Interior Department Announces Grants for Underrepresented Communities Through Historic Preservation Fund

$500,000 to support greater inclusion of nation’s rich diversity in the National Register of Historic Places

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: November 6, 2015
Contact: Jessica Kershaw,

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced $500,000 in grants to help fund 10 projects that will document historic properties associated with underrepresented communities in the National Register of Historic Places. 

Working with various states, Indian tribes, and local governments, the grants will fund preservation projects at sites representing Latino, African American, Asian American, LGBTQ, women, and Native American communities. Secretary Jewell made the announcement while addressing the “Past Forward 2015” conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.

The grants are supported through the Historic Preservation Fund, which was authorized by Congress in 1976 under the National Historic Preservation Act. These grants are funded through a Fiscal Year 2015 appropriation. Congress allowed the fund to expire on September 30, 2015, leaving an uncertain future for funding similar projects. The federal investments are expected to leverage more than $258,000 in non-federal funds. The monies provided to the fund come from a small portion of Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues, not tax dollars.  

“From cultural sites that give us appreciation of Native Americans who first walked this land to the Spanish influence seen in the San Antonio Missions to places that shaped our history from the Civil War to Civil Rights, this funding will preserve our history, telling a more complete story of America and her people,” said Secretary Jewell. “Reauthorization of the Historic Preservation Fund will preserve America’s rich culture and heritage while supporting valuable economic opportunities in local communities.”

“In 2016, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service,” Director Jarvis said. “As we approach these important milestones, we are especially mindful of our charge to tell America’s story through places that house the histories of distinct communities that have come together to form one nation with a common destiny.” 

Grant-supported projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places (National Register), as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites. These projects will increase the recognition, understanding, and preservation of resources associated with underrepresented communities in their state.

Survey projects receiving grants include those that will inventory ethnic resources in Butte, Montana, Casitas in New York City, civil rights sites in San Francisco, and Asian-American sites in Los Angeles. 

Nominations to the National Register of Historic Places will be prepared for: Piscataway Indian archaeological sites; tribal sites in the Village of Kake, Alaska; the Wolf River Archaeological district in Wisconsin; African-American resources to include Rosenwald Schools and Freedmen’s Cemeteries in North Carolina, and updating the Fort Snelling National Historic Landmark in Minnesota.

2015 Recommended Under Represented Community Grants:
Alaska: Organized Village of Kake Nomination Project -- $33,153 to support the preparation of National Register nominations for two historic properties associated with Native Alaskan (Lingit) history in Kake

California: City of Los Angeles Asian American Historic Context Project -- $72,000 to develop historic contexts and survey materials associated with the city’s Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Korean, and Chinese American populations 

California: City of San Francisco Civil Rights Project -- $55,000 to support the preparation of three National Register nominations and a citywide inventory for properties associated with the advancement of civil rights for African-American, Asian-American, Latino American, LGBTQ populations, and women

Maryland: Calvert County Piscataway Indian Archaeology Multiple Property Nomination Project -- $47,000 to prepare National Register nominations for six sites associated with Piscataway Indian Native American settlement in rural Maryland  

Minnesota: Fort Snelling Historic District National Historic Landmark Update Project -- $60,000 to update the Fort Snelling Historic District, National Historic Landmark designation to recognize the contributions of African-American, Native American, Japanese, and women’s history

Montana: Butte, Montana Ethnic Atlas and National Register Nomination Project -- $56,000 to inventory and map the ethnic heritage of the Butte-Anaconda National Historic Landmark, recognizing important enclaves of African-American, Chinese, and Arabic-speaking (Lebanese) peoples and develop two new National Register nominations

New York: New York City Casitas Survey and Nomination Project -- $46,000 to complete intensive level survey of New York City’s Puerto Rican casitas with a model traditional cultural property nomination for one site 
North Carolina: African-American Resources in North Carolina Nomination Project -- $70,000 to prepare 10 National Register of Historic Places nominations for resources in three categories: Rosenwald schools, African-American resources in the city of Durham, and African-American cemeteries in Raleigh

Virginia: African-American contribution to Spotsylvania County Heritage -- $3, 847 to increase the number of listings on the National Register of Historic Places as a continuation of a previous award grant

Wisconsin: Wolf River Archaeological District National Register Nomination Project -- $57,000 to develop inventory and National Register nomination for prehistoric and historic resources along Wolf River corridor 

Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. 


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