U.S. Department of the Interior

Preserve America - News Release

Date: September 30, 2008
Contact: Joan Moody (DOI) 202-208-6416
Aimee Jorjani, 202-208-3445

Preserve America Grants in 24 States Announced;
2009 Applications Open October 1

WASHINGTON— Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett, along with Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman John L Nau III, today announced the second round of Preserve America grants for 2008 that includes 44 projects in 24 states totaling over $4.3 million. (A list of all projects follows.) The application period for 2009 will open October 1.

Deputy Secretary Scarlett made the announcement on behalf of Mrs. Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of Preserve America. Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our nation’s heritage. Scarlett and Nau co-chair the Preserve America.

“Preserve America’s dedication to preservation, education, and heritage tourism demonstrates a commitment to honoring America’s past,” Mrs. Bush said. “These grants encourage efforts to preserve and interpret our national historic sites so that they remain relevant to the communities around them.”

In 2006, 2007 and round one of 2008, $12.7 million was awarded to 183 projects. In FY 2008, a total of $7.2 million was available. The most recent round of grants amounting to $4.3 million leaves the total amount awarded at $17 million for 227 projects.

The Preserve America grant program, which began in 2006, is administered by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The competitive matching grants fund Preserve America Communities, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to support their preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning.

“These Preserve America grants help weave cultural and natural heritage into the economic, educational, and social fabric of communities by promoting heritage tourism,” said Scarlett.

“Preserve America grants help communities learn about their history and share it with visitors. These grants make the story of America come alive and create a better understanding of our diverse and rich cultures,” said Nau.

More information on Preserve America, including a complete list of grant recipients, criteria and application forms for various components of the initiative, can be found at www.PreserveAmerica.gov.

A list of the 44 projects follows:
2008 Preserve America Grants
Round 2
(By State)

Alaska State Park National Historic Landmark Preservation Plan
Anchorage, Alaska
This project will result in preservation plans for Baranof Castle Hill, Old Sitka Site, Fort Abercrombie and Fort Rousseau National Historic Landmarks to help provide each a road map for the management, rehabilitation, use and interpretation of the site.

Rediscover Nogales
Nogales, Arizona
With this grant award, the City of Nogales will produce effective interpretive materials about events, individuals, organizations, and cultural and historical sites that have shaped the heritage of Nogales and the Pimeria Alta region; produce a school-based educational curricula and program to train educators on how to teach local history; produce a docent-training program for the Pimeria Alta Historical Society, and conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of these programs.

A Castle and Two Unnatural Historic Gardens
Phoenix, Arizona
The City of Phoenix Office of Parks and Recreation Department will develop interpretive materials to assist the public in better understanding the unique and special qualities of Tovrea Castle and its two vastly different historic, unnatural gardens. Tovrea Castle is a 44-acre Phoenix city historic park created from an historic private estate built by Alessio Carraro in 1928. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been placed on the Phoenix Historic Register.

Cultural Heritage Tourism/Experience Plan
Scottsdale, Arizona
Preserve America funding will go toward the development of a cultural heritage plan for the City of Scottsdale, and its environs, in the Papago Salado region. It will include an inventory of the cultural resources, strategic analysis of the factors influencing cultural heritage tourism, recommendations for improving local tourism and public understanding of cultural resources, and promotional and educational efforts that take into account changes in travel trends and technological tools available.

Arkansas Delta Gospel Institute Master Plan
Dumas, Arkansas
Recognizing the significance of gospel music to the city’s history, City of Dumas, in partnership with Dumas Main Street and the Desha County Museum, and the Delta Area Community Foundation, will produce a Master Plan to guide the City in the recognition of the importance of the city’s gospel music foundations and the development of an Arkansas Delta Gospel Institute in downtown Dumas.

Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station Interpretative Project
Blytheville, Arkansas
City of Blytheville and the Main Street Blytheville will partner to develop a visitor information center in the city’s historic Greyhound Bus Station. It will function as the first stop in Blytheville and the Arkansas Delta and will tell stories based on the “experience” of the bus station and will provide information about other cultural and historic sites in Blytheville and beyond.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Markets Project
State Historic Preservation Office, Arkansas
To meet a mandate of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s (ACWSC) plan for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Commission will develop a historic marker program that will help tell the story of the Civil War and increase recognition of the importance of these places in the history of the state.

Promoting Historic Helena
Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
Helena, Arkansas has a rich and unique heritage tied to the Mississippi River, agriculture, music—specifically “the blues”—the African American experience, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement. The City of Helena, with its many partners, will use grant funds to develop creative and unique ways to promote its heritage and improve the experience of its visitors.

Mining Heritage of San Juan County Colorado
Silverton, Colorado
Hard rock mining was the preeminent movement for Euro-American development of Colorado. This project will help to preserve and interpret these historic mining resources through the development of a Historic Structures Report and Preservation Plan for the Animas Forks mining camp, development of an interpretive tour of the Shenandoah-Dives Mill, and a full-length documentary on the mining heritage and preservation partnerships in Silverton and San Juan Counties.

Colorado Springs Heritage Tourism Pilot Project
City of Colorado Springs, Colorado
A newly-designated Preserve America Community, the City of Colorado Springs has chosen to highlight five of its historic landmarks to develop a comprehensive strategy that advances awareness of these sites as closely connected heritage tourism resources and destinations. The sites are the Colorado Springs Museum, Monument Valley Park, the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and the Garden of the Gods Park.

“Forged In Steel”: 121 Years of CF&I and Bessemer Neighborhood
City of Pueblo, Colorado
For over 121 years, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company was the backbone of the City of Pueblo, developing the diverse Bessemer neighborhood to house its workers. The Bessemer Historical Society is now in possession of the company’s extensive archives and maintains the Steelworks Museum. This Preserve America grant will allow BHS to develop materials that will educate community members and visitors about the city’s roots in the steel industry.

Ledyard Historic Resources Digitization Project
Town of Ledyard, Connecticut
The Town of Ledyard plans to increase the awareness of historic preservation and to aid the identification of heritage tourism opportunities by updating and digitizing its town-wide architectural survey and creating an online, searchable database of the survey. It will also add planimetric data to its GIS and create GIS maps that highlight Ledyard’s cultural resources.

Georgia’s Community Landmark Heritage Tourism Initiative
Georgia State Historic Preservation Office
With the help of this grant, the Georgia SHPO will conduct a statewide conference and produce publications that educate communities across the state about the preservation and interpretation of their landmarks. It will also be used by the SHPO to assist Preserve America communities and Certified Local Governments that are requesting designation for landmarks that are being developed as heritage tourism assets.

Will County Rural Historic Structures Intensive Survey
County of Will, Illinois
Will County, which is developing at a rapid pace, believes that through an inventory of its historic places it can strategically plan for the preservation of its historical and cultural assets. This intensive survey will identify National Register-eligible landmarks and districts and will make recommendations for the preservation of these places, updating the County’s Historic and Cultural Preservation Plan. The results of the survey will also be utilized for educational and interpretive purposes.

City of Blue Island’s Cultural Heritage Resources and Outreach Strategy
City of Blue Island, Illinois
The City of Blue Island will develop a heritage resources and outreach strategy focusing on three National Register Historic Districts. The project will incorporate the creation of a collective identity for Blue Island, unifying the efforts and strengthening the partnerships of community members, local businesses, and city government. It plans to implement the strategy to produce materials that celebrate the City’s history and cultural heritage in a contemporary context. Deliverables will include design of historic markers, development of a promotional website, and the design of a publication focusing on the under-represented immigrant populations located in the city.

Renaissance Area Master Plan
City of Paducah, Kentucky
Building on the recent success of Paducah’s Artist Relocation Project in its Lowertown Historic District, the City will prepare a Renaissance Area Master Plan that will link and manage the further growth and development of its new art neighborhood, its Downtown, and its Riverfront. The City eventually hopes to move cultural and natural heritage tourists seamlessly throughout all three historical and economical areas, having united their identities and visual characters.

Rural Heritage Development Initiative Design Guidelines
City of Bardstown, Kentucky
The City of Bardstown, along with eight other Preserve America Communities, will work with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation to develop design guidelines that will help the region maintain the character of its rural landscapes and historic small communities. The resulting document will review regional design characteristics, case study examples, and prescriptive recommendations.

New Orleans Historic District Design Guidelines
City of New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission’s current design guidelines are 150 pages long and difficult for the public to understand. With this grant, the HDLC will rewrite and illustrate the guidelines to make them more accessible, alert property owners to their publication, and incorporate them into a website. Clear and consistent guidelines will strengthen the HLDC’s relationship with community members and lead to greater awareness of and compliance with appropriate preservation techniques.

Historic Downtown Redevelopment Initiative
City of Crowley, Louisiana
The City will plan a year-long multimedia campaign to announce and celebrate the completion of the redevelopment of Crowley’s historic downtown. The downtown historic district, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, contains 20 blocks of Victorian homes designed in the Queen Anne style. Commercial buildings include the New City Hall, built in 1921 as a Model T assembly facility, and the Grand Opera House of the South, built in 1901 and recently renovated and reopened for performances. The district has been restored to its turn-of-the-century appearance and designed to attract both businesses and tourists. The initiative will comprise of electronic media spots, print advertising, billboards, and several commemorative community events.

Massachusetts Historic Properties Inventory Digitizing and GIS Project
Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Office
The Massachusetts SHPO maintains a statewide Inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth, which includes hundreds of thousands of records cataloguing buildings, objects, and other significant resources. This grant will allow the SHPO to convert its paper inventory into electronic images that can be accessed by users of the online database, broadening public appreciation and awareness the state’s historic properties through ready access to 40 years of research and documentation.

Heritage Farm at Biscoe Gray Property, Phase I: Master Plan
Calvert County, Maryland
Calvert County will survey and document heritage resources on the Biscoe Gray property and produce a Master Plan for the protection and interpretation of its archaeological sites and structures that also incorporates the development of a working Heritage Farm as a site for heritage tourism and education.

Heritage Campaign for Downtown Gardiner
City of Gardiner, Maine
The City of Gardiner plans to develop a multi-faceted campaign designed to enhance and promote the cultural heritage of its Downtown Historic District, Kennebec River waterfront, and the surrounding historic neighborhoods. Included will be the creation of wayfinding and interpretive signage that connects these areas and increases visitation to their significant sites.

Michigan Modern
Michigan State Historic Preservation Office
This grant will allow the Michigan SHPO to call attention to Michigan’s important contributions to the development of Modernism in America. The project will include creation of a website titled Michigan Modern, documentation of its history through an architectural survey and the development of a narrative that includes the oral histories of architects and designers, resulting in a tourism-oriented site that provides historical and biographical information as well as a series of walking and driving tours of significant sites.

Discover Cape Girardeau: Where the River Turns a Thousand Tales
City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Cape Girardeau served as a vital commercial port between St. Louis and Memphis with the development of steamboats in the early 1800s. The majority of buildings in the city’s downtown were constructed between 1850 and 1920. Today the city has 23 buildings listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places, and 5 National Register historic districts. The historic Downtown has seen a recent influx of businesses due to its unique historic setting. This project will further understanding of and appreciation for the area’s historical and cultural resources by developing material and conducing outreach to them in a way that establishes the City as a heritage tourism destination. The projects will fund design and installation of billboards advertising the community’s rich history, design of downtown destination banners, and wayfinding signage throughout the historic downtown.

Development of Interpretive Exhibits for L.Q.C. Lamar House Museum
City of Oxford, Mississippi
Exhibits for interpreting the life of L.Q.C. Lamar, one of Mississippi’s most celebrated statesmen, will be designed and installed in the house he built and lived in from 1870 to 1888, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. They will center around themes that include his role during the Civil War and his service in all three branches of government.

Nevada State and National Register Geographic Information System
Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
Although the sites listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places are one of its most important assets, the State of Nevada does not have a GIS completed for them. This grant will allow the SHPO to purchase GIS information and to develop a map-based website, called “Past Places Present”, which incorporates Historic Markers, museums, and interpreted heritage tourism sites in addition to its State and National Register-listed properties.

Sharing Medora’s Horizon
City of Medora, North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in Medora, is the number one destination for visitors to North Dakota. Additionally, the City of Medora contains eight sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site. This project will market these local and state historic resources to visitors traveling to the National Park, through the implementation of interpretive and educational elements throughout the city. Deliverables include print brochures, historic markers and interpretive signage, and development of a promotional video.

Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory Locational Information Digitization Project
Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Officer
To facilitate a more efficient and effective use of the Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory, the SHPO will complete the first phase of a multi-year effort to modernize its records by digitizing the locational information contained in OLI for properties within the Oklahoma City-to-Tulsa urban core.

Creating a Visitor Experience at the Bethlehem Steel Site
City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Grant funds will be used for the planning, design, adaptive reuse assessment, and related interpretation of the historic Stock House building located on the former Bethlehem Steel Site. The Stock House is well situated to welcome visitors. Its rehabilitation as a visitor’s center is therefore a critical first step preserving the entire site.

Supporting and Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Preserve America Communities
Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office
This grant will allow the State to create a program that will be available to Preserve America Communities in Pennsylvania for historic preservation planning. It will also provide a Preserve America Community Coordinator to administer this project and to deliver additional historic preservation planning and heritage tourism development assistance to these communities. A report will be developed detailing the economic benefits of historic preservation in Pennsylvania.

Fairmount Park Houses Heritage Tourism Study
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Fairmount Park Commission seeks to increase the visibility of a premiere collection of 18th and early 19th century historic house museums located in East and West Fairmount Park. Funding will be used for a Fairmount Park Houses Heritage Tourism Study to define the goals of these heritage tourism assets, assess the Fairmount Park Historic Houses strengths and weaknesses; conduct audience research and provide actionable recommendations for enhancing understanding, conservation and visitation to these significant cultural resources.

Historic Fort Adams Master Plan
Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission
The Historic Fort Adams Master Plan project will conduct a detailed structural assessment of the Fort with the goal of providing data needed to develop stabilization, fundraising, and interpretation strategies for the long term survival of the Fort and to enhance its role in the community. The project will engage the community in a new visioning process based on a realistic assessment of the Fort’s condition and the resources likely to be available in the future for its preservation and use.

Preservation Is Local: Community Preservation Planning Summits and Grants for Rhode Island
Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission
Awarded funds will support three regional summits on community preservation planning to identify local needs, and fund an estimated 15 innovative community preservation planning projects. The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will connect local preservation organizations, enable dozens of innovative projects around the state, and address Rhode Island preservation needs from the ground up.

Horry County Cemetery Project
Horry County, South Carolina
Horry County’s goal is to locate, inventory, and record GPS locations of each gravesite in their historic cemeteries. The information obtained will allow the County to create a record of where all gravesites in the County are located to assure that they will not be destroyed or sold to developers; and to provide a public resource through a searchable database of ancestors for researchers.

Bluffton Old Town Wayfinding Signage Project
Bluffton, South Carolina
This project provides the Town of Bluffton with the necessary resources to implement the recommended sign design from the Bluffton Old Town Master Plan and to proceed with placement of signs, install directional and informational signs, and utilize recommended improvements to the main gateway from the interstate to the historic area.

Historic Survey for the City of Aiken, South Carolina
Aiken, South Carolina
The City of Aiken will conduct a survey in efforts to promote growth, preserve historic structures, pinpoint areas of concern, aid in future planning for new historic districts and designations, and for public education.

Fair Park Interpretation Program
Dallas, Texas
Fair Park is one of the last remaining Worlds Fair sites in the United States and the City of Dallas intends to provide an interpretation and educational program to commemorate this site and event. Funding will supply the program with a visitor information booth, a permanent outdoor exhibit, interpretive signage, and printed materials.

Marshall History Museum and Memorial Hall Planning Project
Marshall, Texas
The City of Marshall will develop a comprehensive architectural design plan which will enable the City to plan for the adaptive reuse of the former “Marshall Memorial City Hall”. The City also plans to design and develop new exhibits for Harrison County Historical Museum’s new installation in Memorial Hall and re-installation in the Harrison County Courthouse.

Community-Based Cemetery Interpretation: Linking Heritage, Preservation, GIS, Curriculum, and Web Services
Nacogdoches, Texas
Preserve America funds will enable the City of Nacogdoches to develop a pilot project that showcases interpretive, educational and digital products for Oak Grove and Zion Hill Cemeteries. The City also plan to assist participating communities within Nacogdoches and the Crossroads Region of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail with their cemetery interpretation efforts through workshops, technical assistance, and web-based services.

Willkommen to Fredericksburg ~ Welcoming and Guiding Signage Enhancements
Fredericksburg, Texas
In partnership with public and private partnerships, the City of Fredericksburg plans to enhance their welcoming and guiding signage to help navigate visitors and seeks to devise a specific plan of action to implement signage design and placement.

Preserve America and Texas Main Street: Partners in Community Development
Texas Historical Commission
The State Historic Preservation Office of Texas seeks to dramatically expand and enhance technical preservation assistance provided to communities across the state through the Texas Main Street Program. The initiative will also involve preservation training and education for the public through a series of seminars. Grants will target projects that enhance local inventories of historic properties, promote cultural diversity, measure the economic benefits of historic preservation to small cities and towns, and that provide detailed technical assistance to local communities in the promotion their historic resources and heritage tourism. Funds will be targeted at Texas Main Street Communities that are also Preserve America designated communities.

Route 15 Corridor Front-Line Hospitality Training/Professional Development
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VA SHPO) is partnering with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation and active participation in promoting the scenic, recreational, and cultural characteristics of Gettysburg, PA; Harpers Ferry, WV; Frederick, Thurmount, Mt. Airy and Brunswick, MD; Leesburg, Middleburg, Berryville, Purcellville, Warrenton, Culpepper, Orange and Charlottesville, VA. Each of these areas has the greatest concentration of Civil War battle sites, 9 Presidential homes and over 1.5 million acres which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Funds will be used to develop and launch an extensive front line hospitality training and professional development program in anticipation of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which begins in 2009.

Historic Hinton- Wayfinding and Promoting the Downtown District
Hinton, West Virginia
The City of Hinton’s primary goal is to enhance residents’ and visitors’ experiences in the downtown historic district by providing attractive wayfinding and interpretive signage and brochures. The objectives include bolstering activity within the historic district, increasing awareness of the historic district’s significance, and deepening the appreciation of the historic places within the district.

Finding Fairmont’s History
Fairmont, West Virginia
As a city with rich history, Fairmont is an area that has great potential to showcase its historic treasures to both visitors and residents. The City of Fairmont’s goal is to capture the collective chronicles through oral histories from the city’s elders and share these stories through podcasts and downtown walking tours.

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