July News Briefs from the Texas Historical Commission



Registration is now open for REAL PLACES, the Texas Historical Commission’s historic preservation and heritage tourism conference, which encourages and unites individuals or communities who are passionate about seeking out, saving, and leveraging the real places and real stories of their communities.

Texas has an almost-embarrassing trove of historic and cultural treasures. Heritage travelers in our state spend an estimated $7.3 billion annually and support more than 54,000 jobs.

Conference attendees will learn best practices and strategies to promote and increase visitation to their community's historic places and to protect and preserve the rich heritage of the Lone Star State. REAL PLACES returns to Austin January 16–18, 2019. The conference will be hosted at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol.

Gene Kranz, leader of the “Tiger Team” of flight directors who brought the Apollo 13 spaceship safely back to Earth on April 17, 1970, will be the keynote speaker at our THC Awards Banquet on the evening of Thursday, January 17, 2019. Preceding Kranz’s keynote, the final breakout session on Thursday will be about the complicated restoration of the Apollo Mission Control Center, the threatened National Historic Landmark in Houston where Kranz and his colleagues directed the Apollo missions.

Other featured speakers include bestselling author and museum expert Nina Simon, architect and urban planner Curtis Davis, and author, craftsman, and TV personality Brent Hull. Visit realplaces.us for a complete list of topics and speakers.

Registration for Real Places 2019 is now open online, and at a discounted early-bird rate available through September 14. For more information, including a schedule, registration, and speaker bios, visit realplaces.us. For questions about registration, contact 512-258-7474 or info@realplaces.us.




The deadline for submissions for the 2018 Texas Historical Commission Preservation Awards is July 13, 2018. Winners of the awards will be decided at the Commission's October 2018 Quarterly Meeting, and all nominees will be notified of their status shortly afterward. The THC’s Preservation Awards recognize worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in the preservation of Texas history and heritage.


The THC is accepting nominations for the following historic preservation awards: Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, John L. Nau, III Award of Excellence in Museums, Ruth Lester Lifetime Achievement Award, John Ben Shepperd County Historical Commission Leadership Award, George Christian Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Archeology, Anice B. Read Award of Excellence in Community Heritage Development, THC Award of Excellence in Preserving History, THC Award of Excellence in Historic Architecture, and THC Award of Excellence in Media Achievement.

Most of the awards will be presented at the THC’s Real Places conference January 16–18, 2019. The THC’s most prestigious award, the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, is presented at a special ceremony arranged with the staff of the Governor’s Office. A wide variety of projects and volunteer efforts may be recognized through the Governor’s Award.

Anyone may submit a nomination in accordance with the guidelines presented below each award as listed atthc.texas.gov/awards. The THC also offers the Award of Merit, which recognizes the efforts and contributions of a group or individual involved in preserving Texas’ cultural and historic resources. Nominations for this award may be submitted anytime throughout the year. For more information, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853.





Owners of historic properties or archeological resources in Texas damaged by Hurricane Harvey can apply for grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission (THC).

The purpose of the Fiscal Year 2018 TPTF Emergency Grant Program is to provide grant funding to historic properties and archeological resources in the state-declared disaster area that sustained damage from one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history. The final deadline for the THC to accept applications is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Grant applicants can us the TPTF emergency grant funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) non-federal cost-share.

The THC awarded the first round of emergency grants totaling $165,000 in January 2018. The amount remaining for emergency grants is approximately $80,000. The THC staff will score the projects based on endangerment, significance, and project viability. The emergency grant program application guide is available on the THC’s website at thc.texas.gov/tptf.

For more information contact the THC’s Architecture Division at 512-463-6094.