Virtual Preservation

Possible salvation of historic sites in the San Francisco Bay area is just a click away.

Last month, American Express and the National Trust announced their Partners in Preservation program, which lets the public play American Idol with historic preservation by voting to fund—or not fund—a select list of preservation projects. The program’s inaugural battle royal pits 25 sites in the San Francisco Bay Area against each other for a $1 million purse. Program organizers estimate that 10 to 12 winners will split the pot, based in part on votes cast online by the public.

So far, the obvious candidates are scoring most of the votes—lighthouses, state parks, Bernard Maybeck buildings. But don’t the region’s most beloved landmarks already have plenty of community support? In the spirit of healthy competition, makes a case for a few dark-horse candidates with our totally subjective, less-than-exhaustive Voters Guide for Indecisive Preservationists. Click on any of the images to begin a virtual tour of these sites.

Register to vote at Partners in Preservation and you can cast a ballot once every day until October 31, 2006.

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