2016 Partners in Preservation: National Parks
In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined with National Geographic and American Express for Partners in Preservation: National Parks to award $2 million in grants—as decided by popular vote—to historic sites at our beloved national parks.
From pioneer cabins and watch towers, to scenic overlooks and historic hikes, the 20 participating sites not only spanned from Alaska to Puerto Rico, but they also reflected the diverse communities and experiences that comprise our nation’s cultural fabric.
After more than 1.1 million votes were cast, nine preservation projects in our national parks were awarded grants. Thank you to everyone who voted and supported their favorite parks!
Now, without further ado, the winning Partners in Preservation: National Parks sites are:
Yellowstone National Park
Brink of Upper Falls Overlook: From the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, visitors gaze upon the same vistas that helped persuade Congress to preserve Yellowstone as the world’s first national park nearly 145 years ago. The $250,000 grant will rehabilitate historic stonework at the Brink of Upper Falls Overlook, one of ten overlooks around the canyon, to ensure future generations witness the dramatic perspective of Yellowstone.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Tennessee and North Carolina
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower: Built in 1959, as part of the Mission 66 program, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is best viewed from Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, where visitors can take in nearly 100 miles of majestic mountains and valleys. Located atop Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet and straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee state line, the tower is the highest point in the park. The $250,000 grant will restore the deteriorating structure for future visitors.
Grand Canyon National Park
Desert View Watchtower: the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park is home to the striking Desert View Watchtower with expansive views of one of the country’s most iconic vistas. The Watchtower, an exposition of the prehistoric Indian towers found throughout the Southwest, features internationally significant American Indian murals. The $250,000 grant will conserve the tower’s historic murals so they can continue to tell the lesser-known story of the canyon’s tribes.
Yosemite National Park
Parsons Memorial Lodge: Yosemite National Park is not only known for its peaks and waterfalls, but also boasts one of the earliest stone rustic buildings in a national park. The $97,000 grant will support needed restoration work at Parsons Memorial Lodge, located in Tuolumne Meadows and originally built by the Sierra Club in 1915, to reverse damage done by high elevation weather.
Zion National Park
Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and Highway: Zion National Park encompasses some of the most moving canyon views in the United States with sandstone cliffs and blue sky as far as the eye can see. The remarkable 1.1 mile Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel connects Zion to touring destinations such as Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon, allowing visitors a scenic drive. The $191,000 grant will support needed preservation work on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and Highway including repairs to the sandstone masonry features and interior surfaces of the mile long tunnel.
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Battleship Row Mooring Quay: World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument commemorates the heroic sacrifices made during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Mooring Quays of Battleship Row are the last remaining structures that mark the locations of the American battleship force during the attack. The $250,000 grant will restore and stabilize one of the quays, serving as a model for eventual repairs to all six structures.
Everglades National Park
Flamingo Visitor Center: Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is home to more than just alligators. The park boasts the Flamingo Visitor Center, a distinctive example of Park Service Modern architecture and the Mission 66 building program that transformed America’s national parks in the 1950s and 1960s. The $250,000 grant will restore the exterior of the visitor center, connecting a new generation of visitors to the unique site.
Denali National Park
Superintendent’s Office: Denali National Park is home to six million acres of wilderness and roaming animals. Its centerpiece is North America’s most majestic peak. The rustic former superintendent’s office represents Alaska’s adventurous and pioneering spirit and demonstrates how early Park Service staff made use of whatever materials were available. The $79,000 grant will cover the construction of historically appropriate furniture for the cabin and interpretive materials for visitors.
Mount Rainier National Park
Longmire Historic District Search and Rescue House: Mount Rainier National Park is an icon of the Pacific Northwest that calls to climbers and hiking enthusiasts from all over the world. A $183,000 grant will help rehabilitate an original building in the Longmire Historic District, one of the most extensive collections of National Park Service Rustic style architecture in the country, to provide housing for volunteer search and rescue staff who are critical to park emergency operations.
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