National Cathedral, Renwick Gallery win federal funds
The annual "Save America's Treasures" grants were announced Tuesday at a ceremony at the historic President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, D.C. A coalition of organizations, led by the National Park Service, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the private National Trust for Historic Preservation presented $14.3 million to the groups.
The Washington National Cathedral, the towering center for worship and important national services, received $700,000 for repairs that any large building constantly needs. "The building is over 100 years old in some places and one of the principal needs is repointing. The mortar deteriorates over time in each of the limestone blocks," said Andrew Hullinger, the cathedral's senior director for finance and administration. And even sacred places have the same to-do list as ordinary homes, said Hullinger, citing foundation leaks and repairs to underground and interior drain lines. "The need ranges from nuts and bolts to art preservation."
The Renwick Gallery, the imposing building opposite the White House, won $335,000 for overall repairs. Completed in 1874, the museum of American crafts hasn't been restored since it opened in 1972 as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Other Washington institutions under the 2010 America's Treasures umbrella are: The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, part of the Smithsonian, which received $335,000 for preservation and digitization.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which won $222,128 for restoration of a Jim Crow railroad car. The car, which was built by the Pullman company in 1922, was given to the forthcoming museum by Pete Claussen and Gulf & Ohio Railways. The museum intends to restore the car to the era when it was partitioned into separate sections for "white" and "colored" passengers.
The National Museum of Natural History received $96,783 for the conservation of field notebooks and expedition journals of American scientists.
The Dance Heritage Coalition, a Washington-based group founded in 1992 to preserve and document dance, was given $58,853 for saving the Dance Theater of Harlem archives.
The National Museum of the American Indian was awarded $29,905 to save 19th and early 20th century manuscripts, fieldnotes, letters and films.
| February 1, 2011; 2:30 PM ET
Categories: Jacqueline Trescott | Tags: National Park Service, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Renwick Gallery, Save America's Treasures, Washington National Cathedral
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