April 28, 2013

Click to Help Repair Washington National Cathedral

Partners in Preservation, an initiative of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is going to distribute $1 million in preservation grants to institutions in the Washington, D.C., area. Twenty-four historic properties are competing for grants. The winning preservation project will be determined primarily by voting on the Web. (See additional details below.) A person can vote for a favorite preservation project once a day through May 10.

Washington National Cathedral is vying for $100,000 to inspect and repair the ceiling of the cathedral and remove the safety netting that was installed after the disastrous 2011 earthquake. If you haven’t been voting and if you want to see the cathedral whole again as soon as possible, I invite you to vote every day until the competition ends. (Earthquake repairs are estimated to cost $20 million, but every dollar helps.)

Netting inside cathedral
Frame from video showing safety netting now in place inside the cathedral.

You can find a video about the cathedral project here, along with a button that links to a page where you can vote. To vote, you will have to create an account on the Partners in Preservation site or login with your Facebook account, which is probably easier.

The sites seeking grants are listed here, where you can also watch a video about how the competition works. Sites mainly earn points through Internet votes, but, if you visit a site, you can also earn points for its project using Instagram or Foursquare. Grants for non-winning organizations will be awarded by a committee.

For as long as I have been tracking the competition, which began on April 24, Washington National Cathedral has led the pack. Its closest competition had been from Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Lately, however, Mount Vernon has moved into second place. The home of President Washington could provide serious competition! As I write this, the cathedral has 226,680 votes. Mount Vernon has 213,620. The synagogue has 207,150.

It is easy to forget to vote, of course, but the cathedral will send you a daily remainder via e-mail if you like. Sign up here, at the bottom of the page.

Vote early and often.

Update, 5/15/2013: Washington National Cathedral did indeed win the $100,000 grant. See the announcement here.

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