On August 10, 2023, the National Park Service (NPS) announced nearly $9.7 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to 13 subgrant programs in 12 states.
The grants are intended to support economic revitalization through the restoration and reuse of historic buildings in rural communities across the country.
These grants mark the fifth year of funding for the program honoring the late Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont for nearly 40 years.
State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Certified Local Governments, and nonprofits were eligible to apply for funding to create a subgrant program to fund multiple preservation projects in their rural jurisdictions.
“This National Park Service program is helping rural communities strengthen their economies through historic preservation,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “The subgrant programs being carried out at the local level are supporting improvements to historic buildings and fostering economic development across the country.”
Grants awarded in this round will allow state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to develop subgrant programs and select individual projects in their rural communities for physical preservation projects that will contribute to economic vitality.
Sample projects from this year’s grants include:
- Montana – The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation will provide subgrants to renew community anchors in a flood-ravaged, historic community that serves as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park.
- New York – The Erie Canalway National Heritage Area will provide subgrants for physical preservation of historic properties located in rural communities adjacent to the Mohawk River/New York State Barge Canal System in central New York.
- Virginia – The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will provide subgrants to public and nonprofit-owned buildings in 25 rural counties in the Appalachian region of the state.
Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF, authorized through 2023, uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.
Here’s the full list of 2023 winners:
Downtown Thomson Revitalization Program
McDuffie County Board of Commissioners
Muscatine Downtown Historic Revitalization Project
City of Muscatine
Kansas State Historical Society
Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center
Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc.
Post Flood Historic and Economic Revitalization of Red Lodge and Carbon County
Red Lodge Area Community Foundation
Mohawk Valley Historic Rural Revitalization Grant Program
Erie Canalway Heritage Fund, Inc.
Neighbors Building Neighborhoods of Muskogee, Inc.
Dillon Community Alliance
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Preservation Trust of Vermont
Fund for Historic Schools
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc.
Wheeling Revitalization Subgrant Program
Wheeling National Heritage Corporation
Congress has appropriated $12.5 million for FY23 funding with applications planned to be available in the fall of 2023.
Photo of downtown Covington, Virginia courtesy of National Park Service / Michael Pulice.