People Voted for the Boat! Schooner Adventuress Wins Popular Vote and $125,000 Grant!

Screenshot of Partners in Preservation website

From a press release issued by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation through Nyhus Communications.


Sound Experience and the Schooner Adventuress to Receive $125,000 Grant from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Recognizing Unprecedented Photo Finish, Town Hall Seattle Also Awarded $125,000

SEATTLE – May 13, 2010American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced the Partners in Preservation popular vote winner, the Schooner Adventuress. As the popular vote winner, Sound Experience and the Schooner Adventuress will receive their full grant request of $125,000. In an impressive challenge never seen in the history of the Partners in Preservation program, Town Hall Seattle also staged a comeback resulting in several swings of the tally on the final day of voting. In recognition of the extreme closeness of the competition and the extraordinary efforts of both organizations to rally support, Town Hall Seattle will also receive its full grant request of $125,000.

During the program, American Express and the National Trust encouraged the Seattle-Puget Sound community to vote online daily for four weeks for their favorite historic place. Twenty five historic sites competed for a part of $1 million in funding for important preservation projects. Beyond the two grants announced today, $750,000 in additional grants will be awarded on June 15 to a number of the other participating sites after review by an Advisory Committee comprised of Seattle-Puget Sound area civic and preservation leaders, American Express, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Sound Experience knew how to appeal to its community.  The exuberance of the “Vote for the Boat” campaign has been instrumental in the success of the Schooner Adventuress in the Partners in Preservation program,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “We were also highly impressed with the extraordinary support shown for Town Hall, and are delighted to award grants to both organizations at this time.”

“Partners in Preservation is a unique program because it not only offers financial support for treasured historic places, it also brings communities together to show their dedication for the places that matter to them,” said David Brown, Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “It is fitting that a historic sailing ship that calls all of Puget Sound her home should be the popular vote winner of the Seattle-Puget Sound Partners in Preservation program.”

Constructed in Maine and launched in 1913, The Schooner Adventuress’ maiden voyage to the Arctic was one of the early expeditions of Roy Chapman Andrews, the inspiration for cinematic adventurer “Indiana Jones.” To address damage caused by natural wear and tear and continue to educate and inspire generations to come, the Adventuress launched an all-hands-on-deck campaign to “Vote for the Boat.” Sound Experience, which owns and sails the Schooner Adventuress throughout the Pacific Northwest, created a dedicated web address — — and distributed stickers, T-shirts and signs. The team also offered a chance to win a free sail, produced multiple online videos, and launched a viral social media campaign that reached out to the boating community in Puget Sound and beyond. Sound Experience’s appeal was embraced by boaters as far away as Hawaii and The Netherlands.  In the final days of the competition, Adventuress made headlines for putting its sails on display and “Sailing into enemy waters” during the day of the 59th annual Maritime Day Luncheon, offering dockside tours and showcasing the historic vessel for all of downtown Seattle to see.

Built as the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, Town Hall Seattle has been a First Hill landmark for nearly 90 years, making the transition from religious to secular use with grace. To preserve its public accessibility, Town Hall needs to restore and seal the building’s iconic white terra-cotta exterior, as well as to repair the prominent stained-glass window on the building’s south side. Throughout the Partners in Preservation program, Town Hall Seattle engaged its many subscribers, patrons and other supporters with a “Windows and Walls” campaign to get out the vote via email, event-calendar mailers and daily reminders to vote. The organization also captured the attention of the public with a breathtaking 12-hour, 30 act “Music Marathon” during the competition’s public open house weekend.  From 1 p.m. on May 1 to 1 a.m. on May 2, each back-to-back act performed for 24 minutes.  In all, nearly 150 performers were involved.

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation used specific criteria to select the 25 participating historic sites, including their historic, architectural and cultural significance, demonstrated community support, ability to complete a preservation project by December 2011, and potential to contribute to tourism or community development. They ranged from cultural centers to maritime treasures. The Advisory Committee will hold a closed-door session to review the remaining candidates and the winners will be announced on June 15.  While voting has closed, the public is invited to continue to share personal stories and photos at