Greater Boston 2009

In 2009, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected twenty-five sites of historical, cultural and aesthetic significance in Greater Boston as candidates for the Partners in Preservation program.

For a period of five weeks, you had the opportunity to vote each day online for the sites that you care about, with the winning site, the Paragon Carousel, guaranteed funding from a $1 million preservation fund.

American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an Advisory Committee comprised of local Greater Boston civic and preservation leaders reviewed the votes, along with each site’s monetary needs, to determine how best to distribute the $1 million in preservation grants.

Grants were calculated according to the financial support required to fulfill preservation and restoration projects at the chosen sites. Twelve of the competing sites won grants. The remaining 13 sites received a $5000 award in recognition of their participation in the 2009 Partners in Preservation initiative.

Partners in Preservation thanks you for your participation and encourages you to continue exploring our site and to spread the word about preservation in your community.


Boston Center for the Arts, Cyclorama
539 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts was built as the home of the famous panoramic, life-size mural, “The Battle of Gettysburg.” Dramatic in its own right, the building also invites a wide variety of creativity and inspiration as a community gathering place for art and social endeavors. The Boston Center for the Arts received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

Crane Estate
Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

The seaside Crane Estate, owned and cared for by The Trustees of Reservations, has enchanted guests and visitors for almost a century. The Estate, which is open to the public, holds a central place on the North Shore and beyond as a center of culture, recreation, and tourism. The Crane Estate was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $50,000 to restore the Estate’s Bowling Green, allowing more people to enjoy the picturesque estate through increased events and activities.

Edgell Memorial Library
3 Oak St, Framingham, MA 01701

The Edgell Memorial Library, built to commemorate the valor of Civil War soldiers, was the town of Framingham’s first free-standing public library and remains a testament to the spirit of civic engagement and public service which built it. The Library is a cultural pillar of the community, which rallied to build it in 1872 and once again to save it from demolition in 1963. The Edgell Memorial Library was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $100,000 that funded the restoration of the Library’s windows and the installation of much needed storm windows. Following the Partners grant period, the Library continued its preservation work, turning to exterior masonry repairs.

Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury
56 Dale St, Roxbury, MA 02119

Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury is a striking Victorian Gothic structure that has long been a beacon of hope in the Washington Park neighborhood of Roxbury. Among other things, the church serves as a place of worship for its congregation, an educational center for local students, and a hub for community activities. Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $75,000. Among the first sites to finish their grant projects, the Church completed essential roof, gutter and dormer repairs, ensuring a bright future for this community-friendly building.

José Mateo Ballet Theatre
400 Harvard St, Cambridge, MA 02138

José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s home, Old Cambridge Baptist Church, is home to the largest minority-led performing arts organization in Greater Boston. As a church, a tourist destination and, most recently, a home to José Mateo Ballet Theatre, the building has been a community focal point for over a century. José Mateo Ballet Theatre was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $100,000 and with this grant restored the church’s original etched glass windows, making the building as vibrant as the Ballet that calls it home.

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House
399 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA 01742

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House (circa 1690) is where her world renowned book, Little Women, was written and set in 1868. A National Historic Landmark, Orchard House offers community and family programming year-round. Visitors experience first-hand the famous world of Little Women and the legacy of the progressive Alcott family, who took an active part in the Underground Railroad. Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative. Major preservation efforts have continued with the reproduction of original Alcott wallpaper for the Orchard House and the digging of a foundation under Mr. Alcott’s Concord School of Philosophy. One of the first adult education centers in the United States, the School was a gathering place for intellectuals and Transcendentalists, as well as housewives and farmers.

Lowell’s Boat Shop
459 Main St, Amesbury, MA 01913

Lowell’s Boat Shop, a National Historic Landmark, has been a Greater Boston institution since the late 1700′s and now offers boat building lessons, community use of facilities, as well as a general respite from city life. It is the oldest working boat shop in America, and the buildings tell stories of bygone eras, with clues to the past under layers of paint and carved in old beams. Lowell’s Boat Shop was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $86,200 that allowed for structural repairs to the roof, 95 windows, the installation of a modern heating system, and painting of the exterior of the building. The project, finished in October 2009, was the first of the Greater Boston projects to be completed. Following the completion of the grant project, Lowell’s Boat Shop began running courses for at-risk youth in the area as well as after school and summer rowing programs.

Mount Auburn Cemetery
580 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Mount Auburn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America. It served as a precursor to and inspiration for the nation’s public parks. The Cemetery’s Egyptian Revival Gatehouse is a striking portal that has served as a model for other cemeteries throughout the country. Mount Auburn Cemetery received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative. Since the Partners in Preservation initiative, Mount Auburn has continued to raise awareness about its many significant monuments and structures, including its Egyptian Revival Gatehouse. The preservation of this spectacular landscape and its many horticultural and built features is on-going.

Museum of African American History
46 Joy St, Boston, MA 02114

Abiel Smith School, part of the Museum of African American History, was the first building in America built for the sole purpose of serving as a public school for black children. The school was also a gathering place for abolitionists and other community organizations. Today, Abiel Smith School continues a long legacy of service to the community as part of the Museum of African American History. The Museum of African American History was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $100,000 to waterproof the foundation, preserving the building and its history for future generations.

National Monument to the Forefathers
Allerton St, Plymouth, MA 02360

The National Monument to the Forefathers was designed by artist Hammatt Billings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The monument stands for the virtues that built this country, and is a beacon of hope to those who visit it. The National Monument to the Forefathers received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

New England Aquarium
Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

Credited with revolutionizing how aquariums were designed, built and experienced, the New England Aquarium set a new standard for aquariums around the world. The New England Aquarium received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

Norfolk County Agricultural High School Dairy Barn
400 Main St, Walpole, MA 02081

The Norfolk County Agricultural High School Dairy Barn remains a time honored symbol of the past in a fast changing present. NCAHS uses the barn for training future farmers, but it will also be offered to the community at large for activities ranging from 4-H meetings to adult education programs and community activities. The Norfolk County Agricultural High School Dairy Barn received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

Norfolk Grange Hall
28 Rockwood Rd, Norfolk, MA 02056

Norfolk Grange Hall has been at the center of its community for over a century. Serving as a house of worship, town meeting hall, and social gathering spot, this building presents a unique view into local history and culture. Norfolk Grange Hall received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

Old North Church
193 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

The steeple of the Old North Church is where, at Paul Revere’s orders, the two lanterns that ignited the American Revolution were displayed on April 18, 1775. The Old North still serves the community, as it has for almost three centuries, by giving tours, sponsoring educational programs, and hosting a variety of community functions. Old North church was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $18,000, which was used to repair and strengthen the Church’s steeple, securing this storied piece of American history.

Old Ship Meeting House
90 Main St, Hingham, MA 02043

In existence for more than three centuries and a living witness to American history, Old Ship Meeting House has been in continuous religious use longer than any such structure in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, Old Ship continues to have a significant impact on both its surrounding community and its congregation, serving as a gathering place for cultural events as well as for church services. Old Ship Meeting House received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative. Following their involvement in the Partners in Preservation initiative, the Friends of the Old Ship Meeting House secured a combined $350,000 in matching grants from the Save America’s Treasures program and the Massachusetts Historical Commission for ongoing preservation work.

Paragon Carousel
1 Wharf Ave, Hull, MA 02045

Paragon Carousel

Paragon Carousel, winner of the popular vote.

Winner of the popular vote! The Paragon Carousel has given beloved memories for over eighty years to people now stretched across the country. Offering old-fashioned fun, the carousel enchants all who encounter it. The Paragon Carousel was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $100,000. With this funding, historically accurate windows and doors replaced aluminum garage doors and non-historical windows, returning the building to its former glory and connecting the Carousel to its striking views of the ocean and bay.

Paul Revere House
19-29 North Square, Boston, MA 02113

Home of the famous patriot and silversmith, the Paul Revere House Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark and museum that is visited by over 250,000 people each year. The Paul Revere House welcomes schoolchildren and visitors from near and far who come to learn about the life and legacy of one of our nation’s best-known historic figures. The Paul Revere House Historic Site received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative. This award was used towards matching a Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund grant for the exterior restoration and structural stabilization of their 1835 row house at Lathrop Place, the future home of their Education  and Visitor Center.

Perkins School for the Blind
175 N Beacon St, Watertown, MA 02472

Perkins School for the Blind, located on a beautiful 100-year-old campus, is a leader in blindness education, providing education and services to over 94,000 children, adults, families, and professionals in 63 countries. Perkins School for the Blind was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $60,000 to restore the historic natural pond on its Watertown, MA campus, improving campus aesthetics, and creating a safe, experiential, nature education site for students, as well as a tranquil feature for all visitors.

Salem Old Town Hall
32 Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970

Salem Old Town Hall, designed by noted architect Charles Bulfinch, stands today as one of the finest examples of Federal style architecture in town. The Old Town Hall has also offered the community a place to gather for centuries, first as a town hall and most recently as an auditorium. Salem Old Town Hall was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $75,000, which was used to install a new, state of the art natural gas heating system and to make cosmetic upgrades to the space in preparation for the installation of The Salem Museum.

Schooner Adventure
375 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930

The Schooner Adventure is an icon of America’s fishing industry and Gloucester’s 386-year heritage as America’s oldest fishing port. Currently in the final stages of restoration, the 122-foot wooden schooner plans to serve the community as a floating classroom for marine environmental education. The Schooner Adventure received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

St. Joseph’s High School, Coalition for a Better Acre
760 Merrimack St, Lowell, MA 01854

St. Joseph’s High School has long been at the center of the culturally and ethnically diverse Acre neighborhood in Lowell. Although closed in 1991, the school’s cupola remains a skyline landmark in the surrounding neighborhood. St. Joseph’s High School received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

St. Peter’s Church
311 Bowdoin St, Dorchester, MA 02122

St. Peter’s Church is an architectural and cultural cornerstone that has been at the heart of its community for over a century. Rooted in serving the community, the wear of a public building was apparent in the over 140 year old structure. St. Peter’s Church received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

United First Parish Church, “Church of the Presidents”
1306 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169

The United First Parish Church, or “Church of the Presidents,” was built in the Greek Revival Style, and serves as a living monument for two U.S. Presidents. The church is a center for a vibrant array of community activities, and also the portal to the crypt of two U.S. Presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, along with their wives, Abigail Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams. The United First Parish Church was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $80,000 to restore the bell tower, recognizing and restoring this historically important site.

Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
85 W Newton St, Boston, MA 02118

Housed in a landmark historic church and parish house in Boston’s South End, the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts has served as the cultural hub for Latino visual and performing arts for over 20 years. Offering a wide breadth of programming to the community, the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts is a true cultural icon. Villa Victoria Center for the Arts received a $5,000 award in recognition of its participation in the Partners in Preservation 2009 initiative.

Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture
14-18 Phillips St, Boston, MA 02114

Vilna Shul is the last remaining immigrant-era synagogue of the more than fifty that once served Boston. Built in 1919, the building is a unique mixture of styles, from Romanesque Revival to simple New England style. As with all immigrant built synagogues, the walls of Vilna Shul were decorated with murals, which were eventually covered with plain paint. Not just architecturally significant, Vilna Shul has always been a center for Jewish culture and the community. Vilna Shul was awarded a Partners in Preservation grant of $90,800 which allowed it to uncover a portion of a mural of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patrarchs in Hebron.