Preservation efforts in Louisville are set to receive a major boost according to an announcement given at a news conference in May (May 31, 2023). The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation and Louisville Metro Government together dedicated up to $1 Million Dollars to the Preservation nonprofit, Vital Sites. The money is to be used for the preservation of houses and other buildings in the Louisville area, with a focus on underrepresented neighborhoods in West Louisville. Griffytown, Beechmont, Smoketown, and Shelby Park are among some, but not all the neighborhoods that will be given priority.
The money is being used to establish a revolving loan fund with the goal of assisting owners of historic properties with revitalization efforts. To qualify for a loan, a property must be listed or eligible for enlistment on the National Register of Historic Places (Magin). In previous articles, I discussed the criteria and process necessary to list a property on the National Register, along with a guide to nominating a property (Strause, National Register). The Executive Director of Vital Sites claims numerous properties in Metro Louisville meet the criteria for a loan. In fact, he estimated there may be over 15,000 eligible properties in Metro Louisville.
The program presents a great opportunity for residents to preserve the history of their neighborhood. Funds are likely to be used for, but not limited to improvements such as, painting, siding, masonry, roofing, fencing, electrical, plumbing, and flooring. The most urgent improvements are the main priority. Cosmetic fixes are secondary. The maximum loan available for a homeowner is $75,000 (Magin).
There are other benefits and resources to investigate for homeowners or anyone interested in Historic Preservation. Opportunities for tax credits or grants to assist with revitalization are among financial incentives encouraging historic preservation. In recent years, Kentucky enacted laws that enable historic preservation to be more profitable (McCarron). Preservation is more appealing to a wider range of people than ever before. I recently wrote about historic preservation and how to get involved, for anyone interested in learning more (Strause, Historic Preservation). For official guidance, the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office have a wealth of information that is easy to digest.
Magin, Sarah. “New Fund Would Help Preserve Historic Homes in Louisville’s Underrepresented Neighborhoods.” Whas11.Com, 31 May 2023, www.whas11.com/article/news/community/historic-home-preservation-fund-west-lousiville-focus/417-bbcbcdd4-7c68-4d86-bf20-5e06430c004b.
McCarron, Jessica. “Support Historic Tax Credits in Kentucky!” VITAL SITES, 17 Mar. 2022, vitalsites.org/2022/03/02/historic-tax-credits-need-your-support/.
Strause, Cameron R. “Historic Preservation: Remembering the Nation’s Past While Preserving the Future.” Strause Law Group, PLLC, www.strauselawgroup.com/news-and-articles/historic-preservation-remembering-the-nations-past-while-preserving-the-future/. Accessed 23 June 2023.
Strause, Cameron R. “National Register of Historic Places: How to Nominate Your Property & the Listing Process.” Strause Law Group, PLLC, www.strauselawgroup.com/news-and-articles/national-register-of-historic-places-how-to-nominate-your-property-the-listing-process/. Accessed 23 June 2023.