The Montana Historical Society’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is awarding eight grants totaling more than $430,000 through its Revitalizing Montana’s Rural Heritage (RMRH) grant program.
Projects include the Basin Creek Caretaker’s House, Silver Bow County ($100,000); Broadway Apartments, Lewistown ($40,000); Roundup Central School ($60,000); the Dion Block, Glendive ($65,000); the F.M. Mack Mercantile, Augusta ($24,500); the I.G. Baker House, Fort Benton ($66,480); the Montana Hotel, Anaconda ($54,061); and the Waterworks Museum, Miles City ($20,306).
RMRH is supported in part by a grant from the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program (HRSP) from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service Department of the Interior. SHPO is among nine entities nationwide to obtain HRSP funds in the program’s inaugural cycle. Grants are for physical repairs and improvements to properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
SHPO’s Community Preservation Coordinator Kate Hampton said that, “RMRH’s goal is to renew community anchors, properties that will in turn serve as catalysts for economic stability and growth in their communities. These projects preserve the fabric and history of the rural experience, celebrate and educate people about the past, and facilitate a sustainable future for the generations that follow.”
SHPO’s idea for the RMRH program came from seeing homegrown preservation projects in rural communities across the state. Ekalaka established its town hall and library in an empty bank the town preserved; one by one, Philipsburg’s commercial building owners reinvented the town by repainting their Victorian-era building facades; and Deer Lodge’s Rialto Theatre rose from the ashes of a devastating fire to maintain its status as the community’s gathering place on Main Street.
“With these pioneering projects, we saw the seeds planted by one or two property owners grow into a cultural, economic, and social ecosystem. We see that same desire and potential in the projects we’re funding,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Pete Brown.
SHPO will spread broadly its one-time RMRH funds geographically and thematically, supporting museums, historically residential, and commercial projects in places with populations of fewer than 50,000 across the state.
For more information, contact Pete Brown at Montana SHPO at 406/444-7718 or firstname.lastname@example.org