Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Preservation Assistance Funding Sources

Transportation Enhancement Funding

Over the past several years, funding for special transportation enhancement projects has been available through a series of federal initiatives, including the Intermodal Surface Transportation and Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the Transportation Enhancement Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21). Eligible activities under these programs included historic preservation research, planning, acquisition, and development projects that are along transportation corridors, are related to surface transport facilities, or improve the quality of a highway and its surrounding area. Eligible applicants included municipalities, New York State, and NFP corporations. Although not currently available, it is anticipated that an enhancement program (similar to ISTEA and TEA 21) will be part of any newly authorized transportation funding. Contact the regional DOT headquarters in your area for information about the availability of funds for transportation enhancement activities.

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

175 Varick Street, New York, New York 10014, 212 627-4455

As a part of its support for quality design throughout New York State, NYSCA's Architecture, Planning and Design/Capital Projects Program (212-741-7013) provides funding for a variety of preservation activities, including design services and building condition studies. Applicants must be Not-for-Profit organizations or municipalities.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 803, Old Post Office Building Washington, DC 20004 Phone: (202) 606-8503

The Advisory Council offers an online guide to financial assistance for historic preservation projects

New York Landmarks Conservancy

1 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004 -- 212 995 5260

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is a private New York City-based NFP preservation organization that administers several funding programs:

  • The Sacred Sites & Properties Fund provides matching grants for the preservation of religious buildings located throughout New York State.
  • The Emergency Loan Program provides immediate funding for exterior and structural repairs at small New York City historic properties in dire need.
  • The City Ventures Fund assists New York City NFP organizations, community development organizations, social service agencies, and others with bricks and mortar funding for low-income housing projects and other efforts.
  • The E-Z grant program of the Upper Manhattan Historic Preservation Fund is intended to promote tourism in Harlem through the preservation of its historic sites and neighborhoods.
  • The Historic Properties Fund provides low interest loans and technical help to property owners in historic districts throughout New York City.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation - Northeast Regional Office

7 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA 02109 -- 617 523 0885

This national NFP membership organization provides a wide range of preservation services across the country, including grant programs:

  • The John E. Streb Preservation Services Fund for New York was established through a bequest of John E. Streb of Rochester, N.Y. These grants provide financial assistance for consultant services, feasibility studies, and education.
  • The National Preservation Loan Fund provides funding to establish or expand local and statewide preservation revolving funds, to acquire and/or rehabilitate historic buildings, sites, and districts, and to preserve National Historic Landmarks.
  • The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation was established in 1994 and provides support to NFP organizations and governmental agencies.
  • The Cynthia Wood Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors aids in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors.
  • The Daniel K. Thorne Intervention Fund provides immediate assistance for urgent preservation needs, such as structural analysis, feasibility studies, and critical outreach and education.

Preservation League of New York State

44 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 -- 518 462 5658

Starting in 1993, the Preservation League (a statewide NFP membership organization) and the New York State Council on the Arts have co sponsored the Preserve New York grant program, which provides support for three types of projects - cultural resource surveys, historic structure reports, and historic landscape reports. An applicant must be a NFP organization or a municipality. Religious institutions are not eligible to apply. The program generally provides only partial support on a competitive basis. You must contact the Preservation League staff before receiving an application.

Save America's Treasures (SAT)

Save America's Treasures is a national effort to protect "America's threatened cultural treasures, including historic structures, collections, works of art, maps and journals that document and illuminate the history and culture of the United States." Established by Executive Order in 1998, SAT is a public/private initiative created to foster pride in American heritage, increase preservation awareness, raise concern for urgent preservation needs, and promote involvement in the program (from securing resources and support to promoting community outreach and education).

The SAT grant programs are administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The National Park Service awards and administers grants for historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects The National Endowment for the Arts administers grants associated with collections, including intellectual and cultural artifacts, documents, and works of art. Selection criteria require that each project be of national significance, demonstrate an urgent preservation need, have an educational or public benefit, and demonstrate the likely availability of non-federal matching funds.

For information about SAT's Historic Property Program:
National Park Service - 202-513-7270

For information about SAT's Collections Programs:
National Endowment for the Arts - 202-682-5516
National Endowment for the Humanities - 202-606-8570
Institute of Museum & Library Services - 202-606-4641