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State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa receives federal grant to support rural revitalization through historic preservation and community development

Sep 29, 2020

Iowa is one of only eight states to receive a federal grant that helps rural communities preserve their heritage and foster economic development through revitalization of historic properties.
The Trump Administration recently announced $4.8 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants, funded through the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The grant program supports historic preservation projects in rural communities across America, including $600,000 to Iowa's State Historic Preservation Office, which is part of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The state agency will provide subgrants for the entire $600,000 to historic preservation projects in Iowa.
"This is a tremendous win for Iowa and a great example of how we collaborate with federal agencies to support historic preservation, arts, culture and film in communities across our state," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. "We thank the National Park Service for its support and we look forward to partnering with Iowans on their projects."
Rural Revitalization subgrants in the amount of $75,000 to $125,000 will be available to local governments and nonprofits that own properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through the state's community development and creative placemaking programs like Iowa Great Places, Iowa Cultural & Entertainment Districts, Main Street Iowa and Empower Rural Iowa programs, leaders can work collaboratively to highlight their historic and creative communities to drive tourism, economic impact and growth. Application information will be available at in October.
The State Historic Preservation Office identifies, preserves and protects Iowa’s historic and prehistoric resources. It also administers state and federal historic preservation programs, and maintains a survey and inventory collection of historic properties in Iowa. More information is available at
Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program  
The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program is a new Historic Preservation Fund grant program created in 2018 that supports rehabilitation of historic properties and fosters economic development of rural communities. The program funds preservation projects for historic sites, including architectural and engineering services and physical building preservation through subgrants to communities determined rural by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
In September 2019, this grant program was renamed to honor the legacy of long-time Vermont preservationist Paul Bruhn. The program was formerly named the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program.
More information about the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program is available at

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.