Monroe County Museum Wins Partners in Preservation Grant

Winners To Be Awarded Share of $2 Million in American Express Preservation Grants
Decided Through Public Voting Campaign
Over 1.1 Million Votes Cast for 20 Competing Sites, A Record for Partners in Preservation: Main Streets
NEW YORK – October 30, 2019 — American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in collaboration with Main Street America, announced today the winners of the 2019 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets program.
“We are absolutely thrilled to announce the Monroe County Museum placed 5th and will receive $125,000.00 from Partners in Preservation! Thank you to everyone who voted daily, spread the word, those who came to the open house and those who tried to vote. As a community, we are stronger when we work together and with over 78,000 votes, it is clear we worked together!” Anne Marie Bryan
The 13 winners, including the Savannah, GA birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and the hometown courthouse of famed author Harper Lee in Monroeville, AL, were determined by a public voting campaign conducted online at American Express enlisted the support of National Geographic to build the site and to amplify the campaign to their audiences. Members of the public were also able to cast their votes in person at open house events held by each local site between Sept. 24 to Oct. 29.
Overall, the 20 competing sites garnered more than 1.1 million votes during the period, making it the largest Partners in Preservation: Main Streets voting campaign to date. 
The winning sites of Partners in Preservation: Main Streets are:
  1. Janesville, WI | Janesville Woman's Club Building
  2. Savannah, GA | Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
  3. Astoria, OR | Odd Fellows Building
  4. West Chester, PA | Chester County Historical Society
  5. Monroeville, AL | Monroe County Courthouse
  6. Holly, MI | Holly Union Depot
  7. Staten Island, NY | Casa Belvedere
  8. Salt Lake City, UT | The Ladies’ Literary Clubhouse
  9. Mount Pleasant, IA | Union Block
  10. Denver, CO | Dr. Justina Ford Home
  11. Painesville, OH | College Hall (Lake Erie College)
  12. Austin, TX | Elisabet Ney Museum
  13. Minneapolis, MN | The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
Twenty historic sites participated in the public voting campaign to win a share of $2 million in preservation funding from American Express. This year’s Partners in Preservation campaign placed special emphasis on historic buildings and sites that celebrate the contributions of women in communities across America to honor the upcoming 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Adding to its share of the $2 million in funds, Union Block in Mount Pleasant, IA, won an additional $50,000 for having the most in-person votes at its open house event. The site is where Belle Babb Mansfield, a leading activist in the national women’s suffrage movement, passed a rigorous bar exam in 1869 to become the first female lawyer in the United States.
“We are inspired by the record high levels of community support and engagement at each of the 20 sites, helping to raise awareness for the contributions women have made to our country,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “The energy of this campaign is exemplified by the top 13 sites, which each play an important role in the story of their local communities. Seeing these communities rally around such vital institutions strengthens our dedication to preserving these special places.”
Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created in 2006, to engage the public in preserving historic places. Over the past 13 years, the program has provided more than $28 million in support of 260 historic sites across the country, including 20 national parks, 14 cities, and 12 Main Street communities, and has engaged more than a million people through events and online voting. Partners in Preservation: Main Streets returned for its third year in a row and aimed to inspire long-term support from local citizens for sites on Main Streets across the country.
“As we anticipate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, that gave women the right to vote in this country, this campaign highlights the many contributions women have made to our country and the places where they made history,” said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As these sites demonstrate, women have founded lasting organizations like the Girl Scouts, uplifted ideas of conscience like the author Harper Lee, and have built stronger communities across the United States. We look forward to seeing these sites thrive for years to come and are honored to have played a small part in their history.”