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Two MAS Projects Selected as Partners in Preservation Finalists: Cast Your Votes!

MAS’s planned restoration of the “Rocket Thrower” statue and our energy retrofit at the Henry Street Settlement, were announced today as two of the 40 finalists of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2012 Partners in Preservation Initiative in New York City.  Partners in Preservation is a community-based program providing preservation grants for local historic places. From April 26 through May 21, you can cast your vote for this year’s finalists online at http://partnersinpreservation.com/ We hope you’ll support our MAS projects and help us get the most votes! Voters are allowed one vote per day, so vote early and often! The three projects receiving the most votes will have their grants fulfilled. The remaining funding will be distributed to the other sites by a jury of civic and preservation leaders along with American Express and National Trust advisors; awards will total $3 million dollars! More about our Partners in Preservation projects: MAS, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Unisphere, Inc. have partnered in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MAS Adopt-A-Monument program for the restoration of the “Rocket Thrower,” an Olympian-sized sculpture by Donald De Lue, commissioned for the 1964 World’s Fair. This towering work, a highlight of Flushing Meadows–Corona, requires intervention if it is to remain in good condition for the 7 million people yearly that enjoy this amazing park and its many recreational and cultural facilities. While the MAS Adopt program has restored 36 public monuments, the “Rocket Thrower” is the last of the original 20 in the 1987 pilot program that has not be restored.  If we garner enough votes, the conservation of the statue will include cleaning the bronze and the stone base; repatination of the bronze; application of a protective wax coating; and, if feasible, regilding of the stars. MAS has partnered with the Henry Street Settlement and the Pratt Center to explore how to make energy efficiency gains at the Settlement’s circa 1830s headquarter buildings, distinguished as both local and national landmarks. The Settlement was established in 1893 to serve the needs of the neighborhood’s immigrant population and continues to provide a wide range of social service and arts programs to more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year. Working with the Settlement over the last year we have completed several energy efficiency measures on a limited budget in order to demonstrate how to make efficiency gains and lower operating costs without compromising architectural character. To achieve the greatest gains the retrofit must be comprehensive and include more costly long-term capital projects, including replacing outdated boilers and faulty windows, which would be supported by the Partners in Preservation grant. MAS is grateful for the generous funding for the first phase of the demonstration project from the New York Community Trust, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund.