Partners in Preservation, a collaboration between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, recently announced $2 million in grants that it will disburse in support of historic places throughout the National Park System.
Twenty parks will split the windfall, with three receiving $250,000 each. This includes Grand Canyon National Park for rehabilitation of the Watchtower, Mary Jane Colter’s iconic stone tower that anchors the east entrance of the park at Desert View on the South Rim.
Awards were made based on online voting, and the Watchtower project came in third after receiving nearly 100,000 votes out of 1.1 million cast.
Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park since 1932 (coincidentally the same year construction on the Watchtower was completed), spearheaded the campaign, and will receive and administer the grant on behalf of Grand Canyon National Park. The grant will allow much needed repairs to this heavily-visited attraction.
The structure, which changed hands to the NPS from Xanterra South Rim, LLC, in January of this year, has become a nexus for Native American cultural demonstrations.