The National Park Service named the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s (PVPC) 501(c)(3) subsidiary, the Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center Inc., as one of only 13 awardees nationally to receive a Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant.
The $750,000 grant will allow the state-designated regional planning agency to work with the Ventures Center to develop a subgrant program and select individual projects in rural communities for physical preservation projects that will contribute to economic vitality. It is the first time a Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant has been awarded to a Massachusetts organization.
“From our cities to our rural towns, we know economic development is often spurred when we reinvest in places that reflect the history of community and pay tribute to the people who came before us,” PVPC Executive Director Kimberly Robinson said. “We are grateful to the National Park Service and its Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program for providing the resources necessary to reactivate historic buildings in rural towns that will create 21st-century opportunities for growth.”
Through the Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center, PVPC staff will provide subgrants to competitively selected preservation and rehabilitation projects on National Register-listed anchor historic buildings in 40 communities with fewer than 12,500 residents in Hampden and Hampshire counties and parts of Worcester County. The focus is on properties that are significant to the community and, when rehabilitated, will contribute to local economic development.
Subgrant awards of up to $100,000 will be given to work in compliance with the secretary of the Interior’s standards for the rehabilitation of historic properties to conduct pre-planning; roof repair or replacement; exterior rehabilitation, such as painting, repointing, or historic siding restoration; structural repairs; window and door restoration; and life and safety improvements, including fire suppression and ADA compliance.
Eligible owner-applicants may be private, public, or nonprofit. There will be no match required. Applications will be evaluated based on population, regional distribution, variety of project type, community and economic-development potential, pre-planning to determine project needs, and the capacity of the active, local working group. A preservation restriction will be required on a property that receives funding.
These grants mark the fifth year of funding for the program honoring the late Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont for nearly 40 years. The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is the state-designated regional planning agency for the 43 cities and towns of Hampden and Hampshire counties.