TEXAS HISTORIC COURTHOUSE PRESERVATION PROGRAM OFFERS ELEVENTH ROUND OF GRANTS
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is accepting applications for the Round XI grant cycle of its award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP).
“Now in its 20th year of existence, the courthouse program continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of the state and local partnership to revitalize historic downtowns,” said THC Courthouse Program Director Sharon Fleming. “Courthouses are community centerpieces that, when restored to their original grandeur, inspire pride, provide safer and more functional spaces for citizens, and often spur economic development in the surrounding district.”
The THCPP provides partial matching grants for the restoration of historic county courthouses. While restoring the courthouse’s original architectural integrity is an important goal of the program, modernization of handicapped accessibility, security, mechanical, communication, electrical, and plumbing systems are crucial to its continued performance as a courthouse. The program awards three types of grants: planning grants for the production of architectural plans and specifications; construction grants for restorations and rehabilitations; and emergency grants to address critical issues endangering a historic courthouse or its occupants, including damage caused by natural disasters. The program received a $25 million appropriation from the 86th Texas Legislature for the 2020–21 biennium.
The THCPP grant application procedures and forms are available on the THC’s website at thc.texas.gov/thcpp, along with a timeline for submitting applications, construction plans and specifications, and new preservation master plans. Completed grant application materials are due by April 21, 2020. The THC will announce grant recipients and awards in late July 2020.
Since its creation in 1999, the program has worked with more than 135 counties, and awarded more than $290 million to fully restore 70 courthouses and provide smaller grants to assist with emergency and planning projects. In addition to providing safe and functional buildings, restoration of historic courthouses benefits the state and local economies. Courthouse preservation projects have created more than 11,356 jobs in Texas, generated more than $794 million in state economic impact, and returned about $47 million to Texas state and local governments through tax revenue. Restored courthouses reinvigorate historic downtowns and promote heritage tourism, a $7.3 billion industry in Texas.
The THC also provides ongoing support and training to county staff for maintenance and upkeep of their restored courthouses through the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program. For more information about the THCPP, contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512-463-6094.