Today, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation officially opened the voting polls for Partners in Preservation, a community-based program that will bring $1 million in preservation grants to historic places in the Twin Cities. Local residents and people around the country are encouraged to vote for their favorite historic places from a diverse list of 25 sites from around the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area that have been selected to participate in the Facebook voting contest at Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation.
Beginning today, people who "Like" Partners in Preservation on Facebook can vote once per day through Oct. 12, as well as post personal stories and share photos. The historic place that receives the most votes will be guaranteed its full grant request, up to $125,000, with the balance of the $1 million being distributed to the remaining sites based on recommendations from an advisory committee composed of civic and preservation leaders in collaboration with the American Express Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
To celebrate the announcement of the 25 historic places that are participating, today R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman, mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, respectively, joined representatives from the 25 places, American Express and the National Trust, as well as members of the Partners in Preservation advisory committee to officially launch the initiative at the historic James J. Hill Reference Library in Saint Paul.
"We've been looking forward to this day for the past year," said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. "The Twin Cities have vibrant, giving communities and rich cultural and architectural assets that will allow this program to thrive. We encourage everyone to get involved and vote on Facebook for their favorite Twin Cities historic place."
"Through the Partners in Preservation program, we are able to highlight the Twin Cities' many treasures and emphasize the importance of grass roots preservation efforts," said Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Selecting these sites from an extremely diverse applicant pool was no easy task, but we're thrilled with the group that emerged, and believe that each place has a unique story to tell."
"American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have recognized how spirited we are in Minneapolis–Saint Paul about preserving our heritage and culture," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "The Partners in Preservation program is a great way to get the community involved and to keep some of our most cherished historic places active for generations to come."
"American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have selected a passionate community for Partners in Preservation, and I couldn't be more excited today as the program officially kicks off," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "Each of the 25 participating sites is a big part of our everyday lives. Now it's time for all of us to get on Facebook and vote for the ones we think are most deserving of the restoration funds!"
American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation used specific criteria to select the 25 diverse historic places participating, including their historic significance, accessibility to the public, demonstration of community support, organizational excellence and evidence of a coherent and sustainable preservation plan. The 25 places are:
- American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
- Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley
- Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis
- Chaska Athletic Park, Chaska
- Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, Saint Paul
- C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall, Saint Paul
- Emerge Career and Technology Center (Old North Branch Library), Minneapolis
- Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Belle Plaine
- Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul
- Fort Snelling Upper Post, Building 67, Unincorporated Hennepin County
- Harriet Tubman Center East (Former Saint Paul's Monastery), Minneapolis
- Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis
- Historic Pilot Knob, Mendota Heights
- James J. Hill House, Saint Paul
- Landmark Center, Saint Paul
- Mill Ruins Park, Minneapolis
- Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
- Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, Saint Paul
- Minnesota Transportation Museum (Jackson Street Roundhouse), Saint Paul
- Pilgrim Baptist Church, Saint Paul
- Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Minneapolis
- The Soap Factory, Minneapolis
- Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater
- Waterford Iron Bridge, Waterford Township
- Wayzata Depot, Wayzata
Open Houses will be held the weekend of Oct. 8-9 at all 25 sites, providing the community an opportunity to tour and learn more about each of the historic places. Hours, special activities and additional information can be found at PartnersinPreservation.com.
The Twin Cities is the sixth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express. The program previously made grants for preservation projects in the Seattle-Puget Sound area, San Francisco Bay area, Chicagoland, New Orleans and Greater Boston. For more information and to cast a vote, please visit Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation or PartnersinPreservation.com.
About Partners in Preservation
Launched in 2006, Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has awarded $5.5 million over a five-year period toward preserving 56 historic places throughout the United States. American Express renewed its commitment to Partners in Preservation in 2010 by pledging $10 million toward the program over the next five years. Through 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 places. The program also seeks to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic sites at the heart of their communities.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation, PartnersinPreservation.com or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/PartnersinPres.
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 the hallmark of American Express's involvement in the community, reflecting the company's recognition of the importance of cultural sites and monuments as symbols of national and local identity, and the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded nonprofit organization, works to save America's historic places to enrich our future. PreservationNation.org
Voting starts 10:01AM CT 9/20/11, ends 11:59PM CT 10/12/11. Must be at least 13 to vote. Limit one (1) vote per person/email address per calendar day. See Voting Terms, which govern, for complete details.