October 12, 2018

Partners in Preservation: Main Streets 2018

This year, the National Trust, American Express, and Main Street America head back to Main Street for our annual Partners in Preservation campaign with a focus on sites that celebrate the fight for equality. From the counters of the Greensboro sit-ins to the “Ellis Island of the South” in Miami, each of the 20 sites featured in this campaign have played a role in the development of a more diverse nation.

You can help your favorite Main Streets win a share of a $2 million preservation grant by voting for up to five Main Streets once a day through October 26. You can also support sites near you by attending special open house events on the weekend of October 20-21.

But before you vote or attend an open house, learn more about the special places competing in the year’s Partners in Preservation: Main Streets.

Branden Harvey

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Alabama)
Local Organization: Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

In 1963, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was the target of the infamous, racially motivated bombing in which four young girls were killed. It still functions as a house of worship and gathering space, as well as a tourist destination. This project will complete the restoration of the church’s historic windows, cupola, and bell towers, installed in 1911.

Jordan Herschel

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Co. (Nogales, Arizona)
Local Organization: Nogales Community Development Corporation

Built between 1917 and 1920, the Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Co. building was an anchor during the town’s economic heyday and represents the history of U.S./Mexico business and community relationships in Arizona. This project will restore the building as a multi-purpose incubator and co-working space to help spur small business entrepreneurship.

Erin Sullivan

The Church of the Epiphany (Los Angeles, California)
Local Organization: The Epiphany Conservation Trust

A birthplace of the Chicano Movement in the 1960s, the Church of the Epiphany was a hub for the Mexican immigrant community. This project will repair the roof and rehabilitate the church basement.

Erin Sullivan

The Women’s Building (San Francisco, California)
Local Organization: San Francisco Women’s Centers

The Women’s Building became the first woman-owned-and-operated community center in 1979. The site now welcomes 25,000 clients and visitors each year. This project will retrofit its 108-year-old windows so the building can continue to connect women and their families to social services, arts, wellness, and educational events.

Criag Hensel

The Tabor Opera House (Leadville, Colorado)
Local Organization: City of Leadville

Built in 1879 during an era of tremendous migration and immigration, the Tabor Opera House stands today as a reminder of Leadville’s diverse past that parallels the story of equality. This project will rehabilitate two of the opera house’s facades, helping it to serve as a mixed-use cultural center for locals and tourists alike.

Brian Hernandez

The Freedom Tower (Miami, Florida)
Local Organization: Miami Dade College

The Freedom Tower, known as the “Ellis Island of the South,” provided medical, housing, and financial support to Cuban Refugees from 1962 to 1974. This project will renovate the Cuban Exile Exhibit and Museum of Art and Design housed in the Freedom Tower.


Bronzeville Cookin’ (Chicago, Illinois)
Local Organization: 51st Street Business Association

Bronzeville Cookin’ is located on Chicago’s South Side, an economic hub during the Great Migration. It is developing a unique dining destination and culinary incubator that celebrates black cuisines, cultures,
and communities. This project will renovate the building’s facade in order to catalyze its reuse, transform the retail district, and continue to help revitalize the community at large.

Brian McWilliams

Roslindale Congregational Church, UCC (Boston, Massachusetts)
Main Street Organization: Roslindale Village Main Street

The Roslindale Congregational Church, UCC, located in an extremely diverse neighborhood of Boston, is historic for its progressive commitment to equality. The project will build an accessible bathroom and elevator.

Matt Steinberg

The Arch Social Club (Baltimore, Maryland)
Local Organization: Upton Planning Committee: Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street

Founded in 1905, The Arch Social Club is one of the oldest continuously operating African American men's social clubs in the U.S. This project will restore the historic marquee and install exterior lighting to help launch a new arts and entertainment district.

Brian McWilliams

City Hall Clock Tower (Biddeford, Maine)
Local Organization: Heart of Biddeford

In a mill town that drew immigrants from around the world, the City Hall Clock Tower called mill workers to their shifts and welcomed a diverse community downtown. This project will restore the clock and rebuild four faces of decorative work outside the clock room.


GM Modern Housing Legacy Homes (Pontiac, Michigan)
Local Organization: Community Foundation of Greater Rochester/Main Street Oakland County

From 1919 to 1926, General Motors built 261 affordable houses for Pontiac workers, where generations of diverse residents lived side by side. This project will renovate and restore the exteriors of several homes that are currently threatened with demolition.

Craig Hensel

Wah Chong Tai Mercantile and Mai Wah Noodle Parlor (Butte, Montana)
Local Organization: Mainstreet Uptown Butte, Inc.

Constructed in 1899 and 1909, respectively, the Wah Chong Tai building and Mai Wah Noodle Parlor—both owned by the Chinn family—were once a mercantile and eatery for the Chinese immigrants who helped build the City of Butte. This project will restore the south facade and roof of the building, which is now maintained by the Mai Wah Society as a museum to honor and preserve Chinese heritage in southwestern Montana.

Branden Harvey

International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Local Organization: International Civil Rights Center & Museum

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is the site of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins, where four black college students sat down at a “whites-only” lunch counter as a form of protest. The project will include the installation of window shades and corrections to the HVAC system and hardware to provide a more comfortable environment for the public and help serve the museum’s commitment to environmental protection.

Paola Franqui

Main Court of the Hispanic Society of America (New York, New York)
Local Organization: The Hispanic Society Museum & Library

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library was founded in 1904 to establish a free museum and research library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain and Latin America. This project will improve both accessibility within the galleries and the overall visitor experience.

Paola Franqui

National Women’s Hall of Fame (Seneca Falls, New York)
Local Organization: National Women’s Hall of Fame

Founded in the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement and the location of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, the National Women’s Hall of Fame was established to permanently recognize women who make history. This project will relocate the Hall of Fame to the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill to preserve and disseminate the stories of successful and important women throughout U.S. history.

Branden Harvey

Clayborn Temple (Memphis, Tennessee)
Local Organization: Clayborn Reborn

The site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joined 1,300 striking sanitation workers in what would be his final march, Clayborn Temple serves as an iconic symbol of the unification of the civil and labor rights movements. This project will restore Clayborn’s prominent bell tower, which has been closed due to unsafe conditions.

Patrick Melon

Historic First Baptist Church (San Marcos, Texas)
Local Organization: City of San Marcos

Constructed in 1908, the Old First Baptist Church was once a meeting place for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This project will support renovation of the historic First Baptist Church, located in the Dunbar neighborhood of San Marcos.

Craig Hensel

New Hope Community Center (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Local Organization: Earth Community Garden & Food Pantry

With construction starting in the late 1800s and completed in 1902, the New Hope Community Center was a former historic church and later the headquarters and studio for the hit TV series, Touched By an Angel. This project will adapt the historic church into a full-time community center, including a business incubator, public kitchen, and community garden.

Branden Harvey

Union Street (Danville, Virginia)
Local Organization: Downtown Danville Association DBA River District Association

From the early 1900s through the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, Union Street was first a thriving tobacco warehouse district, then a mecca for black businesses and entrepreneurship. This project will restore two storefronts to foster continued entrepreneurship and create space for celebrating the area’s civil rights history.

Victoria Wright

Historic Morrill Bank (Kent, Washington)
Local Organization: Kent Downtown Partnership

The Morrill Bank Building is a 112-year-old historic landmark in downtown Kent, which once featured a tall entry, arched window, and clinker brick. This project will restore the building to its 1924 appearance.

Through Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, your votes will help unlock $2 million in preservation funding for historic Main Street districts across America.

Vote Now