Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Historic Home of the “Father of Black History” Wins $75,000 Preservation Grant

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation award $1M in grants to restore 13 Washington, DC area historic places

The winners have been announced in the American Express and National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in Preservation, the Washington, DC region’s first-ever preservation effort powered by social media.  The program provides $1 million in funding to preserve historic buildings, landmarks and icons.   Following three weeks of voting by the public, 24 sites were chosen via various social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram.   BlackGivesBack served as an official blog ambassador for the program, and as we previously featured, three sites with significant African American history were among the contenders. We’re proud to announce that all three received preservation grants!

Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church located at Scott Circle in DC will receive $90,000 to restore stained glass windows on the church’s primary façade.  The glass windows record the growth of the AME denomination – the first independent Black religious body in the US – from 1816 to 1896.

The Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site (pictured) located in DC’s Shaw community will receive a $75,000 grant to rebuild its front and rear façade in order to stabilize the home for public access.  The Woodson Home is a three-story Victorian row house that was the original headquarters of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) founded by Carter G. Woodson, known as the "Father of Black History." 

LAMB at Military Road School in Brightwood, DC will receive $60,000 to repair the exterior of the school building including its columns and cupola. This school was constructed on the site of one of the city’s first public schools built for freedmen, serving for many years as the only school available to African American students in the upper Northwest neighborhood of DC.

Sylvia Cyrus, executive director of ASALH shared with BlackGivesBack:
“The Association for the Study of African American Life and History is pleased the Carter G. Woodson home is among the 13 historic places in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia to receive a grant as part of Partners in Preservation's commitment to preservation efforts in the area.  We are extremely grateful to all who voted for Woodson's home.   As the founders of Black History Month and guardian of Dr. Woodson's legacy, ASALH will use this grant to fulfill our dream to restore the historic Woodson home as a national treasure to be shared with all who visit our nation's capital.  Our plans are to open the Woodson home to the public in 2015, which serves as ASALH's centennial year.  This grant will indeed move us closer to achieving our goal.  The immediate priority is to stabilize the site as a result of damage the site experienced due to the 2010 earthquake and hurricane.  It is truly an honor and a testament to Dr. Woodson's legendary contributions to American history and culture.”
During the voting period supporters used the hashtag #PreserveDMV on Twitter to show who they voted for:

The winner of Partners in Preservation that garnered the most votes is the Washington National Cathedral.   For earning the most points, the historic landmark will receive its full grant request of $100,000 to restore two bays of the vaulted ceiling inside the nave, which were damaged in 2011's earthquake.

“The D.C. Metro region has shown a true sense of community through its spirited support of their local historic places,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation.  “We hope the Partners in Preservation funding is just the first step in ensuring that these cultural sites are accessible for many years to come.”

For a full list of all grantees and participating sites, please visit preservationnation.org.

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