The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is accepting applications for its new Saving Historic Places Grant, designed to save certified historic buildings in rural West Virginia communities from "demolition by neglect."
According to Danielle Parker, executive director for the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in the Mountain State, funding will be provided for building emergencies, building stabilization, and pre-development costs.
“The alliance created the Saving Historic Places Grant Program to provide funding to help communities save the places that matter most to them,” Parker said.
In 2021, the alliance received a Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant from the National Park Service to expand this program, and in 2022, more than $400,000 was awarded to projects statewide. However, funds are still available, totaling $60,000 for this application period.
Completed grant applications are due Friday, November 17, 2023.
To qualify for the grant, Parker said, buildings must either be individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or listed as contributing structures in a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Eligible applicants for this program include just about everyone from business owners to nonprofit organizations and municipalities,” she said.
Demolition by neglect refers to the practice of allowing buildings to deteriorate to the point that demolition becomes necessary or restoration becomes unreasonable. Property owners have used the practice of sidestepping laws by justifying the destruction of historical buildings.
To prevent demolition by neglect, many U.S. cities have adopted ordinances requiring property owners to maintain historical buildings properly.
Eligible costs should focus on stabilizing the building to prevent further degradation and can include but are not limited to roof replacement, masonry repointing, foundation treatment, and window rehabilitation.
“Eligible applicants for this program include just about everyone from business owners to nonprofit organizations and municipalities,” Parker said.
Eligible projects should focus on stabilizing the building to prevent further degradation and can include but are not limited to roof replacement, masonry repointing, foundation treatment, and window rehabilitation.
The objective of the Bruhn program is to support the rehabilitation of historic properties at the national, state, and local levels of significance to rehabilitate, protect, and foster economic development in rural communities with a population of less than 50,000 through subgrants that come from states, tribes, certified local governments, and non-profits able to support a competitive subgrant program.
This program will fund preservation projects for historic sites, including physical preservation and architectural and engineering services that do not exceed 20 percent of the grant award.
To review the full guidelines for the Saving Historic Places Grant and to download an application form, visit PAWV.org.
Call 304-345-6005 if you have trouble accessing this information on the website.