Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Partners in Preservation funds chapel car

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace has been awarded funding by the Partners In Preservation (“PiP”). PiP is an initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation, and this was the fifth year of the competition. The $50,000 grant has been made to support rehabilitation of car 5’s deteriorated structure, windows, assist in replacement of the special railcar pews, and other interior components.

25 projects competed for funding in a public vote. The top vote getter was awarded full funding and other projects were awarded grants by a committee based in part on the popular vote, but also on the overall impact of the project, viability, and sustainability. The chapel car was one of 11 projects funded by the program. Other notable projects competing for funding included the Kirkland Arts Center, King Street Station, Washington Hall, Point No Point Lighthouse and Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing.

Each historic site was responsible for rallying the public to vote. Techniques such as Facebook, fliers, emails, word of mouth, web site announcements, and open houses raised awareness of the projects. The public was invited to vote for their favorite project once a day for 30 days and the top vote getter was fully funded. In an interesting twist, two projects tied for first place: the Schooner Adventuress and Town Hall Seattle. Nine additional projects – including Messenger of Peace – were also funded. The remaining 14 projects received a $5,000 grant to help their projects proceed.

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace was built in 1898 for the American Baptist Publication Society and served until 1948 traveling through more than 11 states including Washington and Oregon. It was introduced as “a tool of modern evangelism” and its work touched the lives of thousands of people. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Snoqualmie Landmark. A major rehabilitation effort is about to begin supported with funding awards from 4Culture, Capital Projects for Washington’s Heritage, Save America’s Treasures, private donations, and now Partners in Preservation.

Following completion of the rehabilitation effort, Messenger of Peace will be placed on exhibit in the new Train Shed exhibit building now under construction in Snoqualmie. It will be used in part to interpret how railroads were used to bring new ideas to communities.

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