The Tennessee Historical Commission is accepting grant applications for historic preservation projects beginning December 1, 2017. These federally funded grants will be available after Congress passes the federal budget. The exact amount of funds available grants is not known but it is expected to be in the range of $250,000. Applications will be reviewed, rated, and ranked. Decisions on funding grants will be made when the exact amount of funds are known. This may be as late as next August, depending on when Congress completes work on the Budget.
The selection process will emphasize projects such as architectural and archaeological surveys, design guidelines for historic districts, and restoration of historic buildings that are listed in the National Register and have a public use. Priorities for grants will be based on the preservation plan A Future for the Past: A Comprehensive Plan for Historic Preservation in Tennessee. It includes areas experiencing rapid growth and development, other threats to cultural resources, areas where there are gaps in knowledge regarding cultural resources, and communities that participate in the Certified Local Government program. For proposed survey projects, the projects should identify and record historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant to Tennessee’s history and built over 50 years ago. Surveys may be for a specific geographic area or for sites associated with themes or events significant in the state’s history, such as the development of railroads in the 19th century or post World War II residential development. Preservation plans for towns, neighborhoods, and historic districts and the preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places are other areas for possible grant funding. In addition to the restoration of buildings, predevelopment work necessary to undertake rehabilitation is an acceptable grant. Restoration of historic buildings must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The grants are matching grants and will reimburse up to 60% of the costs of approved project work. The remaining 40% must be provided by the grantee as matching funds.
Applications are available at the new TDEC online grants system at https://www.tennessee.gov/environment/topic/grants-online-grants-system. The web has a user guide and tutorial. All applicants for Historic Preservation Fund grants must be completed by January 31, 2018.
For more information on the Tennessee Historical Commission, visit http://tnhistoricalcommission.org.