Historic Preservation Initiatives
Historic Preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express's involvement in the community, reflecting its recognition of the contribution of historic 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. Since that time, American Express has been committed to supporting two major initiatives in partnership with the World Monuments Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These initiatives aim to increase public awareness of the importance of historic and environmental conservation, preserve global historic and cultural landmarks, educate visitors on sustainable tourism and strengthen local communities through preservation efforts.
Partners in Preservation, The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America's historic landmarks and communities. In 2006 Partners in Preservation was created in partnership with the National Trust out of a desire to commit funds to help preserve historic sites in concentrated regions in the United States.
Since 2006 we've committed $15 million dollars to the effort, supporting close to 200 historic sites in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, the Twin Cities, New York and Washington, DC and have engaged more than a million people.
In the fall of 2013, we announced a new partnership to help promote and enable the preservation of endangered cultural and historic places across the United States. As the presenting partner of National Treasures, American Express will provide the National Trust with a $2 million grant, as a part of our original $15 million, to help to protect the nation's architectural, cultural and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. This new initiative will ensure that these icons of the past remain present with us in the future. The grant funding will go to overall support of the National Treasures program, as well as funding for specific preservation needs at some of the specific sites.
The Watch List, The World Monuments Fund
As founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch program in 1995, American Express has been an unwavering supporter of the World Monuments Fund and its mission to safeguard the most treasured landmarks around the globe. Over the last 15 years, American Express has helped preserve 154 sites in 70 countries, including sites from the World Monuments Fund Watch List, as well as sites who received sustainable tourism grants. These sites integrate historic preservation, sustainable tourism management and visitor education. Projects that have received funds include: St Paul's Cathedral, London, England; The Ruta de la Amistad, Mexico City; Sawara in the Kanto region of Japan; Route 66 – the historic corridor that runs between Chicago and Los Angeles in the United States – and Easter Island, Chile. In 2011 American Express renewed its commitment of five million dollars over the next five years in support of the Watch List. Visit http://www.wmf.org/watch/project-map for a list of current sites.