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25 Historic Sites in the Seattle-Puget Sound Area Compete for $1 Million in GrantsAmerican Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Multi-Year Program Provides $5.5 Million to Preserve Historic Sites Across the Nation
SEATTLE,  April 15, 2010 -- 

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today launched the community-based Partners in Preservation program in Seattle and the Puget Sound region, an initiative that provides $1 million in grants from American Express to local historic sites. This innovative online program encourages local residents and people across the country to vote for their favorite historic places from a diverse slate of 25 sites throughout the Seattle-Puget Sound area.  

Votes can be cast at www.PartnersinPreservation.com, from April 15 – May 12. Additionally, people can post personal stories and share photos throughout the program. The winner of the public vote is guaranteed grant funds. Runners-up will be determined by an advisory committee composed of civic and preservation leaders in collaboration with the American Express Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Today, representatives from the 25 sites, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, the National Trust and American Express officially launched the initiative at historic Daniels Recital Hall, formerly the First United Methodist Church of Seattle.

The Seattle-Puget Sound area is the fifth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express. The program previously made grants for preservation projects in the San Francisco Bay area, Chicagoland, New Orleans and Greater Boston.

"We could not have chosen a better place than Seattle to bring the Partners in Preservation initiative," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. "The Seattle-Puget Sound area has an exciting opportunity to rally support for the community's most cherished landmarks. We encourage everyone in Seattle, and across the country, to vote for their favorite historic places."

 "The Seattle Puget Sound area has an incredibly rich and diverse heritage, and residents have often demonstrated their dedication to preserving it," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "This marvelous program offers them an innovative way to bring dollars-and-cents help to their favorite special places – and to show their support for the irreplaceable historic sites that tell the story of this unique part of America."

"This is an amazing opportunity for Washingtonians to vote to preserve and protect historic sites with $1 million in private grants," said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee.

"Seattle has seven historic neighborhoods and many more historic landmarks because we understand the value of our past," said Mike McGinn, Seattle Mayor and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee. "American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have presented us with an opportunity that I hope the entire community will take part in."

"The people of King County treasure our built heritage - from homes, to barns, to churches and neighborhood commercial buildings. But funding for restoration projects is always in short supply," said Dow Constantine, King County Executive and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee. "We are grateful for the opportunity this program provides to rescue and restore some of our historic legacy."

"Tacoma is proud of our track record preserving and restoring historic structures in our city," said Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma Mayor and Co-Chair of the Partners in Preservation Advisory Committee. "This program represents a tremendous opportunity to not only preserve our community's historic structures, but provide skilled jobs, leverage private investment, and demonstrate how sustainable development practices and preservation can work together."

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation used specific criteria to select the participating 25 diverse historic sites, including their historic significance and accessibility to the public, demonstration of community support and organizational excellence, and evidence of a coherent and sustainable preservation plan. The 25 sites are:

  • Bowman Bay Kitchen Shelter, Deception Pass State Park
  • Ferry House at Ebey's Landing, Whidbey Island
  • Port Townsend U.S. Customs House and Post Office, Port Townsend
  • Point No Point Lighthouse, Hansville
  • Schooner Adventuress, Puget Sound
  • Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland
  • University Heights Community Center, Seattle
  • Theodor Jacobsen Observatory, Seattle
  • Tugboat Arthur Foss, Seattle
  • Naval Reserve Armory--MOHAI, Seattle
  • Horiuchi's Seattle Mural, Seattle
  • The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle
  • Town Hall Seattle, Seattle
  • Washington Hall, Seattle
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Building, Seattle
  • King Street Station, Seattle
  • Japanese Cultural & Community Center--Nihongo Gakko, Seattle
  • Keewaydin Clubhouse--VFW Post 5760, Mercer Island
  • Chapel Car 5 "Messenger of Peace," Snoqualmie
  • Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks, Kent
  • Skansie Brothers Net Shed, Gig Harbor
  • Spanish Steps, Tacoma
  • Titlow Park Lodge, Tacoma
  • Anderson Island Historical Society--Johnson Farm
  • Garfield Hall--Orting Soldiers Home

Open Houses will be held the weekend of May 1 – 2 at all 25 sites, providing the community an opportunity to tour and learn more about each of the historic sites. Hours, special activities and additional information can be found on the Partners in Preservation Web site at www.PartnersinPreservation.com. An Advisory Committee will hold a closed-door session to review the candidates on June 8. Grant recipients will be announced on June 15.

Additional Partners for this program are: King County, the City of Seattle, the City of Tacoma and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information, visit facebook.com/pages/partners-in-preservation/61860401637 or follow twitter.com/partnersinPres.

About the Partners in Preservation Program
Launched in 2006, Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, pledged $5.5 million over a five-year period toward preserving historic places throughout the United States. American Express has already allocated more than $3.4 million in preservation grants, which has allowed recipients to make significant progress in achieving their preservation goals. American Express has also given $1.1 million to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support its work helping people save the places that matter to them all across the country. Seattle is the fifth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express. The program previously made grants for preservation projects in the San Francisco Bay area, Chicagoland, New Orleans and Greater Boston.

In this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public's awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America's historic and cultural landmarks. The program also seeks to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  Historic preservation has long been a hallmark of American Express' involvement in the community, reflecting its recognition of the contribution of 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. From 1996 to 2005, American Express contributed more than $10 million to help preserve 126 historic sites in 62 countries from the World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. In June 2006, the company announced the American Express Partners in Preservation initiative, with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as its partner in the U.S. and the World Monuments Fund as its partner internationally. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, nine regional and field offices -- including the Northeast Office in Boston -- 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America's stories.