Preserving and Sustaining Unique Historic Places for the Future

Our roots in the travel services industry have given us a deep respect for the cultural and economic value historic sites bring to communities around the world. Promoting stewardship of these sites is both a commitment and an opportunity to ensure that future generations can enjoy them.

 

Since 1974, American Express has contributed nearly $60 million to preserving more than 500 iconic historic sites including The Temple of Hercules in Rome and the Palace of Fine Art in Mexico City.

 

We are the founding sponsor of World Monuments Watch, which draws attention to cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism, armed conflict, commercial development, natural disasters and climate change.

 

We support projects that preserve or rediscover major historic sites in order to provide ongoing sustainable access and enjoyment for current and future audiences. The programs we support include historic landmarks and public spaces. We emphasize preserving sites that represent diverse cultures and engage the public in unique ways.

 

Grant Criteria:

Please Note: Applications are accepted BY INVITATION ONLY under the Historic Preservation theme.

 

The projects we support embrace the preservation, restoration or sustainability of historic places and demonstrate their significance to the community through one or more of the following:

  • Restoring historic places to ensure ongoing public access and engagement.
  • Preserving historic places for innovative or adaptive use.
  • Sustaining historic places by creating systems to manage increased visitor activities and environmental impacts.

Recent Grants

Hispanic Society of America (HSA), New York, New York
Support for the conservation of the bronze doors of the HSA's East Building, created by the American sculptor Berthold Nebel. Cast in 1931, the doors depict scenes of Native American life. The HSA has a rich history as one of the world's leading repositories focused on the arts and cultures of the Hispanic world.

 

The Museum of the American Revolution (MAR), Philadelphia, PA
Support for the creation of the American Express Conservation Project at the MAR. The Project supports the MAR's conservation activities, as well as allowing for the restoration, conservation and preservation of rare and priceless artifacts from the revolutionary period. It restores and preserves the collection, which enhances the richness and significance of MAR’s exhibits and more thoroughly tells the story of the American Revolution. MAR is a national museum and education center telling the story of the American Revolution through its collection of artifacts, artwork and manuscripts.

 

Museum of the City of New York, New York, New York
Support for the conservation of two bronze statues of Alexander Hamilton and DeWitt Clinton, designed by noted American sculptor Adolph A. "Alexander" Weinman, which adorn the Museum's façade facing Fifth Avenue. The Hamilton and Clinton statues were designed specifically for the Museum's exterior niches by Mr. Weinman, sculptor of choice for the celebrated architectural firm McKim Mead and White.

 

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, Mexico
Support for restoring and preserving two murals, Mapa de Mesoamerica and El Mundo Mágico de los Mayas, created by Mexican artists' Luis Covarrubias and Leonora Carrington. Occupying important locations within the Museum, both pieces are being concurrently restored by the same team who are carrying out the work in order to ensure a quick return to the original grandeur sought by the Museum’s architects. The restoration of these important works serves as a reminder of the importance of the Mexican tradition of fine arts that was so vital and emblematic of the country and region during the second half of the twentieth century.

 

National Parks Foundation (Stonewall), New York, NY
Support for Capturing LGBT History, a project managed by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in partnership with the National Park Foundation that is developing an interpretive plan, guidance, programs, and materials to assist the National Park Service with telling the story of the Stonewall National Monument in New York City. In June 2016, President Obama designated Stonewall National Monument as the first national park dedicated to LGBT history. The interpretive plan and research will help the National Park Service tell a fuller, more complete American story to generations of visitors from around the world at a critical time in the global fight for LGBT civil rights.

 

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, U.K.
Support for the refurbishment of the historic Cast Courts at the V&A, which were last renovated in 1981. The casts will be cleaned and restored and repairs will be made to the roof, ceiling and walls of the gallery. The Cast Courts, first opened in July of 1873, were designed to contain the Museum's collection of plaster casts of large-scale architectural sculpture. The V&A's cast collection exists because in the 19th-century skilled reproductions, such as casts and electrotypes, were seen as a clear way in which artists, students, craftsmen and the general visitor could learn from, and be inspired by, great works of art and architecture, even when (as was the case for most people) they could not travel to see the real thing.

Click here for more information about other initiatives within this theme.

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