The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), announced recipients of their 2020 Downtown Revitalization Grants and the Historic Preservation Restoration Grants.

Officials announced awards June 25 at the DAH headquarters at Little Rock, according to a news release.

Downtown Revitalization Grants

The Downtown Revitalization Grants are administered by Main Street Arkansas. This year, $309,500 in grant funding was given out to 37 projects on Main Streets and in downtowns across Arkansas, including these area programs:

• Main Street Dumas, Dumas/Desha County- $15,000;

• Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc., Pine Bluff/Jefferson County- $15,000;

• Monticello Downtown Network, Monticello/Drew County- $1,000;

• Warren Downtown Network, Warren/Bradley County- $1,000.

“I am constantly impressed with our Main Street and Arkansas Downtown Network programs and the work they are doing to revitalize their communities,” said Stacy Hurst, DAH director and state historic preservation officer. “We are pleased to present these grants to worthy programs knowing the funding will protect the state’s historic fabric and generate economic development activity across Arkansas. The improvements will enrich the experience of all who walk through the streets of these downtowns.”

Recipients of Downtown Revitalization Grants are allowed to use the money for a wide range of projects such as building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area. To be considered for the grant the community must be certified as part of the Main Street Arkansas program which is governed by guidelines set out by Main Street America.

Historic Preservation Restoration Grants

AHPP announced their 2020 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant recipients.

This year, $796,706 in grant funding was given out to 24 recipients who completed applications for consideration. The amount of funding fluctuates each year depending on the taxes collected.

The proposed projects and award amounts include Southeast Arkansas recipients:

• Kingsland, Cleveland County - City of Kingsland, structural stabilization: roofing & stucco; windows & doors (Magnolia Filling Station), $16,683.33;

• Warren, Bradley County - City of Warren, ADA restrooms and required mechanical system (Warren & Ouachita Valley Railway Station), $45,000;

• Monticello, Drew County - Drew County Historical Society, condition assessment prepared by an architect (Garvin Cavaness House), $12,000;

• Redfield, Jefferson County - Keep Redfield Middle School, roof for flat end wings of gym, front facade drains (Redfield Gymnasium), $33,000;

• Selma, Drew County - Selma Community Center, replace ADA ramp & install gutter (Selma Rosenwald School), $14,900.

“We are fortunate to have a funding mechanism in Arkansas to protect our state’s historic structures. Unfortunately, we always have more applications than available funding, and this year was no exception,” said Hurst. “The Historic Preservation Restorations Grants have been given out annually since 1996, and have allowed the state to partner with non-profits, municipalities and small groups that otherwise would not be able to make needed repairs to significantly historic properties.”

According to the AHPP, the purpose of the Historic Preservation and Restoration Grant program is to encourage and promote preservation of Arkansas’s historic resources by providing financial assistance for restoration of historic properties. The program is financed through proceeds of the Real Estate Transfer Tax.

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage division responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other divisions are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.

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