Grants: The Reality
When a building is designated as historic, some people believe its owners automatically receive grants for its restoration. During the first years after passage of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Federal funding for restoration grants was available. However, in 1981 Congress abandoned the grant approach in favor of an expanded Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program. As a result, funds directly targeted toward brick and mortar restorations of historic buildings have largely disappeared. Today, the Division of Historic Preservation has no regular, on-going grants program to assist individuals in restoring historic properties.
Help for Finding Grants:
Begin your search for grant information at your local public library. The reference librarian can direct you to the library's collection of books discussing foundations and grants. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
Two online databases are also valuable: the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and the Foundation Center Online. Unfortunately, Foundation Center Online can be accessed by subscription only, so it will be unavailable in some local libraries.
If you cannot obtain foundation and grants information locally, try the nearest college or university library or consider a trip to Baton Rouge. The State Library of Louisiana has a subscription to Foundation Center Online, which individuals may use within the library building. Baton Rouge's River Center Branch Library is an affiliate of the Foundation Center and has a Grants Writing Center with knowledgeable staff available to guide your search.