The State Historic Preservation Office is accepting grant applications for the federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) beginning December 1, 2020. Applications must be completed by 4:00 p.m. (Central time) February 1, 2021. The HPF will be available after Congress passes the federal budget. The exact amount of available grant funding is not known but it is expected to be in the range of $300,000. Applications will be reviewed, rated, and ranked. 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.
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 State Historic Preservation Plan. Examples include 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 and built over 50 years ago. Surveys may be for a specific geographic area or for properties associated with themes or events important 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 (NRHP) are other areas for possible grant funding.
Restoration of historic buildings must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. In order to be eligible for a restoration grant, the property must be listed in the NRHP. In addition to the restoration of buildings, predevelopment work necessary to undertake rehabilitation is an acceptable grant.
Applications are available at the TDEC online grants system found at https://www.tn.gov/environment/about-tdec/grants-home.html. You can also find the information by going directly to TDEC’s home page, going to the About section and then to Grants.
Decisions on funding grants will be made when the exact amount of funds available is known. For more information on the grants contact Claudette Stager at Claudette.Stager@tn.gov.