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Five municipalities, Development Districts to share in $1.1 million in federal historic preservation grants

The Nance House in Rutledge
The historic Nance House in Rutledge was constructed in 1840 and is one of the few pre-Civil War buildings still standing in Grainger County. Throughout its history the building has served as a residence, tavern, general store, restaurant, and now is a historical and cultural museum.

Five cities are among the 37 entities awarded a share in $1.1 million in Federal Historic Preservation Fund grants from the Tennessee Historical Commission and State Historic Preservation Office.   

The Federal Historic Preservation Fund provides funds for non-profits, municipalities, universities, and civic organizations across the state to support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. The municipalities of Bell Buckle, Chattanooga, Franklin, Nashville, and Rutledge were among those who received grants.   

“Our Federal Historic Preservation Fund grant program is one of the main ways that the Tennessee Historical Commission makes meaningful contributions to the protection and study of our state’s treasured historic places,” said Patrick McIntyre, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director.   

The town of Bell Buckle received a $4,800 grant for the restoration of the exterior to the Bell Buckle Town Hall. Chattanooga received a $70,000 grant to update local residential historic district guidelines and create local landmark guidelines.  

Franklin received a $24,000 grant for the development of a preservation assessment and maintenance plan for the city’s historic Toussaint L’Ouverture Cemetery while the Nashville Metropolitan Historical Commission received $400,000 to fund the third phase of its countywide cemetery survey and preservation plant and a $15,069 grant to fund a neighborhood survey and preparation of a National Historic Register nomination.   

The town of Rutledge received $29,000 to fund the restoration of the exterior of the Nance House.   

Other grants will assist in funding preservation planners in seven of the state’s development districts, in facilitating archaeological surveys, and helping obtain design guidelines for historic districts. Several other grants are for the rehabilitation of historic buildings, for posters highlighting the state’s archaeology, and training for historic zoning staff or commissioners.  

These grants include $54,000 for the Southeast Tennessee Development District; $50,000 for the South Central Tennessee Development District; $44,000 for the Southwest Tennessee Development District; $40,000 for both the East Tennessee and Upper Cumberland Development Districts; $38,000 for the Northwest Tennessee Development District; and $35,000 for the First Tennessee Development District.   

The Federal Historic Preservation Fund reimburses 60% of the project costs with a 40% match of project funds from the grantee. Properties that use the grant funds for restoration projects must be listed in the National Register. A complete list of grant winners can be found here

Applications for the next round of grants will open in December 2023. Learn more here.