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: January 5, 2017
Jeremy Barnum,, 202-513-0354
Megan Brown,, 202-354-2062

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $500,000 in grants to help fund projects across the country to increase the number of listings associated with communities that are underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places. The grants will assist nine states, two Indian tribes and a local government prepare nominations of properties representing  Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women and LGBTQ Americans. 

"Our nation has been shaped by the contributions of a diverse array of Americans, yet the National Register of Historic Places does not appropriately yet reflect this rich diversity," Jewell said. “These grants will enable us to work with partners to identify important sites that will help tell a more complete story of our journey.”

“As America’s storyteller through place, the National Park Service is providing diverse groups the expertise and resources needed to protect the places unique to their communities’ histories,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds. 

The grants are supported by Historic Preservation Fund which receives revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.  

Grant-supported projects fund surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites.

Survey projects receiving grants range from developing inventories of ethnic resources of African American and Hispanic American sites in Virginia and Wisconsin to preparing nominations to the National Register of Historic Places for Asian American sites in California and Texas and tribal sites in Arizona and Washington.

A full list of projects is below. 

Alabama Historical Commission - $33,361 
The Alabama Historically Black Colleges and Universities Survey and Nomination Project would provide a comprehensive survey of extant four-year HBCUs in Alabama. This project has two goals: 1) update existing National Register historic district nominations for five HBCUs in Alabama, and 2) survey and nominate to the National Register of Historic Places four new HBCU campus historic districts in Alabama. The survey will result in updates to five (5) existing National Register nominations and the preparation of four (4) new National Register nominations.

White Mountain Apache Tribe - $48,526 
The homeland of the White Mountain Apache people in east-central Arizona on the 1.7-million-acre Fort Apache Indian Reservation and was established by an Executive Order (1871). The primary objectives of this grant will achieve the major goal of the Mount Baldy Project-WMAT to nominate and designate Bashzhine Dzil (aka Dzil Ligai Si'an or Mount Baldy) as a White Mountain Apache Tribal traditional cultural property eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and submission of the National Register of Historic Registration Application document to nominate Dził Łigai Si'án/Bashzhine Dzil (Mount Baldy Wilderness Area), to the National Register.

State of California - $50,000 
Historically, California, because of its location on the Pacific Rim, has always had a substantial number of Asian American and Pacific Islander residents, but resources associated with their history are not well represented in historical resources designation programs and local government surveys, making it difficult to estimate how many resources may exist. The objectives of this project are to increase nominations to the National Register by beginning the process of creating a statewide Multiple Property Documentation Form regarding Asian American and Pacific Islanders in California and to increase the visibility/knowledge of resources associated with the AAPI community within the general public.

State Historical Society of Colorado- $43,158 
The San Luis Valley is celebrated as the location of Colorado’s oldest continuously occupied town, San Luis, established on April 9, 1851. The project will nominate at least four eligible properties   to the National Register, thus expanding designations throughout the National Heritage Area, each addressing an aspect of the rich Hispanic heritage of the Valley. Also, intensive field recordation, to include photography, and detailed research in order to prepare draft National Register of Historic Places nominations for at least four properties. 

District of Columbia 
District of Columbia Office of Planning - $50,000 
The D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites, three-quarters of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains close to 750 landmarks and historic districts. However, only two sites have been listed specifically for their LGBTQ significance. LGBTQ heritage in Washington from the mid-19th century through the 1990s as reflected in the built environment, identifying and evaluating buildings, sites, and gathering places important to the LGBTQ communities is the basis of the context statement and resultant local and National Register nominations. The project will increase public awareness of Washington’s LGBTQ communities, provide a framework for identifying the various communities and resources within Washington, and contribute to and begin to expand the local and national inventory of sites associated with this underrepresented sector of Washington, DC. An added benefit will be the contribution of the local history – unique to Washington – to produce a national historic LGBTQ context.

New York
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation Office - $49,999
The Stonewall designation in New York City was the first and only such National Historic Landmark (NHL) until last year when the Henry Gerber House in Chicago was designated. They remain the only two of the more than 2,500 NHL designations throughout the country. The project’s primary theme is LGBT history from the founding of New York City through the 20th Century. The project will support the nomination of at least two additional sites and/or historic district amendments to the National Register of Historic Places.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission - $30,000 
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s (PHMC) Bureau for Historic Preservation (now the PA SHPO) and the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) developed a broad, multi‐year initiative to document and highlight the history of African Americans in Pennsylvania. The project will prepare a historic context for African American history in rural and suburban Pennsylvania as a Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF), nominate a property associated to this historic context to the National Register of Historic Places, and, provide education and outreach opportunities about African American history in Pennsylvania to broad and diverse audiences.

City of Socorro - $19,800 
Rio Vista was the largest recruitment center for the Bracero Program, a program that brought skilled Mexican migrant workers to the U.S. between 1942 and 1962. This important program played a significant role in national labor, agricultural, and immigration history, yet it remains an underrepresented and mostly untold story in American history. The grant funds will be used to research, document, and nominate the Rio Vista Farm Historic District as a National Historic Landmark (NHL).

Virginia Department of Historic Resources - $50,000 
Between 1917 and 1932, more than 360 Rosenwald schools were built in rural areas across
Virginia. During a time of racial segregation and rampant public under-funding of African-
American schools, Rosenwald schools afforded educational opportunity to African-American children throughout Virginia and the South. Grant funds will help document the current condition of a representative group of schools in the Piedmont region, which encompasses a broad swath of central Virginia. Completion of this phase will provide a foundation for a larger, three-part effort to survey all remaining Rosenwald schools throughout the Commonwealth and to develop appropriate solutions for adaptive use and commemoration to restore as many of these buildings as possible to active community use.

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation - $49,992 
The Sinkaiuse, or Moses Columbia Tribe, is one of twelve constituent tribes of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation [CCT], located in eastern Washington State. Native American tribes such as the Moses Columbia are among America’s historically underrepresented communities. The grant funds will a) increase representation of historic resources deemed significant by members of the Moses Columbia Tribe on the NRHP; and b) promote an awareness of and respect for Moses Columbia history within the Moses Coulee region of Washington State.  

State of Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation - $50,000
Grant funds will inventory and nominate historic properties with the experience of Washington’s Hispanic and Latino communities. They will also examine the experience through historic context development, survey and inventory of associated properties, and nomination of properties to the National Register in the city of Seattle and the greater urbanized Puget Sound region.

Wisconsin Historical Society - $25,164 
Milwaukee is by far Wisconsin’s most populous city and is home to the largest African-American population in the state. African-Americans have resided in Milwaukee since the 1830s. In 1890, a quarter of all Wisconsin African-Americans lived in the city, but by 1930 over 70% of the state’s total African-American population of 10,739 resided in Milwaukee. Through this project, the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will increase awareness and recognition of historic African-American resources in the City of Milwaukee by nominating four properties to the National Register of Historic Places and by presenting the findings of the nomination research at an outreach event in Milwaukee.

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