A savings plan for America’s national treasures

James Madison's Montpelier. Image: YTTwebzine.
James Madison's Montpelier. Image: YTTwebzine.

     A common thread connects James Madison's Montpelier mansion in Virginia with the iconic Mark Twain home in Hartford, Conn., and the extraordinary Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

    All have been helped by the Save America’s Treasures program.
    The program, which once delivered tens of thousands of dollars to nationally significant sites, has not received funding for new grants since 2010. But now, the National Park Service is going to get help from the nation’s architects. In a new partnership, the American Architectural Foundation will work with the Park Service and other organizations to increase public awareness of the program,
    “From the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ that flew above Fort McHenry to Martin Luther King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Save America’s Treasures has protected more than 1,100 of the places and objects that define who we are as Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.  “With the assistance of the American Architectural Foundation, we will tell the great stories of our nation as illustrated through these places and collections in a way that we have previously not had the resources to do.”
     Other partners in the program include the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
     “The many structures, landscapes and artifacts that Save America’s Treasures has helped to preserve, restore and protect embody our collective identity,” said Ron Bogle, CEO of the Architectural Foundation, which educates the public about the ways architecture and design can transform communities.  “As a steward of that identity, the Save America’s Treasures partnership is committed to helping all Americans appreciate the vital role of place in defining what it means to be an American.”
      The America’s Treasures program, established in 1998, funds projects to rescue, preserve and conserve nationally significant cultural, intellectual and heritage resources, including artifacts, historic structures and sites.
      From 1999 to 2010, Congress appropriated over $315 million to 1,287 projects undertaken by federal state, local and tribal government entities, as well as nonprofit organizations. The grants, which require a dollar-for-dollar match, had led to more than $377 million in private investment and contributed more than 16,000 jobs to local and state economies, according to the Park Service.
      Save America’s Treasures has assisted more than 300 National Historic Landmarks, 28 properties in National Historic Landmark Districts, more than 250 buildings individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, more than 70 properties in National Register-listed historic districts, as well as hundreds of nationally significant collections.
     A database of the grants is available online. 

     Taken from a National Park Service press release.


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