Thank you for your interest in the State Historic Preservation Office’s (SHPO) Historic Restoration Fund (HRF) grant program.
HRF Grants are funded by the Community Investment Act (also known as Public Act 05-228), which was signed into law on July 11, 2005. The Act provides increased funding for historic preservation as well as open space, farmland preservation, and affordable housing.
This program is intended to offer maintenance and repair funding to non-profit 501c3 and 501c13 and municipally owned buildings listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places. Rehabilitation projects must be directly attributed to the long-term preservation of historic building fabric and character defining features.
Key Grant Details
As of September 15, 2021 the following changes have been made to the Historic Restoration Fund grant program.
1. Applications must be submitted using SHPO’s online grant portal. The link will be provided after a virtual or in-person site visit with SHPO staff member, Erin Fink has been completed. Please email Erin.Fink@ct.gov to schedule a site visit.
2. Applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis.
Key application dates:
• Friday, November 5, 2021 to be considered at the January 5, 2022 Historic Preservation Council Meeting.
• Friday, March 4, 2022 to be considered at the May 4, 2022 Historic Preservation Council Meeting
• Friday, June 3, 2022 to be considered at the August 3, 2022 Historic Preservation Council Meeting
• Friday, September 2, 2022 to be considered at the November 2, 2022 Historic Preservation Council Meeting
• Friday, December 2, 2022 to be considered at the February 1, 2023 Historic Preservation Council Meeting
Applications must be submitted by midnight on the dates listed above.
While the application may be heard at the Historic Preservation Council meeting, there is no guarantee that it will be approved. The SHPO and Historic Preservation Council reserve the right to request more information at subsequent meetings.
3. The funding cap will be raised to $200,000. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $200,000. Grants will be awarded while funds are available.
• Grants must be matched on a one-to-one basis.
• Grants are paid on a single-payment reimbursement basis following project completion.
• Federal funds and other non-state funds can be used as a match.
• Funding awards of $25,000 or greater will require agency signatures. Signed assistance agreements may take 1-3 months to be returned. Applicants must have a fully executed assistance agreement before beginning the bidding process.
• Applicants may have only have one active SHPO HRF grant at a time. Existing grants must be closed before a new application can be submitted.
All applications require:
• A long-term preservation plan for each property on the site. Preservation Plan Template CT SHPO
• Bid-level scope of work.
• Itemized budget including: materials, labor, and 15% contingency
• The property must be owned by the applicant or have a minimum 20-year lease agreement in place.
• The non-profit applicant must have non-profit 501c3 or 501c13 status for at least 2 years.
• The work must be open to the public or visible to the public.
SHPO reserves the right to request the following requirements:
• Conditions Assessment of entire building or specific project. SHPO offers a Survey and Planning grant to assist in the creation of conditions assessments, drawings, plans and specifications, and engineering reports.
• Drawings, Plans and specifications for projects noted below. A List of Architects and Engineers is available upon request
• Testing of hazardous materials.
• Structural analysis for projects noted below. A List of Architects and Engineers is available upon request
• Consultation with staff archaeologist.
(*can include but not be limited to the following)
Porches *Structural analysis required.
Windows * Testing of hazardous materials required. If applicable, applicant must follow Preservation Brief #9 The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows.
Chimneys * The need for structural analysis and/or plans and specifications will be subject to the judgement and determination of SHPO staff upon a site visit.
Roofs *Architectural plans and specifications not required for asphalt shingle roofs with no changes to the decking. For all other roofing the need for plans and specifications will be subject to the judgement and determination of SHPO staff upon a site visit.
Painting *Testing of hazardous materials required. Must follow Preservation Brief #6, Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings and Preservation Brief #10 Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork
Cladding and trim
Foundations * Structural analysis required.
Lightning rods * Architectural plans and specifications required, must follow Preservation Brief #50 Lightning Protection for Historic Structures
Repointing *Must follow Preservation Brief #2 Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
Abatement of hazardous materials *Testing of hazardous materials required.
Structural repairs and stabilization *Architectural plans and specifications required, Structural analysis required.
Decorative ornamentation, moldings and medallion
Paneling and original built-in millwork
Painting *Must follow Preservation Brief #28 Painting Historic Interiors.
Plaster repairs to walls and ceilings *Must follow Preservation Brief #21 Repairing Historic Flat Plaster Walls and Ceilings and Preservation Brief #23 Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster.
ADA accessibility: *Architectural plans and specifications required, Structural analysis may be required.
Mechanical systems: *Must follow Preservation Brief #24 Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling Historic Buildings—Problems and Recommended Approaches
HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning)
Fire suppression *Architectural plans and specifications required
Dry basement systems
Wells *Consultation with staff archaeologist required.
Septic systems *Consultation with staff archaeologist required.
Geo-thermal systems *Consultation with staff archaeologist required.
Archaeology: *Consultation with staff archaeologist required. Please email staff archaeologist Catherine Labadia at Catherine.Labadia@ct.gov with the name of your organization and a brief project description.
The program will NOT cover the following expenditures:
The owner’s personal labor
The cost of a new addition, except as may be required to comply with any provision of the State Building Code or the Fire Safety Code
Any non-construction costs such as architectural fees, legal fees, and financing fees
Archival preservation or collections management
Landscaping and site improvements
Completed projects or costs associated with a project already underway.
Application scoring criteria:
Work must adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The list below are key standards used by the SHPO staff and the Historic Preservation Council to evaluate each project.
1. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
2. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
3. Changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
4. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.
5. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities, and, where possible, materials.
6. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that can cause damage to materials shall not be used.
7. Significant archaeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
8. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
9. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the history property and its environment would be unimpaired.
Preservation Restrictions/EasementsA preservation easement of up to 20 years must also be placed on the property following completion of the project. Click here for more information on the preservation restriction program.
Erin Fink, Architectural Preservationist