MDF’s Maine Downtown Center Awarded $750,000 National Park Service Grant to Support Historic Preservation in Rural Downtowns

HALLOWELL, Maine – September 14, 2021 The Maine Development Foundation (MDF)’s Maine Downtown Center program is thrilled to receive a $750,00 grant fromthe Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program, for the second time. MDF is one of only eleven recipients in ten states to receive this funding. Known in Maine as REvitalizeME Gen2, the program will provide grants for historic preservation projects that will foster economic development in Maine’s rural downtowns. MDF received funding from this program In 2020, the funding made 6 awards possible for projects in Skowhegan, Eastport, Bath, Norway, Dover-Foxcroft and Gardiner.

“It’s wonderful that Maine has received this funding again and other downtown projects will benefit from it like we did,” says Michael Miclon, Executive Director, Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine. “We are grateful for the REvitalizeME National Park Service grant through Maine Development Foundation.  The grant enabled us to repair our historic windows and masonry and really close the gap on our 5-year capital campaign for Johnson Hall, which is a downtown community hub and significant historic theater.”

REvitalizeME Gen2 funds are provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The program offers grants to historic property owners for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, or energy efficiency projects in the downtown areas of communities currently served by the Maine Downtown Center program.

“Supporting our National Main Street and Affiliate communities by bringing historic preservation funding opportunities to them is one of the most important things MDF’s Maine Downtown Center can do,” says  Anne Ball, Program Director, Maine Downtown Center. “We are grateful to the National Park Service for funding  the work we are doing in Maine.”

Funding in the form of subgrants will be awarded through a competitive program that will be operated administered by MDF. These grants will provide desperately needed financial capacity to encourage infrastructure development and leverage private sector investment increasing the commercial, educational, residential, or civic use and value of the historic properties. Projects may include physical preservation projects for historic sites, architectural/engineering services, and technical assistance.

“This National Park Service program not only supports historic preservation, but also fosters economic development in rural communities,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “By funding the rehabilitation of historic properties, rural areas across the country will be improved and strengthened.”

Grant applications and requirements will be made available in November 2021 at Grant assistance is provided by the Historic Preservation Fund and the National Park Service.