“Vote for the Boat” Cruises to Victory in Partners in Preservation Seattle-Puget Sound Grant Competition

Business Wire

Sound Experience and the Schooner Adventuress to Receive $125,000 Grant from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Recognizing Unprecedented Photo Finish, Town Hall Seattle Also Awarded $125,000

May 13, 2010

Public Company Information:


SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express (NYSE: AXP) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced the Partners in Preservation popular vote winner, the Schooner Adventuress. As the popular vote winner, Sound Experience and the Schooner Adventuress will receive their full grant request of $125,000. In an impressive challenge never seen in the history of the Partners in Preservation program, Town Hall Seattle also staged a comeback resulting in several swings of the tally on the final day of voting. In recognition of the extreme closeness of the competition and the extraordinary efforts of both organizations to rally support, Town Hall Seattle will also receive its full grant request of $125,000.

During the program, American Express and the National Trust encouraged the Seattle-Puget Sound community to vote online daily for four weeks for their favorite historic place. Twenty five historic sites competed for a part of $1 million in funding for important preservation projects. Beyond the two grants announced today, $750,000 in additional grants will be awarded on June 15 to a number of the other participating sites after review by an Advisory Committee comprised of Seattle-Puget Sound area civic and preservation leaders, American Express, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Sound Experience knew how to appeal to its community. The exuberance of the “Vote for the Boat” campaign has been instrumental in the success of the Schooner Adventuress in the Partners in Preservation program,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “We were also highly impressed with the extraordinary support shown for Town Hall, and are delighted to award grants to both organizations at this time.”

“Partners in Preservation is a unique program because it not only offers financial support for treasured historic places, it also brings communities together to show their dedication for the places that matter to them,” said David Brown, Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “It is fitting that a historic sailing ship that calls all of Puget Sound her home should be the popular vote winner of the Seattle-Puget Sound Partners in Preservation program.”

Constructed in Maine and launched in 1913, The Schooner Adventuress’ maiden voyage to the Arctic was one of the early expeditions of Roy Chapman Andrews, the inspiration for cinematic adventurer “Indiana Jones.” To address damage caused by natural wear and tear and continue to educate and inspire generations to come, the Adventuress launched an all-hands-on-deck campaign to “Vote for the Boat.” Sound Experience, which owns and sails the Schooner Adventuress throughout the Pacific Northwest, created a dedicated web address — www.votefortheboat.com — and distributed stickers, T-shirts and signs. The team also offered a chance to win a free sail, produced multiple online videos, and launched a viral social media campaign that reached out to the boating community in Puget Sound and beyond. Sound Experience’s appeal was embraced by boaters as far away as Hawaii and The Netherlands. In the final days of the competition, Adventuress made headlines for putting its sails on display and “Sailing into enemy waters” during the day of the 59th annual Maritime Day Luncheon, offering dockside tours and showcasing the historic vessel for all of downtown Seattle to see.

Built as the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, Town Hall Seattle has been a First Hill landmark for nearly 90 years, making the transition from religious to secular use with grace. To preserve its public accessibility, Town Hall needs to restore and seal the building’s iconic white terra-cotta exterior, as well as to repair the prominent stained-glass window on the building’s south side. Throughout the Partners in Preservation program, Town Hall Seattle engaged its many subscribers, patrons and other supporters with a “Windows and Walls” campaign to get out the vote via email, event-calendar mailers and daily reminders to vote. The organization also captured the attention of the public with a breathtaking 12-hour, 30 act “Music Marathon” during the competition’s public open house weekend. From 1 p.m. on May 1 to 1 a.m. on May 2, each back-to-back act performed for 24 minutes. In all, nearly 150 performers were involved.

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation used specific criteria to select the 25 participating historic sites, including their historic, architectural and cultural significance, demonstrated community support, ability to complete a preservation project by December 2011, and potential to contribute to tourism or community development. They ranged from cultural centers to maritime treasures. The Advisory Committee will hold a closed-door session to review the remaining candidates and the winners will be announced on June 15. While voting has closed, the public is invited to continue to share personal stories and photos at www.PartnersinPreservation.com.

The remaining 23 historic places in Seattle-Puget Sound that could receive the grants 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
  • 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
  • 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, Anderson Island
  • Garfield Hall—Orting Soldiers Home, Orting

Seattle-Puget Sound is the fifth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express, which previously supported preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans and 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 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.

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 www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.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, eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, 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.


Megan Kahn, 206-323-3733
Nate Cole-Daum, 206-323-3733
Tabitha Almquist, 202-588-6141
Sarah Meron, 212-640-5503

About American Express

American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com, and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, Linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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