Preserving and Sustaining Unique Historic Places for the Future"It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future."
-- William J. Murtagh Historic Preservation is about saving and sustaining historic places – preserving them for future use and protecting them for all to enjoy. It helps us to understand who we are and shapes relationships with our neighbors and other communities around the world. At American Express, we believe that respect for – and celebration of – these historic places is vital to ensuring that their history lives on and that the public understands the significance they have in sustaining communities today and for future generations.
We support organizations and projects that preserve or rediscover major historic sites and monuments 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.
Supported projects 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 interaction with the sites.
- Preserving historic places for future or innovative use.
- Sustaining historic places by creating systems to manage increased visitor activities and environmental impacts.
Applications are accepted by invitation only under the Historic Preservation theme.
Asociacion Civil Responde, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Support for Asociacion Civil Responde funded the historic preservation and adaptive reuse of Villa Dominguito, a 200 year-old traditional building in rural Argentina. The preservation project supported the building's adaptation into a cultural center, including a library, museum, reading room and online access, reestablishing Villa Dominguito as a hub for the community.
Golden Gate Bridge's Round House Building, San Francisco, CA
American Express's support allowed the completion of the preservation of the historic Round House Building in time for the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary events. The Round House Building was updated with historically accurate details and revitalized into a visitor education area. Previously a gift shop and café, the Round House Building engages the public as a staging area for Bridge tours and brings awareness to the importance of historic preservation for over 10 million visitors annually.
Public Theater, New York, NY
The Public recently completed a capital project renovation to its historic downtown center to sustain and restore the landmark building for future use and ongoing public access. American Express supported the theater's replacement of the existing eight-foot doors with 12-foot doors; emulating the design of the original entry ensured the restoration of the facade to the original intention of the architecture and enable The Public to better serve its growing audiences.
Renovation of Historic Officer's Quarters D, San Diego, CA
NTC Foundation is the nonprofit organization leading the conversion of a historic 1927 naval training center into an arts and cultural district for San Diego. American Express's support made possible the renovation of officers' quarters, saving it from its gradual sinking, restoring its early 20th century grandeur and allowing the buildings to be open to the public for the very first time.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida
American Express is an ongoing supporter of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the former estate of a Miami industrialist, now serving as a cultural and educational site in the south Florida area. The current grant supports the conservation of the Admiral Carpet, one of the museum's most important objects, which was in critical need of repair. Dating back to the 1400s, this artifact is one of the largest textile samples from the time period and a major part of the museum's collection. The piece will be restored in line with historic accuracy and provided with an improved display to ensure longevity and a greater experience for the museum's 150,000 annual visitors.
Click here for more information about other initiatives within this theme.