Final PIP Awards Announced

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently announced the final awards from the Partners in Preservation (PIP) program. There were 25 historic places throughout the Twin Cities included in the program competing for votes on Facebook and their preservation project being funded completely (up to $125,000).

On October 13th, voting was closed and it was announced that the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis was the winner of the popular vote, thus guaranteeing them their full request of $110,000. Another 12 sites are receiving partial awards; these sites were selected based on specific criteria including public voting results, community support and historic significance to name a few.

The 13 Partners in Preservation 2011 award winners are:

·         The Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis:  $110,000 to repair the Narthex and the Sacristy of the Basilica, including the repair of decorative ceilings, limestone walls and damaged plaster and restoring the historic paint and gold leaf found throughout the structure.

·         Emerge Career and Technology Center, Minneapolis: $110,000 to restore the library’s ornate interior, including surviving 1893 interior woodwork, flooring and plaster walls, along with its distinctive wood windows.

·         Waterford Iron Bridge, Waterford Township: $95,000 to remove and replace the cracked southeast wing wall.

·         American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: $90,000 to restore the historic first floor kitchen, dry storage room and butler’s pantry to their original condition.

·         Pilgrim Baptist Church, Saint Paul: $86,000 to repair heavily damaged sections of brick masonry on the exterior of the building.

·         Harriet Tubman Center East, Maplewood: $84,000 to update the Center’s public restroom facilities at the first floor.

·         C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall, Saint Paul: $80,000 to install an air conditioning system in the second floor auditorium, which will allow the space to be used for public events year-round.

·         Historic Pilot Knob, Mendota Heights: $75,000 to bury existing power lines that currently disrupt the natural landscape.

·         The Soap Factory, Minneapolis: $70,000 toward the repair of the failing roof of the main building.

·         Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, Saint Paul: $50,000 for brick masonry repair and the repair of the church’s prominent concrete columns that define the main entrance of the church.

·         Fort Snelling Upper Post, Building 67, Hennepin County: $40,000 to restore the rare historic Seth Thomas/Hotchkiss model clock in the clock tower.

·         Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, Saint Paul: $30,000 to achieve the original architectural vision for the historic ramp with the installation of tower lights and new fencing that is in character with the 1937 structure.

·         Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Minneapolis: $20,000 toward the removal, cleaning, repair and reinstalling of the cemetery’s historic fence.

In addition, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the remaining 12 sites participating in the initiative by granting them each $5,000 in funding. The recipients include:

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley
Chaska Athletic Field, Chaska
Episcopal Church of Transfiguration, Belle Plaine
Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul
Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis
James J. Hill House, Saint Paul
Landmark Center, Saint Paul
Mill Ruins Park, Minneapolis
Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
Minnesota Transportation Museum, Saint Paul
Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater
Wayzata Depot, Wayzata

“Partners in Preservation is designed to encourage the community to rally behind their favorite historic places and help us to determine where these funds are needed,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “The Twin Cities community did an amazing job of getting involved and making their voices heard. We congratulate the winners and commend all of the sites for their fantastic work, and we look forward to seeing the finished results of each preservation project.”

“Bringing attention and funding to one-of-a-kind historic places is what the Partners in Preservation program is all about,” said Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The Twin Cities community came together through this program to show their pride for the many historic gems found throughout the area. We couldn’t be happier with the end result and are excited to provide our support in preserving the Twin Cities’ unique past.”

The Twin Cities is the sixth region to host the Partners in Preservation program and receive funding from American Express. The program previously made grants for preservation projects in the San Francisco Bay area, Chicagoland, New Orleans, Greater Boston and the Seattle-Puget Sound area. For more information, visit or


Comments Closed