Filipina architect’s buildings awarded preservation grants

Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Photos courtesy of Roz Li

Sixteen historic places received preservation grants as part of the Partners in Preservation competition in New York City, the first-ever citywide effort powered by social media.

Four of the sites are current and past clients of UST alumna and preservationist architect Roz Li. These are the Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens and the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn.

“I am happy to share with you the good news that the restoration of the stained glass of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn has been awarded a grant of $200,000 by American Express through their Partnership in Preservation Program,” says Roz in a statement. “Thanks very much for voting for this project through Facebook and other online sites.”

Roz is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey and the Philippines with more than 30 years experience. She received her Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and her architectural degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. A principal at Li-Saltzman, she is an advocate of preserving historic buildings through her Bakas Pilipinas foundation. One of its projects is the artistic San Sebastian Basilica in Manila known for its turn-of-the-century Gothic architecture.

The 16 organizations that received grants were:

▪ Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Brooklyn: $200,000 to complete restoration of Transept’s Roberts Memorial Tiffany Pilgrim window frame and glass.
▪ Henry Street Settlement, Manhattan: $175,000 to develop an achievable, measurable and replicable model for achieving sustainability in historic structures.

Tenement Museum

▪ Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Manhattan: $170,000 to arrest the active deterioration and loss of historic fabric within three of the “instructive ruin” apartments.
▪ Apollo Theater, Manhattan: $150,000 to restore specific decorative elements in the historic auditorium.
▪ Louis Armstrong House Museum, Queens: $150,000 to repair exteriors including patio woodwork and interiors such as bathroom tiles.
▪ Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx: $150,000 to conserve exterior of mausoleum including the resetting of uneven terrace stones and preservation of doors.
▪ Tug Pegasus & Waterfront Museum Barge, Brooklyn: $140,000 total with $90,000 to repair the main deck of Tug Pegasus and $50,000 to permanently preserve markings and historical “graffiti” on barge walls of the LV 79.
▪ St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, Manhattan: $135,000 to replace exteriors including the portico floor, roof, and front arches.
▪ Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island: $120,000 to repaint exterior and repair the roof’s decorative woodwork, shutters and chimney, and build a new handicap access door.
▪ Flushing Town Hall, Queens: $100,000 to restore windows and roofing, coinciding with the 150th anniversary celebration of the building.
▪ Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, Staten Island: $100,000 to renovate and reset the exterior stairs and conserve the cast iron staircase in Building A, which is being transformed into a new home for the Museum.
▪ Queens County Farm Museum, Queens: $80,000 to restore the farm’s exteriors by replacing the roof, windows, clapboards and exterior wall shingles.
▪ Federal Hall National Memorial, Manhattan: $75,000 to repair, clean and protectively coat the statue of George Washington.
▪ Caribbean Cultural Center, Manhattan: $70,000 to redevelop and renovate an 8,400 square foot former city firehouse to create its new home on 125th street.
▪ Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn: $70,000 to reuse the existing shed structure for exhibit and program space and recreate a root cellar.

Forty sites from all five boroughs competed for public votes this spring for preservation funding. American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will have infused $3 million in funding to preserve historic buildings throughout New York.

“This program is designed to encourage community support for preservation and have the public rally behind their favorite historic places to help us determine where these funds are needed,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “The sites’ dedication and persistence paid off and should prove to have a lasting effect on these historic places.”

“By spotlighting the benefits of historic preservation and the need for funding to keep historic sites vibrant, this program has galvanized New Yorkers to recognize the treasures in their communities,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The long-term benefits of the program are evident with the increased engagement of local preservationists by the historic sites through their web pages and social media channels, coupled with an increase in visitors to the sites themselves.”


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