Oak Ridge Historic Heritage Grant Program

Oak Ridge Historic Heritage Grant Program
2023-24 Grant Information Sheet

What’s the purpose of the Historic Heritage Grants?
To strengthen and preserve Oak Ridge’s rich historic heritage by providing grant funding to owners of historic properties. The program provides small scale, high impact grants to help preserve the properties that are at the heart of what many Oak Ridge residents love most about our community—its historic, village-like atmosphere.

Who can apply for a grant?
Owners of historic properties located in Oak Ridge. Although priority will be given to projects located in the Historic District, projects proposed for historic properties elsewhere in Oak Ridge will also be considered.

How much can I apply for? And how much do I need to contribute?
Owners of historic properties may apply for grants of up to $3,000 or nonprofits may apply for $4,000 for projects of any size. All applicants must contribute matching funds totaling at least 50% of the project costs. Since grants funds are paid on a reimbursement basis, owners must cover the full costs of the project out-of-pocket until all reporting requirements have been completed, per the terms of the official grant award.

What kinds of projects are eligible?
Eligible projects include structural repairs, restoration of historic materials, or other conservation work related to preserving the building’s exterior. In the case of highly significant properties, the preservation of other site features may also be eligible for grant support.

Properties must be at least 75 years old and of demonstrated historic, architectural, or cultural significance. The potential positive impact of the projects on Oak Ridge’s historic fabric and its streetscape are also important considerations. Approved preservation projects may be completed by property owners or by outside contractors; eligible costs include contract labor and necessary materials, with matching funds required, as described above.

All grant-funded work must comply with the Oak Ridge Historic District Design Standards (available at www.oakridgenc.com). Interior work, new construction (including additions), and work that has already been completed are not eligible.

Grant Timeline
For the 2023-24 grants, applicants should propose projects that can be completed between July 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024. If an applicant anticipates difficulty in conforming a project to this deadline, please contact us (See “How can I learn more?”).

How can I learn more?
An information session will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023, 7-8 p.m. at Town Hall. The session will include time for potential applicants to describe their projects and ask questions. Applicants can also call Town Hall at 336.644.7009 with questions or assistance preparing an application. We’re also happy to visit your property and provide recommendations on specialized contractors and suppliers appropriate to your project.

How do I apply?
Application forms are available at Oak Ridge Town Hall or online at www.oakridgenc.com (under Our Town, go to Historic Oak Ridge and click on Historic Heritage Grants). Application forms can also be requested by mail by calling Town Hall at 336.644.7009. The application deadline is Friday, April 14, 2023, at 4 p.m.

How will grant decisions be made?
Grant applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

• Architectural, historical, and cultural significance of the property
• Appropriateness and urgency of proposed Project Budget and Project Plan work for preserving the property
• Potential positive impact of the project

A committee of outside preservation experts will evaluate the applications against the criteria above and make recommendations to the Historic Preservation Commission, who will make the final decisions regarding grant awards.

Additional Information for Grant Projects in the Historic District
Grant applications for projects within the Historic District will require a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) if the project is recommended for approval. In such cases, the applicant will be asked to submit a completed COA application (available online at www.oakridgenc.com and at the Oak Ridge Town Hall) by Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 12 noon. Town staff will be available to assist applicants as needed.

Review of completed COA applications will take place at the Historic Preservation Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Oak Ridge Town Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.; applicants are required to attend this meeting.