Gov. Malloy Announces Initiative to Help Protect Historic Resources across Connecticut’s Coastline
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a series of historic preservation initiatives that will strengthen the state's commitment to prepare and respond to disasters and protect historic sites along Connecticut's shoreline.
Projects include items such as surveys of historic neighborhoods, the development of a mobile app for owners of historic homes, among other steps designed to support the four coastal counties of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London.
"This funding will help us respond quickly and strategically should we face another devastating event," Governor Malloy said. "Connecticut is committed to safeguarding the state's unique cultural heritage even as it addresses the coastal resiliency challenges of the 21st century. These are important, preparatory steps forward, and we're pleased these federal dollars can be used to help so many areas along the coastline."
"Connecticut stands to gain from these innovative projects in many ways," DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said. "State agencies and municipalities will be better prepared to respond to future disasters, more properties will be eligible for disaster relief funding, and perhaps most importantly, resiliency efforts can be targeted wisely, ensuring historic assets will stand for generations to come and tell the story of Connecticut's history."
The program is administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development's (DECD) State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), in partnership with the National Park Service. Following damage the state experienced from Super Storm Sandy, Congress awarded Connecticut $8,014,769 for disaster relief projects in the coastal counties. Funds were granted to SHPO through the Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund.
SHPO initially developed the Disaster Relief Assistance Grant program to fund repair and restoration of historic properties affected by Sandy. Phase 2 of the program focuses on the identification of vulnerable historic resources and resiliency planning to speed future disaster recovery efforts.
The Phase 2 projects, totaling $4.1 million, include:
- Surveys and inventories of historic sites and structures in selected towns;
- Preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places for historic buildings and districts;
- A searchable database of documented historic resources;
- A resiliency plan for coastal communities;
- A survey of historic dams and associated resources;
- Re-evaluation of archaeological sites affected by Super Storm Sandy and the identification of sites threatened by future storms and sea level rise;
- A nautical archaeological survey and assessment of storm damage to shipwrecks in Connecticut waters;
- Development of a mobile app allowing citizens to survey their historic residences;
- Development of a geospatial database of historic properties;
- A history of coastal building elevation in Connecticut and elevation guidelines for property owners;
- An app for surveys of historic cemeteries;
- National Register nominations and booklets for two new Connecticut state archaeological preserves; and
- A history of nineteenth and twentieth century architecture in coastal Connecticut.
"Once this work is complete we will have a much better understanding of our historic assets along the coastline," Kristina Newman-Scott, DECD's Director of Culture and Connecticut's State Historic Preservation Officer, said. "What is particularly exciting is we are providing the public and communities with access to resources they never had before and engaging them in new ways."