The grant was one of eleven handed out last week by the National Trust to winners of its “Partners in Preservation: Main Streets” grant program, a community-based online voting campaign to raise awareness about the importance of preserving America’s Main Street districts.
According to the National Trust:
“The Los Angeles Conservancy intends to use the $150,000 grant to help rehabilitate the historic Formosa Cafe along Route 66. Now closed, the restaurant was originally established in 1925 by a former prize fighter who renovated a retired Pacific Electric Red Car trolley for use as a luncheon counter. The business was later expanded in 1945. The restoration will focus on the long-neglected 1902-06 trolley portion that still functions as the centerpiece of the cafe. With a long association with early Hollywood and organized crime, the walls were lined with over 250 photos of stars who dined here. As a beloved L.A.-area landmark and legacy business, the Formosa Cafe will have an opportunity to continue sharing its cultural and historical significance with the next generation.”
The Partners in Preservation: Main Streets program was developed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the National Trust’s work to revitalize America’s Main Streets; it operates in partnership with American Express, National Geographic, and Main Street America.
Overall, the campaign emphasized Main Street communities around the U.S. and their positive local impact. Twenty five different main street districts participated in the campaign, hosted by media partner National Geographic, from September 25 through October 31. The 11 winning historic sites, according to local blog WeHoVille, were determined by more than 920,000 votes in the nation-wide campaign, and will receive a total of $1.5 million in grants to fund their respective preservation projects. An additional $500,000 in grants was provided to the non-profit partners of the 25 main street communities that participated in the program at the outset of the campaign, to help raise awareness about their preservation needs.