Grants to Restore Historic Buildings

by Stephanie Maatta

Individuals and organizations restore historic buildings and houses in order to maintain their connections with the past. To accomplish this, the individuals and agencies complete the necessary repairs and renovations to maintain and sustain the structural and physical integrity of the property (See Reference 1). Preservation activities involve the exterior and grounds of the historic property and the interior of the building, returning the structure to its former glory. All of these activities require funding, which can often come in the form of a grant.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Grants

The National Trust Preservation Fund (NTP) offers two types of grants for the preservation of historic buildings. These grants support the work of nonprofit organizations and public agencies and are not available to individuals. The first type of grant provides matching funds from $500 up to $5,000. The money may be used for preservation planning and education. The second grant is for preservation emergencies and to stabilize a property in danger of immediate deterioration. National Trust for Historic Preservation 1786 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036-2117 202-588-6000 preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/

Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation

The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation offers grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies for projects that contribute to the preservation of a historic place or that “recapture an authentic sense of place” (See Reference 2). Projects include structural repairs as well as educational programs for the general public. Grants range from $2,500 to $10,000. Individuals and for-profit organizations are eligible for funding if the property is identified as a National Historic Landmark. The National Trust for Historic Preservation administers the grant program. National Trust for Historic Preservation 1786 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036-2117 202-588-6000 preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors offers grants from $2,500 to $10,000 for “the preservation, restoration and interpretation of historic interiors” (See Reference 2). This includes the repair of interior features and acquiring authentic furnishings. Like the Johanna Favrot Fund, individuals and for-profit organizations are eligible if the property is a National Historic Landmark. This program is also administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. National Trust for Historic Preservation 1786 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036-2117 202-588-6000 preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/

Save America’s Treasures Grant Program

The Save America’s Treasures Grant Program is a multiagency program that awards competitive grants to federal, state, local and tribal agencies for the preservation and conservation of national historically significant properties, such as homes or buildings associated with American historical figures (presidents or significant authors, for example). The grants require matching funds from the applicant, and the maximum grant awarded is $700,000. The National Park Service administers the grant program. National Park Service 1849 C Street NW Washington, DC 20240 202-208-3818 nps.gov/history/hps/hpg/index.htm

National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provides several different grants for historic preservation and conservation projects. Grant amounts range from $6,000 to more than $1 million. Grant funds may be used to plan preservation projects or educational programming at historic facilities, and to prepare objects and collections to be placed on exhibit in historic buildings. National Endowment for the Humanities 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20506 800-NEH-1121 neh.gov/grants/grants.html

State Historic Preservation Office

The State and Tribal Historic Preservation Office in each U.S. state receives grant funding from the Historic Preservation Fund, which is then awarded to local applicants for the historic preservation and conservation of properties. Recipients use these funds to repair and maintain properties with local historical value. Each state administers its own program. For applications and information, contact the historic preservation office in your state. National Conference on State Historic Preservation Officers Hall of the States, Suite 342 444 N. Capitol St. NW Washington, DC 20001 202-624-5465 ncshpo.org/find/index.htm

Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation Preservation Fund

In partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation Preservation Fund, the charitable arm of Lowe's Home Improvement stores, offers grants for the restoration and preservation of significant historical properties. The most current program awards up to $50,000 to restore historic public school buildings, especially those that represent the African American heritage (See References 2 and 4). Lowe’s Public Relations 1000 Lowe’s Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 704-757-9210 lowes.com/cd_Corporate+Citizenship_674540029_

About the Author

Stephanie Maatta has been a writer for more than 10 years, with articles published in professional journals including "Library Journal" and "Reference Librarian." Many of her publications focus on professional development and career advising. Maatta holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in library and information science from Florida State University.

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