Tennessee Historical Commission announces grants

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 29, 2017 at 2:00 PM

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission State Historic Preservation Office recently awarded 32 matching grants that awarded almost $750,000 from the Federal Historic Preservation Fund allocated to nonprofits, municipalities, universities and civic organizations across the state to support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources.

Locally, Cumberland University received $35,000 to fund the restoration of the National Register-listed Memorial Hall. Also, Middle Tennessee State University’s department of sociology and anthropology received $3,457 for posters for Tennessee Archaeology Week, and MTSU’s Fullerton Laboratory for Spatial Technology received $49,542 to digitize data for historic and architectural survey files and for survey data entry for computerization of survey files.

“These grants are a critical part of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s mission and contribute to the study and protection of Tennessee’s treasured historic places,” said Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer and executive director.

Awarded annually, 60 percent of the project funds are from the Federal Historic Preservation Fund, and 40 percent of project funds come from the grantee. Grants are competitive, and the Tennessee Historical Commission staff reviewed 51 applications with funding requests that totaled about $900,000, significantly more than the amount of funding available. Many of the grants are recurring, leaving roughly $250,000 available to award each year.

Grant awards include a wide variety of historic and architectural projects. Examples are $40,000 to help restore the windows at the c. 1885 Moore County Courthouse in Lynchburg and a $12,000 grant to the city of Savannah that will be used to develop a mobile tour application for area historic sites. Other funds will assist in funding preservation planners in all nine of the state’s development districts, in building and archaeological surveys and design guidelines for historic districts. Several other grants are for the rehabilitation of historic buildings, for posters highlighting the state’s archaeology and training for historic zoning staff or commissioners.

One of the commission’s grant priorities is for projects that are in certified local governments, a program that allows the 41 enrolled communities to participate closely in the federal program of historic preservation. Ten certified local government communities were awarded grants this year, including $24,000 awarded to the Metro Historical Commission in Nashville to help fund a cultural landscape plan for Fort Negley. Additional priorities include those that meet the goals and objectives of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s plan for historic preservation. Properties that use the restoration grants must be listed in the National Register.

For more information about the Tennessee Historical Commission, visit tnhistoricalcommission.org.

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