Saving American treasures

Buildings, artifacts, papers are at stake


October 17, 2004|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

A federal partnership including the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services has earmarked $14.5 million to preserve "irreplaceable and endangered buildings and collections" through the Save America's Treasures program.

The grants, announced last week, were made to 35 properties and sites and 25 collections of artifacts, documents and artworks.

Included on this year's list are funds to repair the deck and stem rust damage to the World War II battleship Massachusetts, and to repair structural defects at Connecticut's 1752 Joseph Webb House, where George Washington planned the Yorktown campaign.

Other funding will go to preserve fragile artifacts from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at two New York museums, and to ensure the preservation of recordings of the work of major dancers from the American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company and other troupes.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, funds were earmarked for:

The Mary Church Terrell Home at Howard University in Washington. She was the first black woman to serve on an American school board.

The Adam Thoroughgood House in Virginia Beach, Va., home of the area's founding settler.

The Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in Staunton, Va., a Greek Revival house that served as the manse of the local Presbyterian Church where the president's father was the pastor.

Several sites in Philadelphia, including Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the founding church of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Louise Nevelson's Atmosphere and Environment XII, a monumental and pioneering modern steel sculpture in Fairmount Park; and the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania.

The complete list of awards can be found online at

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