UPPER CUMBERLAND – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Historical Commission recently announced 37 Historic Preservation Fund grants – seven of which were awarded in the Upper Cumberland.
Monies were designated to community organizations for programs and activities that support the preservation of historic and archaeological sites, districts and structures. The grants awarded from the Historic Preservation Fund allocated to the Tennessee Historical Commission have been awarded to community and civic organizations for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. 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.
“Protecting Tennessee’s historic places is critical to preserving our state’s heritage,” Haslam said in a release. “(The) announcement of more than $600,000 in assistance to communities across the state helps ensure that Tennessee’s rich history will continue to be shared with future generations.”
Grants are competitive, and this year the Tennessee Historical Commission reviewed 63 applications with funding requests totaling approximately $1.9 million. This year’s selection included archaeological surveys, design guidelines for historic districts, rehabilitation of historic buildings, posters highlighting the state’s history and archaeology and brochures related to historic tourism. One of the grant priorities is projects that are in Certified Local Governments, a program that allows communities to participate closely in the federal program of historic preservation. Ten Certified Local Government communities were awarded grants this year. Additional priorities include areas experiencing rapid growth and development, other threats to cultural resources, areas where there are gaps in knowledge regarding cultural resources and the restoration of the state’s historic buildings that are owned by civic or nonprofit organizations. Properties that use the restoration grants must be listed in the National Register.
Regional grant recipients and/or sites of the projects include:
- Clay County – $7,200 to fund the upgrading of the electrical system in the courthouse, the first phase in the restoration of the National Register-listed building.
- Gainesboro – $12,000 to fund the restoration and replacement of tile in the National Register-listed Fox School, part of a phased restoration.
- Overton County: Shirley Bohannon American Legion Post #4 – $12,000 to fund the restoration of the National Register-listed American Legion Post #4 building.
- Pickett County: East Tennessee State University – $15,000 to fund a multi-disciplinary study of a prehistoric archaeological site in Pickett State Forest.
- City of Cookeville – $1,200 to fund a self-guided walking tour for three local historic districts.
- Warren County: William H. Magness Community House and Library – $12,000 to fund masonry restoration on the National Register-listed Magness Library.
- Upper Cumberland Development District – $50,000 to fund a preservation specialist staff position for the Upper Cumberland Development District.
For more information about the Tennessee Historical Commission, visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/history/.