Lake Erie College Selected to compete for National Trust for Historic Preservation Grant

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Painesville, Ohio – September, 24, 2019 -- Through a partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Downtown Painesville Organization, a Main Street Program, and Lake Erie College have been selected as one of the year’s 20 sites from across the country that will compete for a share of a two-million dollar grant from American Express, where the top Main Streets will receive funds to preserve a community historic site. Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created in 2006 by The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, to engage the public in preserving historic places. Beginning September 24 through October 29, anyone can vote for their favorite Partners in Preservation: Main Street location at VoteYourMainStreet.org, hosted by media partner National Geographic. Up to five votes may be cast each day, per person, leading up to announcement day on Oct. 30. Lake Erie College will host a special Open House on October 5 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., offering an overview of the preservation project, and sharing historic stories of the Painesville community and the College’s contribution to the Woman Suffrage Movement while encouraging guests to cast their votes in support of the preservation project. .The League of Women Voter’s Lake County will be on site to provide historical context of the suffrage movement. Light refreshments will also be provided.

 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets is back for its third year in a row with all of this year’s sites having a special emphasis on historic places that celebrate the contributions of women in Main Street communities across America, honoring the upcoming 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Nestled in Painesville, Ohio and located just minutes from Painesville’s charming downtown, Lake Erie College stands as one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in the Western Reserve. From its start as a female seminary in 1856 to a coeducational institution of today, Lake Erie College is proud of its long heritage leading higher education for more than 160 years. At the center of this picturesque campus, College Hall stands as the grand dame of hallowed grounds where more than a century ago, women were leading the charge to advance their education and blaze new trails, including the most significant achievement of women in the progressive era: The Woman Suffrage Movement. LEC’s alumni, past faculty and administrators had a strong historical connection to the suffrage initiative, contributing in many different ways to forward the movement. A grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation would help LEC begin the important mission of preserving this iconic building by restoring its grand entrance; welcoming all who enter to experience her rich and significant history.

In conjunction with the Downtown Painesville Organization and the City of Painesville, LEC will work collaboratively to increase community awareness of the importance of the historic preservation of College Hall. Through this unique partnership, the organizations aim to commemorate the centennial anniversary of 19th amendment passage and celebrate the contributions of women – past and present – in Painesville, Ohio. Through sharing of factual stories that create a context of historical significance and importance, the partners seek to inspire long-term support from the local community and Lake Erie College alumni to restore and preserve the historic and iconic College Hall. 

 Over the past 13 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has provided more than $25 million in support of more than 250 historic sites across the United States, and has engaged more than a million people. The project connects people across the country through a common rallying point: saving local history and recognition for important places in their communities. Preservation of our Main Streets is important not only to understand our nation’s past, but also to create local economic opportunities and provide a space where communities can come together. Each local partner received an initial grant of $10,000 to increase public awareness of the importance of these historic places and build grassroots support for their Main Street district. 


The broader Painesville community and LEC’s alumni, faculty, staff and friends are encouraged to vote every day between September 24 through October 30, with the ability to cast up to five votes per day per person. The site that obtains the most votes during their open house event has the potential to win an additional fifty thousand dollars towards the conservation project. The ultimate grand prize is a share of the two million dollar pot, equating to $150,000 for each of the top ten sites receiving the most votes during the 45 day voting period. To cast your vote for preserving College Hall , or to learn more about the partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Downtown Painesville Organization and Lake Erie College, visit voteyourmainstreet.org/Painesville or text “MAINSTREET” to 52886. Message and data rates may apply. You may also contact program co-chairs Pamela Palermo at ppalermo@lec.edu or David Polakowski at  david@mainstreetpainesville.org

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