The Sons of the American Revolution is an historical, educational and patriotic organization formed in 1889 to preserve the stories of our patriot ancestors’ struggle against tyranny and the principles upon which our country was founded. The SAR has over 28,000 members today, all of whom trace their ancestry to the Revolutionary War era.
The SAR’s national headquarters are in Louisville, KY.
The SAR seeks to help fill the ever-increasing gap in history and civics education within our school systems through its newly formed The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. Since the 1960’s the American education system has consistently reduced the amount of time spent on social studies and history in the classroom. This trend affects our ability to teach our children the stories of our past to better understand the issues of today. The Center will provide educational programs to school children from local and surrounding school systems through permanent and traveling exhibits and in outreach education programs distributed to SAR Chapters across the country.
The Center will provide expanded space for permanent and traveling exhibits, speakers, workshops, summer camps and school programs, plus improved conditions for its internationally acclaimed genealogical library as well as more efficient space for administrative and programming offices.
To further its goal of expanded services, The SAR has purchased an historic 1840’s era building on Louisville’s West Main Street, a Cultural District known for its second largest collection of iron-front façade buildings in the country (second only to SoHo in New York). Plans to renovate and furnish the 40,000 square foot historic site include an open gallery atrium and inviting reception area.
The SAR National Headquarters will be located on the second floor. The Genealogical Library will be a significant part of the west wing and a rooftop garden will overlook the majestic Ohio River.
Along with the general public and school groups, key users are expected to be scholars, historians, authors, teachers, students, families and individuals who are interested in researching and learning more about our country’s beginnings and the principles upon which it was founded.
To fund The Center’s renovation, SAR members, private foundations, corporations, businesses, local, state and federal grants, community leadership and the public-at-large will all be invited to participate in ADVANCE: Campaign for New Generations.
Based upon traffic generated along Louisville’s historic West Main Street and the activity generated at other attractions located along that corridor, it is projected that The Center could attract as many as 100,000 visitors in its first full year.
There are no other cultural attractions like The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage near Louisville, KY. The location for The Center is easily accessible by three major interstates, 71, 65 and 64, and sits within a day’s drive of more than half the population of the United States. This new Center will add another jewel to Louisville’s tourism crown and strengthen the economic development of the downtown cultural district.
The Center’s construction schedule is dependent on available and pledged funds. The SAR Genealogical Research Library was completed in 2011. Architectural plans are being drawn for the next phase of construction that will include the SAR Headquarters and Museum.
The hours of operation are still to be determined, but will certainly be compatible with other activity and traffic along the West Main Street corridor.
First, may I say how honored I am to have been chosen to lead the Capital Campaign for The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. None of the campaigns I have been involved with in the past fill me with as much excitement as the project we as SAR compatriots will achieve in the next few months.
The Center will house our new interactive Galleries, the Drinkard Education Center, Genealogical Research Library, Merchandise Operations, and our National Headquarters.
Most important it will align our mission of civic literacy education to solid programs within The Center in Louisville that may be easily accessible to our membership for use throughout the country.
Increasing civic literacy and pride in our country and our heritage are indeed worthy ambitions begun many years ago by the founders of our great organization and carried out through generations of patriots.
The successful completion of this project is extremely important for future generation of Americans and to the future of the NSSAR and should be given top priority as we complete our planned five-year campaign to raise the necessary funds. Your assistance and support will make a difference.
All gifts to The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage are important, no matter the amount. Multi-year pledges are also important in helping to reach our goal. Please consider donations of appreciated stock, life insurance, real estate, charitable bequests, and planned giving. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the SAR Foundation by calling (502) 589-1776.
We have never been more ready. Many of our compatriots are involved in planning and fundraising efforts. I am excited about the positive attitude of our membership and truly believe that we will be successful. The success of this project depends on a continued high level of commitment from our leadership our members and our friends. With everyone pitching in however they can, we will make it happen.
Please join us in doing your part for our new home and The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage! Make your pledge today.
Samuel C. Powell, Ph.D.
Capital Campaign Chairman