Locals Vote on Which Historic Places Get $1M Grant

The Partners in Preservation program will allow Twin Cities residents to choose which of 25 local historic sites should receive $1 million in preservation grants.

The Twin Cities have been selected to participate in the national Partners in Preservation program-and the seven-county metro area will net $1 million in preservation grants for historic sites selected by local residents.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul region is the sixth location to be selected for the program, which is put on by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation-a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on preservation initiatives.

On September 20, the program's hosts will announce 25 historic sites in the Twin Cities that are eligible for the grants, at which point Twin Citians are invited to cast their votes for their favorite local historic places. Voting takes place on Facebook here and is open from September 20 through October 12.

The winner of the popular vote is guaranteed funding, and the remainder of the $1 million in grants will be disbursed to several of the other sites following their review by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and an advisory committee-which includes Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Other local civic and preservation leaders on the committee include Amy Alegi of Meet Minneapolis, Nina Archabal of the Minnesota Historical Society, John Edman of Explore Minnesota Tourism, Rolf Engh of Valspar Corporation, Deb Hopp of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Bill Lentsch of Delta Air Lines, William Morrissey of Morrissey Hospitality, and Phil Roberts of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, among others.

“The Twin Cities have a rich cultural and architectural history and we are thrilled to bring Partners in Preservation to the area this year,” Timothy McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, said in a statement. “Preserving our nation's historic sites is critical to both protect the past and ensure economic viability for the future. We encourage everyone in the Twin Cities community, and around the world, to vote on Facebook for their favorite Twin Cities historic places.”

Partners in Preservation was launched in 2006 and has awarded $5.5 million toward preserving 56 historic places throughout the country. Prior to the program coming to the Twin Cities, it issued grants for preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, and Seattle.