GRANTS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
Special Notice: Downtown Redevelopment Fund grants now available through the Main Street Center, N.C. Department of Commerce.
See also Assistance to Owners of Historic Buildings for descriptions of other types of assistance.
Overview of Federal and State Preservation Grant Programs:
Over the past few decades, limited amounts of federal and state funds have been available to local governments, local organizations, and academic institutions for certain types of historic preservation projects. Projects have included architectural and archaeological surveys, National Register nominations, publications, preservation planning, restorations of historic buildings, and archaeological excavations. While restorations of historic properties owned by private individuals were once eligible for federal preservation grants, and a few such grants were made in small amounts in the 1970s and early 1980s, today there are neither federal nor state grants for restorations of privately owned properties. Privately owned historic properties may be eligible for federal and/or state rehabilitation investment tax credits, which might be considered an indirect "grant" in the form of savings on federal and state income taxes.
FEDERAL GRANTS: The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes a matching grant program for a variety of preservation activities. Most federal grants have been made to local governments and organizations for architectural and archaeological surveys, National Register nominations, and preservation planning.
Federal law requires that 10% of the state's apportionment from the federal Historic Preservation Fund be made available on a matching basis to local governments that are designated Certified Local Governments by the National Park Service. This has amounted to about $65,000 annually for CLG projects in the state in recent years. In some years, the HPO is able to offer additional grants out of the state's Historic Preservation Fund apportionment for projects within jurisdictions that are not Certified Local Governments, though these projects have been limited to non-construction activities such as comprehensive county surveys and nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Places. Even in years when non-CLG grants are available, restorations of historic buildings are eligible projects only in CLG jurisdictions. Third parties may apply for CLG funding through their local preservation commission.
For more information and applications for federal Historic Preservation Fund grants, contact Michele Patterson-McCabe, grants administrator. In most years, the application period is between November and the end of January, and grants are awarded the following spring.
Additional federal funds are sometimes earmarked by Congress for special categories of projects such as lighthouses and Native American properties.
Save America's Treasures (SAT) is a separate federal grant program operated in a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service. The State Historic Preservation Office has no direct involvement with this program. Congress did not fund SAT for fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and at this time there are no plans to resume funding.
STATE GRANTS: In past years, the North Carolina General Assembly has made funds for preservation projects available to to local governments and nonprofit groups through one-time discretionary appropriations. Appropriations have not been made in recent years and may or may not resume in the future. Appropriations have assisted historic property and archaeological surveys, survey publications, and National Register nominations, but the primary focus of state grants has been restorations of historic buildings owned by local governments and local non-profit organizations. State appropriations have never been made for restorations of historic properties owned by private individuals. The State Historic Preservation Office has no role in the appropriation process, though staff is available on request to provide technical assistance to projects receiving appropriations.
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