Germantown United Community Development Corporation Wins Preservation Grant

GERMANTOWN UNITED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WINS PRESERVATION GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION & AMERICAN EXPRESS

Germantown wins $160,000 in grant funding from American Express.

PHILADELPHIA November 6, 2017 … To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s work to revitalize America’s Main Streets, the National Trust joined with American Express, National Geographic, and Main Street America for Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, a community-based campaign to raise awareness about the importance of preserving America’s Main Street districts.

The Open Doors in Germantown project, led by the Germantown United Community Development Corporation, finished in first place out of 25 main street districts in a nationwide popular voting competition from September 25 through October 31, and earned a $150,000 grant for historic preservation. Germantown also won an additional $10,000 grant for increasing its vote total by the highest percentage during a one-week voting challenge.

The 11 winning historic sites will receive a total of $1.5 million in grants to fund their respective preservation projects. An additional $500,000 in grants was provided to the nonprofit partners of the 25 main street communities that participated in the program at the outset of the campaign to help raise awareness about their preservation needs.

The Germantown United Community Development Corporation intends to use the funding to provide structural improvements to two buildings on Germantown Avenue’s business corridor: Parker Hall (5801 Germantown Ave) and John Trower’s building (5706 Germantown Ave), both significant 20th century African-American historic sites. Parker Hall was an integrated social hall that served as a USO-like facility during World War II for African American soldiers. The eponymous John Trower building was operated by a well-known businessman and philanthropist who was considered the wealthiest African-American in the U.S. Both buildings will continue their current uses. Today, Parker Hall contains the office of Dr. Althea Hankins, MD, and the ACES Museum, which pays tribute to multi-ethnic contributions to the U.S. Military in WWII. The museum hosts veterans groups from throughout the country. John Trower’s building is home to the Crab House restaurant, a popular local business

Restoring these facades will benefit these businesses, bolster the historic appeal of Germantown, and increase community pride by highlighting the contributions of African-Americans to the history and culture of this country, in an underserved African-American urban community.

Germantown United CDC’s mission is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and it’s business corridors through a sustainable, creative and community driven approach to economic development. GUCDC believes that Germantown’s history and built environment are economic assets upon which to rebuild Germantown’s economy and create equitable economic development. After decades of decline, there are signs of improvement and vibrancy in Germantown.

Why Main Street Matters

According to 2016 data from Main Street America, investments in Main Street districts have a significant impact on local economies – encouraging real estate development as well as the creation of new businesses and jobs. In 2016, $4.65 billion reinvested in Main Street improvement programs resulted in 8,042 building rehabilitations, 5,616 business openings, and 27,462 new jobs.

Furthermore, according to a recent study from Morning Consult of 2,201 Americans commissioned by American Express, 79 percent of Americans say that preserving Main Street is important. Additionally, 79 percent of Americans say that the idea of Main Street is what makes America beautiful. Main Street is also seen as vital in connecting Americans to their local community – 82 percent of Americans say that Main Street is important to their ability to socialize with others in a community. A similar amount, 86 percent, say that Main Street is important to the well-being and the enjoyment of a community.

For more information and to vote daily for Germantown United CDC through October 31, visit VoteYourMainStreet.org and share the love via social media using #VoteYourMainStreet and #VoteGermantown.

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About Germantown United Community Development Corporation

The mission of Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood and its business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development. Learn more at http://germantownunitedcdc.org/.

About Partners in Preservation

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country.

Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com, and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places: www.savingplaces.org.

About Main Street America

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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