Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact:John Wright
For Immediate Release:November 12, 2003


Secretary Norton to Announce Grants to Preserve Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island,Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York and Mission Concepion Church in Texas



WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton will be in Newport, Rhode Island on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003 to announce three major grants under the "Save America's Treasures" Historic Preservation Fund Grants Program. Norton will announce funding to preserve Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island, the Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York and the Mission Concepcion in Texas.

Located in the Newport National Historic Landmark District and designed by noted colonial architect Peter Harrison, Touro is the oldest standing synagogue in the United States. It is an excellent example of classical Georgian architecture, with Sephardic Jewish elements. The grant will be used to reinforce the overloaded roof trusses and to restore exterior architectural features.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue located in New York was the first synagogue built in the United States by Eastern European Jews to serve the immigrants of New York's East Side. The grant will be used to restore the historic building facade.

The Mission Concepcion located in San Antonio, Texas is the oldest unreconstructed Spanish Colonial church in the United States. The grant will be used to improve drainage that threatens the historic structure.

Who: Gale A. Norton, secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
            Donald Carcieri, gov. of Rhode Island
            Mordechai Eskovitz, Rabbi of Touro Synagogue

What: Announcement of historic preservation grants to Touro Synagogue, Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Mission Concepcion to restore exterior architectural features

When: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003 11 a.m. (EST)

Where: Touro Synagogue
               85 Touro Street.
               Newport, R. I.


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