Twenty-five cities from Seattle, to Texas, to Miami are vying for funding to preserve or improve theaters, parks, landmarks and other venues in downtowns, historic neighborhoods and cultural districts.
One proposal would completely refurbish the exterior of the the former Collin County Courthouse in McKinney. The courthouse was once the historic heart of McKinney and one of the tallest buildings in Texas. It is now the home of the McKinney Performing Arts Center.
A proposal out of Arizona would create a park for vintage neon signs in Casa Grande. Another would preserve the Formosa Cafe on Route 66 in West Hollywood, California. Several cities seek funding to preserve historic theaters, like the Woodward Theater in Cincinnati and the Yale Theatre in Oklahoma City.
The program, called Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, is supported by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Main Street America.
National Geographic is hosting a special Vote Your Main Street website, where the public may vote once a day for up to five projects through October 31. Winners will be announced November 2. The sites with the most votes will get grants of up to $150,000 each, with as many projects funded as possible from a pool of $1.5 million.
The 25 proposed projects are:
—Alabama Theatre marquee, Birmingham, Alabama
—Vintage Neon Sign Park, Casa Grande, Arizona
—Marquee, Market Street Mall, Richmond, California
—Stevens-Hartley Annex, San Diego
—Formosa Cafe, Route 66, West Hollywood, California
—Caboose, Creative District, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
—Manuel Artime Theater, Miami's Little Havana neighborhood
—Bryant Graves House, Sweet Auburn district, Atlanta
—1893 cable car building, Hyde Park, Illinois
—Lyric Theater, West Des Moines, Iowa
—Old McCrory's Store, New Orleans
—Pierce Building and Streetcar Comfort Station, Boston's Dorchester Arts and Culture Innovation District
—The Treehouse, Detroit's northwest Livernois/6 Mile corridors
—Bandstand and park, Ivers Square, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
—E. Romero Hose and Fire Building, Las Vegas, New Mexico
—Restoration Plaza, Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Brooklyn, New York
—Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, North Carolina
—Woodward Theater marquee, Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood
—Yale Theatre, Oklahoma City
—Trower Building, Parker Hall and other African-American landmarks in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood
—Dr. McPhail Building, Franklin, Tennessee
—Historic buildings, Granary District, Salt Lake City
—Fading signs on historic buildings in Seattle's Chinatown
—James Hughes Building, Washington, D.C.
for more features.