The American Architectural Foundation, as a nonprofit partner of Save America’s Treasures (SAT) since 2014, is on a mission to tell the stories behind the Save America’s Treasures grants. Working with the National Park Service and its Save America’s Treasures partner agencies, we’re working to increase public understanding and visibility of this critical program and the role it plays in preserving our most significant cultural, intellectual and heritage resources.
The Save America’s Treasures program is the largest and most successful federal grant program, and is the only federal program dedicated solely to the physical protection of our nation’s irreplaceable cultural heritage. From 1999 to 2010, Congress appropriated over $315 million to approximately 1,300 projects to provide preservation and conservation work on nationally significant and historic collections, artifacts, structures and sites. Requiring a dollar-for-dollar private match, these grants have leveraged more than $377 million to date in private investment, and have contributed more than 16,000 jobs to local and state economies. Although no new grants have been funded since 2010, 175 grant projects are still in progress.
AAF has been a longtime supporter of Save America’s Treasures, and knows firsthand the impact of this valuable program, having received grants to save two of our treasures – the Octagon House and the only remaining architectural presentation model of the World Trade Center. There are over a thousand additional untold SAT stories that can shed light on some of the greatest ideas, events, and achievements in American culture and history, and we want to tell why each SAT project and grant uniquely mattered.
These stories illuminate not only the resilience of our American treasures, but also the ongoing need in the 21st century to protect our cultural heritage and give recognition and praise to all the heroic preservation efforts that have often been unsung.