At a Capitol Hill press conference today, Mrs. Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures, announced introduction of bipartisan legislation authorizing two complementary historic preservation grant programs—Preserve America established by the Bush Administration and Save America’s Treasures established by the Clinton Administration.
Mrs. Bush was joined by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Senators Hillary Clinton (NY) and Pete Domenici (NM), who introduced the legislation (S. 2262) in the Senate and by Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Brad Miller (NC) and Mike Turner (OH), who introduced the legislation (H.R. 3981) in the House.
Originally drafted by the Department of the Interior, the legislation seeks to authorize both the Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures programs, making them permanent tools for those engaged in historic preservation activities.
Both programs enhance heritage tourism and public-private partnerships in historic and cultural preservation. Preserve America also fosters reuse and interpretation of cultural resources that form the social, educational, and economic fabric of communities. The Save America’s Treasures grant program funds “bricks and mortar” improvements to historic structures and assets by providing competitive grants to encourage sustainable historic resource management through heritage tourism.
Legislation to authorize Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures would ensure continuation of the historic preservation and heritage tourism benefits provided through these programs. Both programs have demonstrated significant on-the-ground results.
The event today was hosted at the historic Sewall-Belmont House & Museum on Capitol Hill. Others participating in the event included Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and John L. Nau, III, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
The Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation are two of the key federal agencies that partner with the White House on the Preserve America initiative. Preserve America is an interagency initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy the country’s priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of communities. See www.PreserveAmerica.gov.
Save America’s Treasures was originally founded as the centerpiece of the White House National Millennium Commemoration and as a public-private partnership that included the White House, the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Senator Clinton, as First Lady, was Honorary Chair of Save America’s Treasures. She continues to support it as its Founding Chair.
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 803
Washington, DC 20004