State funds available for storm-damaged historic properties

For immediate release May 30, 2006



Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa today announced $250,000 in emergency funds will be available after July 1 for stabilization of historic properties damaged by tornados and high winds earlier this spring in Johnson County.

Owners of storm-damaged property listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places have until noon, Tuesday, June 13 to apply for SHSI’s emergency Historic Resource Development Program (HRDP) funds appropriated through legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Bolkcom. Applicants are encouraged to contact SHSI’s Kathy Gourley at 515-281-6913 or for additional information. Application forms are available at

SHSI is working with Iowa City and Johnson County officials as they survey and assess damage to historic properties. SHSI staff provides technical assistance and historic preservation expertise throughout the state.

“We are pleased to make emergency funds available for protecting historic structures from continued exposure and damage from the elements,” said Anita Walker, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees SHSI. “We made $30,000 in emergency HRDP funds available in April, and we appreciate the efforts of Senator Bolkcom and the legislature to make these additional funds available to owners of storm-damaged historic properties in Johnson County. We know the funds are not enough to bridge the gap between insurance settlements and the costs of fully restoring structures in accord with professional historic preservation standards, but they will help protect damaged historic properties from the elements so their historic integrity can eventually be restored.”

Grant applications sent through the U.S Postal Service must be received at the following address by 4:30 p.m. June 12, 2006: HRDP Emergency Grant Program, State Historical Society of Iowa, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. Grant applications may be hand-delivered to the Grants Review Committee at the same address between 9 a.m. and noon on June 13, 2006.

Technical advisors will be available for public consultation 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. May 31 and June 8, 2006 at the Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa. Constituents are encouraged to discuss proposed repair plans with the technical advisors in advance or as part of the preparation of an emergency grant application. Advisors also will be available to visit affected properties, and will be available 9 a.m.-noon June 13, 2006 at the Centennial Building for last-minute application assistance.

The Grants Review Committee will review applications June 13 and recommend grant awards up to $15,000 per property. The final decision on the grant awards will be made by SHSI on June 14 with grant award contracts to be completed so work can begin when funds become available on July 1, 2006.

Other requirements of the grant application process include:

The plan must be approved by the State Historic Preservation Office before work begins. Funds are not available for any portion of the project that is completed before a grant contract is signed.

HRDP grants must be matched with private funds; the match may come from insurance proceeds.

Applicants must document the difference in the cost of making repairs according to historic preservation standards and what will be paid by insurance. Submit contractor’s estimates and documentation of insurance settlement with applications.

The Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will assist property owners in preparing HRDP grant applications; for assistance, call the Friends of Historic Preservation (FHP) Help Line at 319-351-1875. Applicants are encouraged to contact the State Historical Society of Iowa at 515-281-4137 to determine if their property is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Additional funding of $10,000 for restoration efforts was secured by the HPC and FHP from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Contact Sunil Terdalkar, City of Iowa City historic preservation planner, at 319-356-5243 or for an application form for these funds.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. More information about SHSI is available at


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