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“It was somewhat intimidating when we saw Mount Vernon and National Cathedral on the list,” Williams said. “But we have a smaller and more loyal group of friends and dog walkers [who support us], and so we’re finding that we’re increasing slow and steady, whereas the big boys started out with a big punch.”
Sixth & I, which not only serves as a house of worship but also hosts many political speakers and authors of interest to the Capitol Hill community, was among the most popular on the partnership’s website.
Jackie Leventhal, director of cultural programming and communications for the synagogue, said its chunk of the funding would go toward renovating the stained-glass windows that serve as a centerpiece of the 105-year-old structure.
“The window renovation has to happen, because some of them have small holes in them and some of them are buckling,” Leventhal said. “I think no matter the type of event, whether it’s an author or a concert or a political panel or a Shabbat service, the windows are just the centerpiece and an inspiring backdrop to what happens in that room.”
Ultimately, Nieweg said, aside from allocating much-needed renovation funding to culturally significant and community-oriented sites across the D.C. area, the contest will help raise awareness that historic sites need community help to be maintained.
“We made a special effort to select historic places that reflect the diversity of heritage in this region. ... We’ve really got a broad range that not only reflects their local and national heritage but also reflects how varied the preservation movement is today,” Nieweg said. “We are really pleased.”
To vote for your favorite historic site on the list, go to preservedmv.com and announce your support of a site on social media by using the Twitter hashtag assigned to the location. Voting is open until midnight on May 10, and the winners will be announced at an event May 13 at the Decatur House.