katharine McPhee, and holographic images of New York icons during a press event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 40 historic sites from all five boroughs of New York City are competing for $3 million in preservation grants as part of a multi-year, grassroots effort to increase visibility for historic preservation in cities around the country.

Katharine McPhee performs during Partners in Preservation launch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Photo by Brian Ach.

Partners in Preservation was created with our main partner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in 2006 as a way of engaging the public in historic preservation by giving them an opportunity to help decide where our preservation grants should go. We’ve executed successful programs in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul engaging over 1 million people in the cause. (See my blog posts of March 19, 2012, September 26, 2011 and August 29, 2011)

We’re looking forward to engaging New Yorkers (and those who love New York) in a variety of ways – by voting, by volunteering, by tweeting, and striking a pose – between now and May 21.

Striking a pose?

As part of our plans to promote the program and encourage New Yorkers to vote, a "Preservation Station" vehicle will be making its way around the five boroughs for the next 21 days. The mobile station will house a photo booth that will give everyone a chance to have their picture taken standing in front of one of the NYC landmarks that will be a part of the program. They can then share the photos with their friends and family members via various social media channels. To find out where the station is going to be each day, follow us on Twitter at @PartnersinPres and @AmericanExpress.

On May 5 and 6, each of the 40 historic sites will be hosting an open house, which is an opportunity for the public to visit these sites and to cast votes. Admission will be free or discounted and each of the sites will be engaged in some type of programming designed to get out the vote. Foursquare users who visit these sites can earn a "Preservation Nation" badge to show their support for historic preservation. More information can be found at

Other activities include a Secrets of New York television special, which airs on May 1 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 25; two live radio events at WNYC on May 2 and 16; podcasts on each of the sites; an electronic billboard in Times Square; and short videos produced by teen filmmakers through the nonprofit organization, Reel Works.

So, check out your favorite historic site and vote once a day every day for the next 21 days – until May 21. The four sites that receive the most popular votes are guaranteed to receive grants of up to $250,000 each. The remainder of the $3 million will be distributed by a local advisory committee.

The sites participating in the program are:


  • Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island
  • Apollo Theater, Manhattan
  • Astoria Pool, Queens
  • Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Bronx
  • Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Brooklyn
  • Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Brooklyn
  • Caribbean Cultural Center, Manhattan
  • City Island Nautical Museum, Bronx
  • Cleopatra’s Needle, Manhattan
  • Coney Island B&B Carousell, Brooklyn
  • Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
  • DMAC Duo Multicultural Arts Center, Manhattan
  • Ellis Island Hospital Complex, Manhattan
  • Erasmus Hall Campus, Brooklyn
  • Federal Hall National Memorial, Manhattan
  • Flushing Town Hall, Queens
  • Gateway National Recreation Area – C-47 Skytrain WWII Transport, Brooklyn
  • Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, Brooklyn
  • Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan
  • Helen Hayes Theatre, Manhattan
  • Henry Street Settlement, Manhattan
  • High Line at the Rail Yards, Manhattan
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Manhattan
  • Japan Society, Manhattan
  • Jefferson Market Library, Manhattan
  • Louis Armstrong House Museum, Queens
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Manhattan
  • Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, Bronx
  • Museum of the City of New York, Manhattan
  • New York Botanical Garden, Bronx
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society of Rosebank, Staten Island
  • Queens County Farm Museum, Queens
  • Rocket Thrower, Queens
  • Rossville African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Staten Island
  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Manhattan
  • St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, Manhattan
  • Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, Staten Island
  • Tug Pegasus & Waterfront Museum Barge, Brooklyn
  • Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn
  • Woodlawn Cemetery, Belmont Memorial Chapel, Bronx

Remember to vote once a day, every day for the next 21 days at or on Facebook at

If you want to share a comment or question, do it here.

P.S. Did you know that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission was founded in 1965 -- after the demolition of the original Pennsylvania Station -- to identify and preserve landmarks in New York City?


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