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The Bronx is Up…and So is Brooklyn!

May 14, 2012

As we enter the last week of voting for the Partners in Preservation Program in New York City (voting ends on May 21), the top four slots are held by two Brooklyn institutions and two from the Bronx. (These results may have changed somewhat over the weekend.)

As of last Friday, the first and second place leaders were the Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library and Congregation Beth Elohim, which are just a few blocks away from one another in Prospect Park and Park Slope, Brooklyn. The next two leaders (third and fourth place) are the New York Botanical Garden and the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum & Gardens in the Bronx.

Two Lower Manhattan based historic sites, the Henry Street Settlement and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, are in fifth and sixth place. Staten Island is represented by the Alice Austen House Museum in seventh place, and the Queens-based Louis Armstrong House Museum is in thirteenth place.

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library
Photo by David Shankbone

The Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library is one of New York City's greatest civic spaces, a modernist landmark, and the flagship of the nation's fifth largest public library system. Completed in 1941, the building's unusual design combines Modern Classical, Art Deco and Scandinavian Modern elements with Art Deco detailing.

Congregation Beth Elohim

Congregation Beth Elohim
Photo courtesy of Congregation Beth Elohim

Congregation Beth Elohim was founded in 1861 by German immigrant Jews who relocated this congregation to Park Slope and built Beth Elohim Synagogue in 1910. Designed in Classic Revival style, it is the oldest, largest and most active Reform congregation in Brooklyn, offering extensive programming, pioneering modern Jewish education, and leadership in interfaith relations.

New York Botanical Gardens

New York Botanical Gardens
Photo by Ivo Vermeulen

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of living plant collections arranged in gardens and landscapes across its National Historic Landmark site. Annually, the Garden serves nearly 750,000 people on-site through its science, education, and horticultural programs as well as through the offerings of the Lu Esther T. Mertz Library. The Garden lies in the heart of the Bronx, one of New York City's most ethnically diverse boroughs, and one of the poorest counties in the state.

Bartow-Pell Mansion & Gardens

Bartow-Pell Mansion & Gardens
Photo by Mark Morrison

A National Historic Landmark, the Bartow-Pell Mansion & Gardens includes a 1916 walled, sunken garden designed by Delano & Aldrich, a 19th-century mansion and carriage house, and an 18th-century cemetery. As the only extant 19th-century country estate in the Pelham Bay area, the Bartow-Pell Museum's mission is to create a vibrant cultural site through the preservation, restoration and interpretation of its buildings and grounds for the benefit of the public throughout the New York City metro region and beyond.

Remember that you can vote once a day every day through May 21 at There is still plenty of time to support explore the rich diversity of the 40 sites that are competing for $3 million in preservation grants, and there's also plenty of time to affect the results by voting for your favorite site daily. Residents and fans of Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan based historic sites might especially want to show some more borough pride!

If you have a comment or story, please share it here.

P.S. Did you know that Brooklyn Public Library received the most votes this past week, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine in Staten Island had the highest percentage change in the rankings? Each will receive an additional $10,000 grant toward their preservation efforts. Congratulations!


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