The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs has launched the PreservINg Main Street program. In partnership with Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities, OCRA says the program is designed to “build a sustainable historic preservation ethic while building local capacity and a comprehensive downtown revitalization model.”
OCRA says a selected pilot community will be eligible for up to $2 million through its Community Development Block Grant program.
“Investing in historic preservation has shown to produce numerous economic and community benefits,” said Denny Spinner, executive director of OCRA. “By using historic preservation as an economic development strategy, communities can create new business, grow private investment and see their property values increase. This program is not only focused on protecting and celebrating important structures, but will also build partnerships and capacity within community leadership.”
Spinner said a partnership with Indiana Landmarks made the program possible.
Indiana Landmarks will offer workshops to building and business owners to encourage creativity, conduct conditions assessments or recommend design and improvements to building owners as well as provide education opportunities on preservation. The organization will also provide technical assistance to the community foundation on developing a long-term downtown endowment fund and provide staff for a historic preservation commission with local ordinance.
“This extraordinary level of investment could be truly transformational for communities ready to embrace the economic benefits of preservation as part of revitalizing their historic commercial districts,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks.
Indiana Humanities will also be providing a $20,000 grant in two phases to the selected Main Street organization to implement humanities-based programs and activities focused on historic preservation. The recipient can use the funds for short- and long-term humanities efforts in downtown.
“Indiana Humanities is pleased to join OCRA and Indiana Landmarks in encouraging Hoosier communities to preserve their downtown commercial districts,” said Keira Amstutz, president of Indiana Humanities. “We’re especially eager to support the PreservINg Main Street pilot community in sharing the stories of the people and businesses behind the buildings, so that the community better understands and feels a connection to its history.”
OCRA says three finalists will be selected based on their letter of interest, support outlined and 2020 Main Street annual report data. You can connect to additional information by clicking here.
Letters of interest are due on June 18.