LANSING, Mich., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) announced the selection of Blissfield, Grand Haven, and Hart as communities that will receive the services of a historian to write nominations for their downtown districts to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's list of sites worthy of preservation. All three communities are Michigan Main Street communities.
The National Register of Historic Places provides key economic development tools for organizations that are focusing on downtown revitalization, and it provides property owners within those districts the opportunity to apply for federal historic preservation tax credits for the rehabilitation of their buildings.
"National Register listing is an important step toward revitalization for any community with an intact historic downtown," said State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway. "The tax credits that are available to commercial property owners as a result of national register designation spur investment in underutilized and vacant buildings."
Since 2000, certified historic rehabilitation projects generated more than $1.7 billion in investment in Michigan communities.
In August, the SHPO, part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), offered to prepare national register nominations for up to three communities participating in the Michigan Main Street program – also housed at MSHDA. The communities had to apply for the service and demonstrate:
- How the listing would benefit their community
- How they would educate and inform the community about the National Register of Historic Places
- How they would use the national register nomination in future economic development and marketing efforts
- Their willingness to participate in the process.
"All three of these communities have demonstrated a commitment to preserving their historic downtown buildings," said the SHPO's Main Street architect Kelly Larson. "They have done this through a variety of activities such as implementing a local façade grant program, creating design guidelines, providing design assistance to property owners and organizing educational workshops."
MSHDA will pay for the cost of hiring a consultant to research the history of the district and write the nominations.
Historic sites are nominated to the national register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which considers nominations to the register three times per year. On behalf of the review board, the SHPO forwards nominations to the keeper of the National Register, National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, for listing. Michigan has more than 1,600 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, including some 250 districts comprising more than 20,000 properties.
The SHPO coordinates the National Register Program in Michigan. For information on the National Register of Historic Places and other programs of the State Historic Preservation Office, visit www.michigan.gov/shpo or call (517) 373-1630.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs. If you believe you've been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.
The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.
*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.
SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority