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Funding for Historic Preservation Projects

Seeking Financial Assistance for Local Preservation Projects
in New York State

There are several ways to seek financial assistance for local preservation projects including approaching private sponsors, community wide fundraising campaigns, and the New York State Legislature. For all of these, a project proposal should be prepared for presentation to potential donors. Additionally, there are State and Federal tax incentives available for National Register listed properties. The New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) must be contacted prior to beginning a repair/rehabilitation project, in order to benefit from these programs.

Community wide fund raising campaigns are an effective approach for preservation projects, and are used by most preservation organizations as a means of funding programs and capital projects. The advantage to this approach is it involves the entire community in an effort to protect and preserve a significant local landmark. As with the private sponsor strategy, the success of a community fund raising campaign depends in part upon the project’s vision, and the current and future use of the property.

Another possible source of public funding is the New York State Legislature. Requests for financial assistance should be sent to the State Senator and/or Member of Assembly representing the district in which the property/project is located. There is an application process, and you will need to contact your State Legislators (Assembly and Senate) for additional information.

Being organized and prepared is essential when seeking funding for preservation projects. A project proposal should include:

  • An explanation of the project’s vision
  • A brief history of the property
  • A concise description of its current or intended use
  • An outline of the repair/restoration work, including cost estimates, and a project schedule

The following is a list of selected sources of assistance for local preservation projects in New York State, and links to their websites:

NY Landmarks Conservancy, Sacred Sites Program: www.nylandmarks.org
NYS Assembly Grants Action News: www.assembly.state.ny.us/gan/
NYS Council on the Arts, Architecture, Planning and Design Program: www.nysca.org
NYS Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program: www.nyswaterfronts.com
NYS Department of Transportation: www.nysdot.gov
NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal NY Main St. Program: www.dhcr.state.ny.us
NYS Electric and Gas Brownfield/Building Redevelopment: www.nyseg.com
NYS Historic Preservation, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: www.nysparks.state.ny.us
NYS Smart Growth: www.smartgrowthny.org
Niagara Mohawk – A National Grid Company Main Street/Commercial District Revitalization: www.nationalgridus.com/niagaramohawk
Preservation League of New York State: www.preservenys.org

Additional Sources Of Funding:

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Funding: www.achp.gov
Chronicle of Philanthropy: www.philanthropy.com
Federal Agency Preservation Assistance Program: www.nps.gov/hps
Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives: www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives.htm
Foundation Center: www.foundationcenter.org
Heritage Preservation: www.heritagepreservation.org
Historic Preservation Fund: www.nps.gov/preservation-grants/
Historic Surplus Property Program: www.nps.gov/tps/historic-surplus.htm
National Trust for Historic Preservation: www.preservationnation.org
1772 Foundation: www.1772foundation.org
Society for Industrial Archeology: www.sia-web.org