May 9, 2012 / Brooklyn news / Brooklyn Is Awesome

History victory? Brooklyn in front in preservation contest

The Brooklyn Paper
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Two ailing but historic Brooklyn buildings are ahead of the pack in a contest for millions of dollars of cash for renovations.

Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim synagogue is in first place out of 40 citywide sites in a competition allowing voters to determine how to spend $3 million in corporate-donated money slated for the restoration of important structures.

The beloved synagogue on Eighth Avenue and Garfield Place earned eight percent of total votes to fix its collapsing roof during the first week of the Partners in Preservation contest, which began on May 1 and is sponsored by American Express.

Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch, which needs new doors, is in a close second place, also with roughly eight percent of total votes.

Brooklynites can cast a ballot for their favorite preservation projects — such as returning the B&B Carousell to Coney Island or rebuilding the bulkhead at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center — online at

The top four sites with the most votes will divvy the cash.

New York Botanical Garden — which is unfortunately not in Brooklyn — is in third place with seven percent of total votes.

“It’s neck and neck — and Brooklyn is leading the way,” said Katie Jackson, a spokeswoman for the competition.

Anyone over the age of 13 can cast a ballot once per day until May 21.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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