Department Of Interior

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John Wright
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2003

Old North Foundation Awarded $317,000 Grant
Under Save America's Treasures Program

Grant to help restore historic site known
for role in the legendary ride of Paul Revere

Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced today that the Old North Foundation of Boston, Mass., has been approved to receive a $317,000 grant under the nation's Save America's Treasures Historic Preservation Fund Grants Program. The Save America's Treasures grants are used to preserve the legacy of historic landmarks. This grant will be used to preserve Boston's Old North Church.

"This structure played a role in the nation's quest for freedom and independence and the legendary ride of Paul Revere," Norton said. "I am delighted to share in advancing the protection and preservation of this national legacy for future generations to learn from and enjoy."

The Old North Foundation is the organizational arm that supports the preservation and maintenance of Old North Church. The 280-year-old church is prominently known for that historic, fleeting moment on the night of April 18, 1775, when two lanterns were displayed from the church steeple, signaling to Paul Revere that British regulars were advancing on Lexington and Concord.

Until today, historically significant treasures that are also used for religious purposes have been ineligible to receive historic preservation grants. "This new policy will bring balance to our historic preservation program and end a discriminatory double-standard that has been applied against religious properties," Norton said. "All nationally significant historic structures - including those used for religious purposes - will now be eligible to receive funding from Save America's Treasures program."

Old North Church was designated as a National Historic Landmark Jan. 20, 1961. Founded in 1723, it is the oldest church building in Boston and a spectacular example of Georgian architecture based on the style of Sir Christopher Wren. The $317,000 grant announced today will be matched by the Foundation and used to address the immediate need for repair and restoration of the windows in the aging structure and to make the building more accessible to the American public.

Save America's Treasures was established in 1998 as a public-private partnership between the Interior Department's National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The public-private partnership is a national effort dedicated to identifying and rescuing America's threatened cultural treasures that serve as symbols of American tradition and define this country as a nation. As the public partner, the National Park Service administers the program's highly competitive federal grants program.


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