Application window opens for $750K in grants for historic preservation projects

What’s happening: The application window has officially opened for the Resilient Lakeshore Heritage Grant, a new program from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) that will award grants to historic preservation projects in rural communities along the Great Lakes coastline. Two dozen communities are currently eligible for the program, and historic preservation projects within those communities have until Sept. 1 to apply for grants that range from $30,000 to $100,000.

Who’s behind it: The Resilient Lakeshore Heritage Grant was made possible when the Michigan SHPO was awarded a $750,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant from the National Park Service, first announced in September 2021. The SHPO was one of 11 organizations to receive Paul Bruhn grants nationwide, each dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities.

Why it’s important: "Grant funding for historic rehabilitation can be difficult for property owners and developers to obtain,” Michigan Historic Preservation Network President David Jackson said at the time of the announcement. “Through this grant award, the SHPO will be able to provide such an opportunity to Michigan's rural coastal communities. MHPN commends the SHPO for securing this funding for Michigan.”

Eligible communities: As of June 1, 2022, the list of eligible communities include Alpena, Bay City, Boyne City, Calumet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Escanaba, Grand Haven, Hart, Holland, Houghton, Manistee, Mackinac Island, Marquette, Menominee, Monroe, Muskegon, Oscoda Twp, Petoskey, Rogers City, Saginaw, Sault Ste. Marie, South Haven, and Traverse City.

Eligible projects: Commercial, industrial, civic, mixed-use, and community-oriented properties are eligible for the grants; excluded are single family homes and religious buildings. Historic preservation projects must be located in traditional downtown cores or prominent corridors and either be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or be determined eligible for listing before the project starts.

A full breakdown of eligibility requirements, for both communities and projects, as well as the application portal itself, are available online.