By Marla Collum
In order to understand the needs and challenges of maintaining or interpreting historic places it is often good practice to ask questions and seek advice. Preservation Fund grants are available exclusively to organizational members of the National Trust at the Forum level for planning and education projects. This dedicated grant funding program can help find answers to those questions, provide access to needed expertise, and help guide future decisions. Grants range from $2,500 to $5,000.
Whether it is fundraising, interpretation or building rehabilitation, the Preservation Fund grants can help organize and mobilize preservation initiatives. The Forum member organizations listed below recently took advantage of our small grant program to bring together knowledge and experience to take their projects and programs to the next level.
Historic Columbia Foundation
Columbia, South Carolina
Re-imagining the Mann-Simons Site: Interpretation and Access
Historic Columbia Foundation has sought to better understand and interpret the Mann-Simons Site, which has been associated with members of the same African-American family for more than 125 years. The foundation received a National Trust grant for wayside signage, development of a web-based platform dedicated to the site, and a public program to introduce audiences to the property.
Masonic Center Restoration Fund, Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Restoration Feasibility Study
The Masonic Center Restoration Fund is conducting a feasibility study for launching a capital campaign in Salt Lake City to finance a renovation of the historic Salt Lake Masonic Temple. A fundraising consultant is performing detailed assessments of the organization's fundraising capacity and is outlining a campaign plan to guide future preservation fundraising efforts.
Arms Library Association, Inc.
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
Pratt Library Building Restoration: Development Study
The Arms Library Association received grant funding to hire an architect and civil engineer to advise and assist in the stabilization and restoration of the Pratt Library Building. A study of the structure will provide the advice, direction, and plans needed by the Town of Shelburne to repair the library's leaking roof, foundation, and drainage system; restore its masonry, woodwork, and walls; upgrade its many large windows and electrical systems; and insulate the structure.
Preservation Fund grants have three annual deadlines and the next opportunity to apply is February 1, 2013 Please keep this grant program in mind as a fundamental tool for preservation.
Marla Collum is grants manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.