A Schooner From Tacoma Is All That Stands Between Seattle's Town Hall and Megabucks

Image by BK Dewey.
Think of the concerts! The lectures!
As you've likely heard, American Express has brought its Partners in Preservation grant program--which provides money to restore historic structures--to the Puget Sound.

Online voting has been going on for almost a month now, with 25 buildings up for consideration, such as the 5th Avenue Theatre and King St. Station. A million bucks is going to be distributed, with a panel of VIPS deciding who gets what. But the winner of the online popularity contest is guaranteed a grant of up to $125,000.

With just two days left in the voting, Town Hall has sprinted ahead of the Seattle competition. It currently owns 18 percent of the total votes cast. That puts it well ahead of the next-closest Seattle competitor, the 5th Avenue, which has just 7 percent. (Perhaps the most fashionable candidate among the arts venues, Washington Hall, has garnered only 3 percent.)

But Town Hall is by no means in the clear.

Town Hall's sworn enemy vessel.
The Schooner Adventuress (seen at left), an historic ship that provides educational tours of Puget Sound, is currently ahead of Town Hall by the length of a spinnaker pole. The ship is based in Tacoma, which has Town Hall trying to fan the hometown pride.

We've written before about the absurdity of some of these new online charity chases. But you can hardly blame organizations for pulling out all the stops to win.

If you want to support Town Hall (which plans to use the money to restore tile and stained-glass windows), or any of the other worthy candidates, you can still do so twice--today and tomorrow--on the Amex site.

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