Federal Historic Preservation Grants
The deadline for submittal of 2020 Applications is 5:00 PM on April 30, 2020.
FY2020 Grants Application (Word DOC)
2020 Guide to Federal Grant Projects (Word DOC)
Contact Brad Sauls, 803-896-6172 before you apply to discuss your potential project.
Historic Preservation Grants are federal funds from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and administered by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Funds for the grant program are derived from Outer Continental Shelf mineral receipts. Each year the NPS allocates funds to the SHPO to help cover the cost of its operations, salaries and grants. Ten percent of those grant funds awarded to the SHPO must be passed through to Certified Local Governments (CLGs) per federal regulations. List of South Carolina's CLGs (PDF)
Grants reimburse up to 50% of project costs.
Any local government, non-profit, or institution in South Carolina may apply for a Federal Historic Preservation Grant. The SHPO’s first priority will be to fund projects in South Carolina’s CLGs. If funding is available after the required CLG minimum is met, then non-CLG projects may also be selected for funding to help support local historic preservation activities. CLG grants are awarded to the local government, or its designated third-party (which can be a non-profit organization).
Survey and Planning Projects
Priority project areas
Survey and Planning Grants are encouraged for a variety of historic preservation projects under the following categories:
Identifying, Recording, and Recognizing Historic Properties
- Surveys to record properties with historical or architectural importance in a town or county
- Studies that identify potential locations of archaeological sites
- Archaeological surveys of multiple sites
- National Register nominations for historic districts or multiple properties
Planning for Historic Districts and Multiple Historic Properties
- Plans for historic districts which may include recommendations for streetscape improvements, landscaping, traffic flow, parking, building use, guidelines for new construction, zoning, gateways, etc.
- Recommendations for rehabilitating facades in historic districts
Strengthening Local Government Historic Preservation Programs
- Development and publication of design guidelines for planning and reviewing changes to locally designated historic properties and new construction in historic districts
- Writing or amending preservation ordinances
- Publications to inform and educate property owners in locally designated historic districts
- Preparation of, or revisions to, the historic properties sections of local comprehensive plans
- Preservation workshops or conferences
- Curriculum materials for public schools
- Publications highlighting historic properties identified through surveys
- Technical assistance programs for owners of historic properties
- Does NOT include: websites, exhibits, interpretive signage, oral history projects, or archival research projects
Planning for Individual Historic Properties
- Feasibility and adaptive re-use studies for a historic building
- Conditions assessment for a historic building
- Plans and specifications for repairs to a historic building
- Studies and management plans for archaeological sites
CLG grant funds may be used to help pay for stabilization repairs to National Register-listed buildings. Examples of eligible projects include replacing a leaking roof, repairing the structural framework of a building, and repairing deteriorated doors and windows to make a building watertight. Projects that are not eligible include routine building maintenance, climate control systems, plumbing or electrical, repairs to cemetery grave markers, and routine cemetery maintenance. Interior work is not eligible unless it is structural. All work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Stabilization projects require a preservation covenant agreement of up to 20 years be recorded with the property deed.
To be considered for funding, applications for Stabilization Projects should include complete “bid-ready” plans and specifications for proposed work prepared by an architect or appropriate qualified professional. Applications may include a budget line to help pay for design fees, but projects that have already completed this step outside of the grant will be given priority consideration.
Match and reimbursement
Because these are 50/50 reimbursable matching grants, each grant applicant must demonstrate a dollar-for-dollar match and pay for the project costs up front. Matching funds must be from any non-federal source, except in the case of Community Development Block Grant funds and certain tribal funds. The SHPO will reimburse grantees after it approves the project work and receives appropriate documentation of expenditures.
Grant awards usually range from $2,500 to $25,000. The maximum amount awarded is $35,000. The SHPO anticipates that approximately $200,000 will be available for all grants.
Project work must be carried out by professionals and will be subject to review and approval by the SHPO. All work must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation and SHPO's guidelines and standards. You cannot be reimbursed retroactively for work completed prior to the grant award.
All grant recipients must follow required procurement procedures when hiring professional services. Procurement may not take place until after a grant has been awarded, a funding agreement has been signed, and the SHPO has given approval to proceed. All 2019 grant-funded work must be approved and completed not later than September 30, 2020. No extensions will be granted beyond this date.
Past Grant Awards (PDF)
The South Carolina State Library's Grants Research Assistance includes general grants and funding information as well as the SC Foundation Directory.