NPS awards $8.6 million in preservation grants

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service today awarded $8.6 million in grant funding to support projects that preserve significant historic structures on the campuses of 18 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“HBCUs have played an important role in our country’s pursuit of equality, civil rights, and higher education for all Americans,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “These grants will help restore and enhance landmark buildings that are a source of pride on campuses in nine states.”

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grants support the preservation of sites on HBCU campuses that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Eligible projects include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Examples of projects funded by the grants include:

  • The stabilization of Wilkinson Hall at South Carolina State University. The grant will fund repairs to the structure which dates to 1938 and is part of the South Carolina State College National Register Historic District. Project tasks will include repairing stone and brick work, windows, and gutters, as well as waterproofing the building to stop water infiltration.
  • Accessibility improvements in the Founders Library at Howard University in Washington, DC. Constructed in 1939 and a key feature of the Howard National Historic Landmark District, the building serves as the main library for students on campus. It also houses one of the world’s largest catalogs of the African American experience. The project will improve accessibility to the building, including construction of a new entryway, in a manner that is sensitive to its architecture and historic fabric.
  • The rehabilitation of the Vashon Community Center at Harris-Stowe State University in Missouri. Built in 1936 and listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places, the building housed one of only four black recreation centers in St. Louis at the time. The project will rehabilitate both the interior and exterior of the structure and make modifications to improve accessibility. The interior rehabilitation will include the removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead paint.

Congress appropriates funding for the HBCU grant program through the Historic Preservation Fund. The Fund uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects, not tax dollars.

SOURCE: National Park Service press release

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is a Wisconsin native currently living in Illinois with her husband, Eric, and two dogs, Maggie and Grace. She enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and, of course, camping in cabins and park models.

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