Who would have thought? In a social media-fueled competition, where 40 historic places throughout the five boroughs vied for $3 million dollars in grants, the two top-place winners are in Park Slope.
, in Grand Army Plaza, won first place, with 9 percent of the popular vote and has been awarded $250,000 to restore its main entrance doors.
While , on Eighth Avenue and Garfield Place, received 8 percent of the popular vote and has also been awarded $250,000 to restore its stained glass windows.
Partners in Preservation, which is a collaboration between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, hosted a competition to see which New York sites received the most votes from the public online for the preservation projects they would like to see get done.
Voting took place from late April through May 21 on Facebook and Partners in Preservation’s website.
The third place winner was the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, which received 7 percent of the popular vote and has been awarded $250,000 to restore the rock garden.
And the fourth place winner was Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, also in the Bronx, with 7 percent of the popular vote and has been awarded $155,000 to restore areas within the museum’s gardens.
Congregation Beth Elohim’s Senior Rabbi, Andy Bachman is excited about the good news.
The grant will help restore the synagogue’s hundred-year-old stained glass windows in its 1,200-seat sanctuary on Eighth Avenue. The windows depict Biblical scenes of Jacob’s Ladder and Moses, but they are missing many pieces and also suffer from color degradation. The lead encasing holding the 400-square foot stained glass windows has suffered structural damage.
“We are just thrilled with this achievement and are so grateful to American Express and the National Trust for Historic Restoration,” Bachman said. “People from all walks of life claim CBE as their home and this is solid testimony to the words above our door—‘Mine House Shall Be An House of Prayer for All People.’ We believe that.”
In 2009, part of the sanctuary’s ceiling fell — leaving the congregation with no place to go. However, . Now with repairs under way at CBE, the stained glass windows will be saved from further damage.
“And as we grow and do good in the world, we take great pride in the idea that historic restoration repairs buildings so that the people who inhabit them can be inspired to do acts of righteousness and loving kindness in our world,” Bachman said.
With $2.1 million left in grants, a Partners in Preservation advisory committee of community and preservation leaders will select sites that will receive the rest of the $3 million and the recipients will be announced in June.