Where can the owner of an historic or would-be historic home or building turn for help in maintaining that property, to learn the best techniques, find a qualified contractor, or even obtain some financial assistance to preserve the structure? We've got good news to share with you today! Ian Johnson, National Register and Survey Coordinator at the Oregon Park and Recreation Department's Heritage Programs Division (Oregon.gov/orpd/HCD) noted that there are over 2000 National Register properties and 250 historic districts in Oregon, spread across all 36 counties. Ian described to us the various incentive programs available for owners of historic buildings once the property has been nominated to the Register, such as Federal Tax Credits and the State's Special Assessment program. Staff will happily assist property owners in both the nomination process as well as the application process for any of the programs. Staff is also available to help with restoration issues and assistance. Improvements are ongoing on to the historic database and its accessibility to the public, with the new addition of a GIS interactive program. If you have any questions on these areas, feel free to contact Ian by phone at 503-986-0678 or email at Ian.Johnson@oregon.gov.
Mike Gushard, Heritage Outreach Coordinator, described the main programs that the Heritage Programs Division offers cities and non-profit organizations: Certified Local Government grant programs for cities, the Main Street program to assist towns and cities revive their downtown areas, the historic cemetery program, the Oregon trails program, and their newest program, Mentor Corps. This programs brings together experts in several fields from across the state who then provide free professional assessment and educational services to local museums, libraries and archives. You can reach Mike by phone at 503-986-0671 or email at Mike.Gushard@oregon.gov.
May is National Historic Preservation Month and Ian described the annual Heritage Faire being held on the Capitol Mall from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28. At this event all the state agencies who have anything to do with historic preservation, along with many other Willamette Valley heritage organizations, host booths where the public can learn about their programs and activities. Tours of the tower of the Capitol building will also be available. Come out and meet these folks and learn more about the many ways we in Oregon address our cultural and historic heritage!
Photos courtesy of ORPD