This spring, New York City will make history to save history. American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that New York City will be this year’s location for Partners in Preservation, their community-based initiative to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. The program will infuse $3 million in grants to preserve the city’s historic buildings, icons and landmarks. As New York City’s first-ever citywide grassroots preservation effort, the call-to-action program will enlist the aid of all New Yorkers, and anyone who loves New York, to vote online for the preservation projects most important to them.
“New York City’s historic places across all five boroughs – both the familiar and the obscure – are part of the city’s fabric and make it one of the most exciting places in the world,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Partners in Preservation aims to raise awareness about historic places in New York and mobilize support for their preservation, a linchpin in the neighborhood development and a key to expanding economic vitality and growth.”
From April 26 to May 21, 2012, anyone 13 years of age and older, anywhere in the world can vote online – either from their web-enabled mobile device, online or on Facebook – for one of 40 to-be-announced historic New York City places, by visiting www.Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation or www.PartnersinPreservation.com.
“We are thrilled to bring this important preservation program to New York and highlight this city’s many historic treasures while emphasizing the importance of grassroots preservation efforts,” said Stephanie Meeks, president, the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Preservation of our historic places helps strengthen communities, generate jobs and build sustainable cities and towns. We hope Partners in Preservation will foster a deeper interest in protecting New York’s important historic and cultural sites for many decades to come.”
The public voting process kicks off April 26 with the announcement of the 40 competing historic sites. Everyone can vote up to once a day, for the same site or for a different site. On May 22, the top three public vote-getters and the grants for their preservation projects will be revealed.
American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an advisory committee, will review the votes of the remaining sites along with each site’s monetary and preservation needs to determine how the rest of the $3 million in grants will be awarded. The advisory committee is comprised of New York civic and preservation leaders, including:
Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Peg Breen, President, New York Landmarks Conservancy
Bonnie Burnham, President, World Monuments Fund
Ric Burns, Film Maker, Steeplechase Films, Inc.
David Cheiken, Vice President, Leasing, Brookfield Properties
Dennis Crowley, Founder, foursquare
Patricia Cruz, President, Harlem Stage
Jay Dilorenzo, President, Preservation League of New York State
Dan Donovan, Planner, Bronx Borough President’s Office
Jack Eichenbaum, Historian, Office of the President Borough of Queens
Rachelle Friedman, President, J & R Music
Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Art Council
Kate Levin, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Tom Matteo, Historian, Office of the Staten Island Borough President
Louise Mirrer, President, New-York Historical Society
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University
Jane Reiss, Chief Marketing Officer, NYC & Company
Rosalba Rolon, Artistic Director, Pregones Theatre
Deborah Schwartz, President, Brooklyn Historical Society
Robert Tierney, Commissioner, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Kathryn Wylde, President, Partnership for New York City
American Express has been funding New York City landmarks since 1885, when it helped to back the building of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Since then, American Express has supported a variety of New York City sites, including funding for Ellis Island and for Lower Manhattan following Sept. 11, 2001.
About Partners in 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, $6.5 million has been awarded to nearly 100 preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle and Saint Paul/Minneapolis.
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. For more information, visit Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation or 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’ 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.