Between now and May 12, a public vote is helping determine the outcome of Partners in Preservation Seattle Initiative. 25 historic properties in the Puget Sound Region are competing for a share of $1 million. Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace is one of the properties and, if it is selected for an award from Partners in Preservation, the Museum will have enough funding to allow substantial completion of the chapel car rehabilitation.
This initiative is also an opportunity to launch a Messenger of Peace web site at http://www.messengerofpeace.org/ and a Messenger of Peace Facebook page.
Check out the Museum's promotional video:
So what is Partners in Preservation? The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation created this initiative five years ago and have run the program in San Francisco, Chicagoland, New Orleans, and Boston. Local projects are pre-vetted and a short list is presented to the public for a vote. The top vote-getter receives full funding. Additional projects are selected for funding by a committee set up by the National Trust and American Express; for those projects the total number of votes will be a consideration.
The Northwest Railway Museum is delighted to learn that Partners in Preservation has selected the railroad chapel car to compete for funding in the Seattle initiative. This is the first railroad car and railway museum to be involved in this five-year-old initiative, and the program is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of this little-known but impactful part of history. In all, 25 projects are competing for a share of funding; project values range from $65,000 to $125,000. The Chapel Car is competing for $100,000.
Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace was built by Barney and Smith in 1898 and served the Baptist Publication Society, Baptist Home Mission Society and the Railroad YMCA for fifty years. It operated in at least 11 states and traveled extensively in the Pacific Northwest. After retirement, it was used in several creative ways from 1948 until 2006 including as a roadside diner, seaside cottage, and an unlicensed pharmaceutical distribution facility. In 2007 it was donated and moved to the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington.
The chapel car requires extensive rehabilitation and restoration to return it to the glory of its period of significance. The Save America’s Treasures grant awarded in December 2009 will combine with a Washington State Historical Society grant, funding from 4Culture and private contributions to allow carbody work to begin. Partners in Preservation funding, if awarded, will allow substantial completion of the project including fabrication of missing pews for the sanctuary.
To learn more and vote, visit http://www.trainmuseum.org/ Be the chapel car's saviour - vote today and every day until May 12!