The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has been awarded a $550,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant by the National Park Service to help preserve West Virginia’s endangered historic buildings. The Alliance will add this generous grant to its existing Saving Historical Places Grant Program, which provides funding to preserve West Virginia’s historical buildings that have fallen into disrepair and are vacant. Subgrants will be awarded for physical preservation with some opportunities for design assistance from a licensed architect or engineer. “Our goal is to bring more historic buildings back into service and contribute to our sense of place. We want to tell the story of these places through the preservation process,” said Danielle Parker, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. The Alliance is in the process of updating its Saving Historical Places Grant application process and will release formal guidelines explaining more details beginning December 2021 with a January 31, 2022 grant application deadline. The Alliance will present subgrant awards in spring 2022.
The National Park Service announced $7.27 million in Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants earlier this week. Grants were awarded to 11 recipients with 2 of the recipients in West Virginia. The purpose of this program is to support the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country. This program is provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. For more information about HPF grants and the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants program, visit https://go.nps.gov/revitalization.
Findings from the First Collaborative Discussion about Promoting Preservation Trades in West Virginia
government agencies, and nonprofit organizations as well as community volunteers and preservation enthusiasts. At the end of the meeting, interested individuals signed up to be a part of a Preservation Trades Task Force that will use action items identified during the meeting to direct our next steps.
The first set of questions discussed were - What historic trade is most in demand? What historic resources are suffering/or are we losing because we don’t have workers? What trades are we losing?
From our discussions, we identified five historic trades that are in high demand in West Virginia, but that West Virginia is startlingly lacking in institutional/practical knowledge. These are:
There were also several comments about how it was difficult to find roofing companies to work on slate roofs and that deferred maintenance of smaller problems at our older buildings have led to more expensive repairs, total replacement of historic elements, and unfortunately in many cases, demolition by neglect - meaning that the building has been allowed to deteriorate to the point that demolition becomes necessary or restoration becomes unreasonable.
The second set of questions were divided into two separate points. The first being - what are the challenges facing West Virginia’s historic resources in particular? The second question being - what unique opportunities do West Virginia’s historic resources present?
Overall, the groups agreed that West Virginia is rich in cultural heritage resources in need of rehabilitation and prime for redevelopment, but we also agreed that retaining and attracting people to West Virginia to live and work in these buildings is one of the biggest challenges our historical towns and cities are facing. Those challenges are further complicated by economic challenges to fund historic preservation projects. Often, the price-tag of a historic structure seems prohibitive compared to the price tag of an entirely new building, and this is compounded by negative attitudes towards historic preservation being costly and complicated in West Virginia.
There are also misconceptions that historic buildings cannot be rehabilitated because of hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead-based paint contamination. However, West Virginia has multiple initiatives, including grant funding from the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, to help property owners understand the challenges related to mitigating hazardous materials in their historic buildings. There are also existing regional development agencies that target historic buildings for community-based revitalization projects, and provide support for dealing with these challenges.
There is currently an obvious lack of knowledge in the fields of historic preservation trades in much of West Virginia. There is no central trade school or historic preservation technical program in West Virginia to educate our population in these skills, nor is historic preservation being taught at any vocational high school programs. Belmont Technical College is located very close to the northern panhandle of West Virginia in St. Clairsville, OH, and it offers a Building Preservation/Restoration degree program. The groups believe that we can capitalize on this institutional opportunity by encouraging individuals to attend the Belmont Technical College program and using it as a model to develop other preservation training programs in West Virginia.
There is also a lack of access to the correct materials needed to rehabilitate many historic buildings or a lack of understanding of how to source materials locally. This lack of access and understanding threatens our infrastructure because construction professionals are trying to repair buildings using incorrect materials that can further degrade the historic structure.
The final set of questions revolved around the theme of what can we do to encourage education in historic preservation trades?
There is already a respect and value placed on trades skills in West Virginia that works in our favor. Our groups compiled a list of suggestions on the point of how to develop opportunities for people to pursue a preservation trades career. The Preservation Trades Task Force is exploring these suggestions, which included:
The Preservation Trades Task Force is already working on some of these action items and will be meeting monthly to discuss our projects. If you are interested in joining the Preservation Trades Task Force or for more information, contact PAWV executive director, Danielle Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Virginia has made its historic tax rehabilitation credit program permanent. Gov. Jim Justice recently signed the bi-partisan bill, which provides a 25% tax credit for those who rehabilitate historic income-producing properties.
The 25% credit, which became law in 2018, was set to expire at the end of 2022. In those five years, the program attracted renewed interest in West Virginia’s historic commercial districts and spurred private reinvestment in more than 80 vacant and dilapidated buildings throughout the state. In just two of those years, more than $34 million were invested in nine projects.
The move to a permanent 25% credit provides needed certainty to property owners and developers, explained Renee Kuhlman, Senior Director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 25% credit often fills a financing gap in a project, but the uncertainty around its future made it difficult for developers to successfully apply for construction loans or plan long-term projects.
“The removal of the sunset date increases the attractiveness of the credit to investors,” Kuhlman said. “Already, I’ve received a call from a New Orleans developer wanting information about West Virginia properties because the program was made permanent.”
Without this tax credit, many historic redevelopment projects would not happen, explained Danielle Parker, executive director of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, a statewide organization dedicated to supporting and promoting historic preservation. The 25% credit is often the reason a project becomes feasible.
"There are over 1,000 properties, including 168 historic districts, that can be revitalized using the credit, and I am excited to see how these places can be brought back to life using this financial incentive,” Parker said.
The state historic tax credit is capped at $30 million of income tax credits per year. The program also offers a 20% residential rehabilitation credit for historic homes, which is also permanent.
The State Historic Tax Credit is administered by the WV Historic Preservation Office, and the National Parks Service. For more information on applying for the credit or to find out if your property is an eligible tax credit project, please call 304-558-0240. You can also Visit the WV Historic Preservation Office's website for additional information.
Thank you to Senator Ryan Weld for being the original sponsor of this legislation and for being a champion of historic preservation and community revitalization for West Virginia!
We want to say thank you to the legislation's co-sponsors too! They are Senators Mike Woelfel, Robert Plymale, Richard Lindsay, Eric Nelson, Stephen Baldwin, Mike Maroney, and Glenn Jeffries.
Special thanks to Delegate Erikka Storch for supporting this bill through the House of Delegates and to the Abandoned Properties Coalition for leading the charge to make the 25% state historic tax credit permanent.
MANCHIN, CAPITO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO EXTEND AUTHORIZATIONS OF WEST VIRGINIAN NATIONAL HERITAGE AREAS
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation, S. 1258, on Tuesday to extend the authorizations of West Virginia’s National Coal Heritage Area and Wheeling National Heritage Area – which are set to expire September 30, 2021.
“As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I am well aware of the impacts National Heritage Areas can have on local communities. Extending the authorizations of the National Coal Heritage Area and the Wheeling National Heritage Area will allow us to continue to recognize their significant contributions to our nation and provide an economic boost to the communities around them. This bipartisan legislation will preserve and protect West Virginia’s rich cultural traditions and historic sites so that future generations can enjoy them as we have, and I look forward to it being enacted into law,” said Senator Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“Both the Wheeling National Heritage Area and National Coal Heritage Area are important to the culture and scenic beauty of our state. It is essential that we extend their designation as National Heritage Areas to help continue our efforts toward conservation, restoration, and economic development in these regions. I’m proud to introduce legislation that will help boost tourism and revenue in West Virginia, while also helping to expand opportunities for people to enjoy the natural beauty and history that our state has to offer,” Senator Capito said.
National Heritage Areas (NHA) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. By extending the official NHA designation, the National Coal Heritage Area and Wheeling National Heritage Area can continue to remain eligible for grants and technical assistance from the National Park Service that help create jobs, generate revenue for local governments, and sustain local communities
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia announced that the Pence Hotel, in Mercer County, and the Wyoming Hotel, in Wyoming County, are this year’s first recipients of its Saving Historical Places Grants. The program is the Alliance’s initiative to save historical places in the Mountain State by funding emergency stabilization work and jump-starting building preservation projects with pre-development funds.
The Pence Hotel, a contributing structure to the Bramwell Historic District and independently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the first buildings visitors see when entering Bramwell. It will receive Saving Historical Places Grant funds for much needed emergency stabilization work including wall stabilization; the first of four planned phases to restore the building. “Once restored, the hotel will host a Company Store on the ground level, and provide an economic boost to the town and region” explained Gene Buckner, President of the Mercer County Commission.
The second structure to receive assistance from the Saving Historical Places Grant is the Wyoming Hotel in Mullens, built in 1918 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Funds will be used by nonprofit organization Peacework Development Fund to save the building from imminent danger of collapse by removing a fire escape. Future redevelopment plans for the hotel building are mixed-use for commercial/residential purposes to cater to outdoor recreation tourists and serve as a nod to the building’s history. “The Wyoming Hotel was a source of community pride and community history. Through the years many people stayed in the hotel, including JFK running for president in 1960, Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., rumors of Babe Ruth to everyday people coming to Mullens for work or to attend ball games or participate in horse shows. Saving it would again lift community spirits and potentially be a centerpiece for rural economic redevelopment,” said Samuel E. Webster, the owner of the building.
“The Saving Historical Places Grant funds are being used to save these buildings from collapse. We are delighted to be able to help save these important historical resources that tell the story of our coal heritage, and we are excited that there are active community efforts to rehabilitate these buildings. However, we know that there is a long road ahead for these buildings to be fully functioning as we hope. We urge anyone who is interested in saving these buildings to consider donating to these projects as well,” said Danielle Parker, Executive Director of the Alliance.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation. The Alliance continues to fundraise for its Saving Historical Places Grant program and is accepting donations for this program. Donations of $500 or more may be eligible for Neighborhood Investment Program tax credits. Donate here! For more information, call 304-345-6005.
Pictured here is the Flatiron Building located on Main Street in downtown Wheeling. It had been vacant for years before being totally transformed into loft housing with a first-floor coffee shop. This $2.5 million dollar project qualified for $632,653 in state historic rehabilitation tax credits and created 19 constructions jobs.
In 2017, the West Virginia Legislature voted to increase the state historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25%. However parts of the legislation will affect future reinvestment opportunities and even discontinue the tax credit increase. A network of nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and private investors have joined together to ask the Legislature to address these issues and are asking for support in favor of SB344, which was introduced by Senator Weld (R-1) with Senators Plymale (D-5) and Woelfel (D-5) as co-sponsors.
SB344 is a bi-partisan bill that will:
the state historic rehabilitation tax credit works for west virginia!
From 2018 to 2021, the historic rehabilitation tax credit has attracted renewed interest in our historic commercial districts and spurred private reinvestment in over 80 vacant and dilapidated buildings (some of which are pictured above). When a vacant or underutilized building is repurposed, it generates additional revenues to local government through increased property taxes. Once the state's initial investment is recouped, the project continues to yield positive economic impacts through a combination of sales, income, and business taxes.
In 2018 & 2019, over $34 million dollars were invested to finish 9 projects in Charleston, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Franklin, Huntington, Spencer, and Wheeling. These projects created 256 construction jobs for West Virginia. Rehabilitation projects support higher labor costs for construction jobs rather than new materials and also utilize in-state trades and professional services such as legal, accounting, architectural, and engineering, as well as wholesale trade and retail trade.
Large and small-scale developers report that historic rehabilitation tax credit programs fill a critical financing gap. The 25% rate provides an incentive to make a difference in a developer's decision to undertake a rehabilitation project, and it makes projects more feasible for individuals.
How Does the tax credit work?
When rehabbing a certified historic building for a commercial purpose, owners apply for tax credits through the WV State Historic Preservation Office. A building is considered a certified historic structure when it is either individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places or contributing within a historic district.
The state historic rehabilitation tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income tax liability and can only be applied to the owner's annual income after a rehabilitation project is complete. State and local governments benefit from an increase in employment and other tax revenue even before the tax credit is claimed.
Learn more about what you can do to help.
Three interesting historic properties have become available in Lewisburg’s Downtown Historic District. A Sears kit house that has been on PAWV’s endangered list for several years, is available for free to someone who will move or disassemble it. Built in the early 1920s, it is an early version of The Westly, one of Sears most popular homes. A professional house mover has checked out the house and is confident it can be readily moved.
Across the street from New River Community and Technical College and next to the Old Stone Church is McElhenney Lodge. It provided a dormitory, faculty housing, offices and a recreation center for Greenbrier College. The oldest part of the complex is a 19th century brick house with cement block additions.
The third offering is the old Greenbrier Dairy building that housed a True Value hardware store for many years. The property includes a large lot and a warehouse in central Lewisburg.
Each of these properties should qualify for historic preservation tax credits. The Lewisburg Historic Landmarks Commission is involved in efforts to save and restore these buildings. More information is available by contacting Commissioner Skip Deegans at 304-646-8475 or email@example.com.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR LOCAL WORKSHOPS/DEMONSTATIONS:
Proposal Application Requirements:
Professionals interested in providing preservation training for either of the above formats should submit a proposal including:
Presenter fees, when paid, will be negotiated on a case by case basis. No separate travel expenses will be paid. Presenter fees may be offered to speakers if funds are available – as well as if, per SHPO grant requirements, those presenters meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards found in 36 CFR 61. (For information on 36 CFR 61 standards, see https://www.nps.gov/history/local-law/arch_stnds_9.htm.) Some presenters not meeting the requirements in 36 CFR 61 may also be paid fees, and PAWV will make this determination as funds are available.
Proposals are due via email to Danielle Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org on Friday June 5, 2020
This RFP does not indicate any promise to follow through and implement any proposals. We reserve the right to select different trainers for workshops, sessions, etc. We reserve the right to accept late proposals if insufficient or inadequate proposals for all slots are not received by the deadline. We may suggest revisions to your proposals for your consideration. PAWV staff will organize and direct all activities and will have final approval of content.
This conference receives Federal funds from the National Park Service as administered by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History. Regulations of the U.S. Department of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination departmental Federally Assisted Programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to work closely with staff to conduct a program evaluation of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, in line with AmeriCorps expectations and requirements.
Scope of Work Goals
PAWV anticipates the consultant will conduct a retrospective outcome evaluation on the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program for the years 2015-2019. The goal of this evaluation is to understand the level of impact Preserve WV AmeriCorps members have in building the capacity of site sponsors’ community engagement. Data for the 2015-2019 period has already been collected and is currently being organized into one spreadsheet for these evaluation purposes.
Download the full RFP HERE.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV), the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation, is seeking an AmeriCorps Program Manager to help with the management, implementation, and administration of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, as well as to manage the PAWV office in Elkins.
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is PAWV’s statewide national service initiative where AmeriCorps members help main streets thrive, help communities capture their local history, and help preserve beloved West Virginia landmarks.
The program involves 26 AmeriCorps members in a combination of full-time and half-time slots that are assigned to historical organizations across the state of West Virginia. The AmeriCorps Program Manager will be directly supervised by, and report to, Danielle Parker (PAWV Executive Director) and will assist her with the management and administration of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, in addition to helping with some general administrative tasks for PAWV.
This position will be hourly part-time (averaging 20 - 30 hours/week) with pay of $15/hour.
PAWV is looking for an AmeriCorps Program Manager who exemplifies competence, communication, and commitment.
AmeriCorps Program Manager Duties Will Include:
PAPERWORK & MONITORING FOR AMERICORPS
AMERICORPS RECRUITMENT, TRAINING & TEAM BUILDING
OTHER AMERICORPS TASKS
DARDEN HOUSE OFFICE MANAGEMENT
Successful candidate must be organized and meticulous with paperwork, a self-starter, and computer literate with comfort in Microsoft Office Suite, email, Google drive, Survey Monkey, and social media. Excellent people skills and demonstrable ability to learn on one’s own are essential. The candidate must be able to work independently with periodic direction. Candidate should have a college degree or significant life experience. Prior management and/or AmeriCorps experience will be a plus.
Communication and people skills are vital. Successful candidate must work closely with a wide variety of people. Good written and verbal communication skills, positive attitude, professionalism, calm demeanor in response to stress or conflict, ability to help with conflict resolution, and comfort with speaking in groups will all be needed. Candidates who can connect readily with the AmeriCorps members are encouraged to apply, as long as they can show management experience.
AmeriCorps staff person should commit to PAWV principles and be prepared to take responsibility and represent the organization. Be expected to represent PAWV as a professional and to build relationships with site representatives, government agencies and officials, and program partners. It will be important to understand and comply with AmeriCorps prohibited activities, including not advocating or representing political or religious viewpoints as an employee.
The position will be based in Elkins, WV at the PAWV office located at 421 Davis Avenue. The Program Manager will be expected to keep business hours as agreed, with some reimbursable travel around the state for AmeriCorps site visits, program orientation, and board meetings. In some cases, the AmeriCorps Program Manager will be required to stay overnight for pre-arranged PAWV and AmeriCorps Program Activities. This usually occurs in January, May, July, and October.
Applications will be accepted until January 20, 2020, or until position is filled.
For more information or to submit application. Contact Danielle Parker, Executive Director at 304-345-6005 or at email@example.com
News and Notes
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