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Thirteen Twin Cities Historic Sites Awarded Preservation GrantsAmerican Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Distribute
$1 Million to Complete Twin Cities Partners in Preservation Program
MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL,  November 10, 2011 -- 

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced a diverse group of 13 historic and culturally significant sites in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area to receive preservation grants for important restoration projects. Twenty-five historic sites participated in the program and competed for votes on Facebook for a part of the $1 million.

American Express and the National Trust encouraged the Twin Cities community to vote online daily for three weeks for their favorite historic place. This year marked the first time that Partners in Preservation voting occurred on Facebook, with people from the Twin Cities, and around the world, getting involved -- including a Facebook community who voted, uploaded hundreds of photos and shared their support for their favorite historic places. On October 13, the Basilica of Saint Mary was announced as the winner of the popular vote, receiving a grant of $110,000.

The 12 additional sites announced today were chosen by an advisory committee comprised of civic and preservation leaders, which was co-chaired by Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul, in collaboration with American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Specific criteria were used in the selection process, including public voting results and community support for the project, the preservation needs of the site, historic significance and the role the site plays in the community.

The 13 Partners in Preservation 2011 award winners are:

  • The Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis: $110,000 to repair the Narthex and the Sacristy of the Basilica, including the repair of decorative ceilings, limestone walls and damaged plaster and restoring the historic paint and gold leaf found throughout the structure.
  • Emerge Career and Technology Center, Minneapolis: $110,000 to restore the library's ornate interior, including surviving 1893 interior woodwork, flooring and plaster walls, along with its distinctive wood windows.
  • Waterford Iron Bridge, Waterford Township: $95,000 to remove and replace the cracked southeast wing wall.
  • American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: $90,000 to restore the historic first floor kitchen, dry storage room and butler's pantry to their original condition.
  • Pilgrim Baptist Church, Saint Paul: $86,000 to repair heavily damaged sections of brick masonry on the exterior of the building.
  • Harriet Tubman Center East, Maplewood: $84,000 to update the Center's public restroom facilities at the first floor.
  • C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall, Saint Paul: $80,000 to install an air conditioning system in the second floor auditorium, which will allow the space to be used for public events year-round.
  • Historic Pilot Knob, Mendota Heights: $75,000 to bury existing power lines that currently disrupt the natural landscape.
  • The Soap Factory, Minneapolis: $70,000 toward the repair of the failing roof of the main building.
  • Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, Saint Paul: $50,000 for brick masonry repair and the repair of the church's prominent concrete columns that define the main entrance of the church.
  • Fort Snelling Upper Post, Building 67, Hennepin County: $40,000 to restore the rare historic Seth Thomas/Hotchkiss model clock in the clock tower.
  • Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, Saint Paul: $30,000 to achieve the original architectural vision for the historic ramp with the installation of tower lights and new fencing that is in character with the 1937 structure.
  • Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Minneapolis: $20,000 toward the removal, cleaning, repair and reinstalling of the cemetery's historic fence.

In addition, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the remaining 12 sites participating in the initiative by granting them each $5,000 in funding. The recipients include:

    Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley
    Chaska Athletic Field, Chaska
    Episcopal Church of Transfiguration, Belle Plaine
    Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul
    Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis
    James J. Hill House, Saint Paul
    Landmark Center, Saint Paul
    Mill Ruins Park, Minneapolis
    Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
    Minnesota Transportation Museum, Saint Paul
    Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater
    Wayzata Depot, Wayzata

"Partners in Preservation is designed to encourage the community to rally behind their favorite historic places and help us to determine where these funds are needed," said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. "The Twin Cities community did an amazing job of getting involved and making their voices heard. We congratulate the winners and commend all of the sites for their fantastic work, and we look forward to seeing the finished results of each preservation project."

"Bringing attention and funding to one-of-a-kind historic places is what the Partners in Preservation program is all about," said Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The Twin Cities community came together through this program to show their pride for the many historic gems found throughout the area. We couldn't be happier with the end result and are excited to provide our support in preserving the Twin Cities' unique past."

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 San Francisco Bay area, Chicagoland, New Orleans, Greater Boston and the Seattle-Puget Sound area. For more information, visit or

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.

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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. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

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.



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