Featured Organization Friday: Partners In Preservation program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. Since 2006, American Express has made grants worth $9 million through Partners in Preservation, helping historic places in seven cities to date, including San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, Saint Paul/Minneapolis and New York, and has engaged more than a million people. The program will award an additional $1 million in grants to historic places in Washington, DC in May 2013.  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 hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.

Washington D.C. Metro Area 2013
The Washington, D.C. Metro area has been selected as the eighth area to be selected to participate in Partners in Preservation and receive funding from American Express. The area benefits from a wealth of historic landmarks and districts. Since the creation of the Georgetown Historic District in 1950, the city’s inventory of historic places has grown steadily to encompass thousands of properties representing all aspects of the city’s history and culture. The District of Columbia alone has 55 historic districts and 657 historic landmarks dating from the 1700s to iconic modern architectural marvels, and has more National Historic Landmarks than all but seven states.

Plus this weekend, Saturday May 4th – Sunday May 5th is Open House Weekend.
This means there will be fun, special events at each of the sites. A full list of participating sites is here. I suggest calling ahead to find out what special event each site has. Some will have free admission, behind the scenes tours, food, performances, etc – to encourage people to come out, learn more about the site and its history – and encourage people to vote for their site. For example, Congressional Cemetery will be doing an all-day Scavenger Hunt with performances, tours pointing out some of the famous “residents” and even a spaghetti sauce judging contest.

Your vote will help give away $1 million to preserve historic places in the Washington, DC Metro area. Although there aren’t any Prince William County sites in the running, there are the following Northern Virginia sites: Arlington House, Colvin Run Mill, Marine Corps War Memorial, Mount Vernon, and The Athenaeum.

From April 24 through May 10, 2013, the public is being asked to help choose which historic places they feel most deserve preservation funding. Click here to learn about the participating historic places.  Visit the Partners in Preservation website to earn points for the participating historic places by voting online and via mobile, sharing with friends on Twitter, checking in on Foursquare and posting photos on Instagram. Click here to get started.  The site that receives the highest number of points at the conclusion of the program is guaranteed to receive their full grant request. A Partners in Preservation advisory committee comprised of Washington-area civic and preservation leaders will recommend how the remainder of the preservation grants will be awarded to the other participating sites.  On May 13, American Express and the National Trust will announce the popular vote winner along with the additional grant winners.