The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has unveiled a new loan program to provide capital, technical assistance, and development expertise to property owners who are renovating historic buildings in West Virginia.
The Historic Preservation Microloan will help property owners save endangered historical properties and develop commercial properties to create or retain jobs, housing, or heritage-related commercial activity in downtown commercial districts.
“The microloan focuses principally on construction costs, though borrowers may also use it to apply for acquisition and predevelopment costs, as well as grant funding match,” said Danielle Parker, executive director for the alliance.
“We hope to assist small borrowers, including nonprofit organizations and local residents who lack access to the credit available to large borrowers but feel passionately about saving and re-purposing historic buildings. We also hope this loan program can be used to respond to emergency situations quickly,” Parker explained.
Made possible with a grant from the 1772 Foundation, the microloan is available to individuals, business owners, nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and religious organizations, Parker said.
Loan amounts are available at $2,500-$10,000 and are repayable over a two-year term with a two-percent fixed interest rate.
Applicants will also receive technical assistance from the alliance, and nonprofit organizations may also be eligible for volunteer support through the alliance's Preserve WV AmeriCorps program.
West Virginia developers benefit from some of the nation's best preservation-financing programs, including a 45-percent historic-rehabilitation tax credit established by the W.Va. Legislature through the efforts of the alliance and other economic development partners.
The state also provides matching development grants for the rehabilitation of historic properties to cover 50 percent of the cost of many such projects.
Anyone interested in applying for loans using the Historic Preservation Microloan Fund should contact Danielle Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 304-345-6005.
The PAWV Board of Directors are volunteers from across the state who are dedicated to preserving our Mountain State’s cultural resources. The board is comprised of four officers, three members representing each of the Congressional Districts, at-large members, and ex-officio members from different state agencies. Each year, PAWV holds an annual meeting to vote on who will sit on its Board of Directors. The most recent meeting was held on September 21 during the 11th Annual Historic Preservation Awards banquet. PAWV voted for three new individuals to join the board and for a new Vice President.
The 2020 officers are President Logan Smith of Elkins, Vice President Paula McClain of Morgantown, Secretary Phyllis Baxter of Elkins, and Treasurer Cris Green of Clarksburg. Paula is a newly elected officer for PAWV and is looking forward to her new post. She says,
The past couple of years have given me an amazing opportunity to learn about the diversity of West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage, and although I’m relatively new to the state, I’m proud to call it my adopted home. I’m so excited to be kicking off my second year with PAWV and hope that my role as an officer will allow me the chance to get more people from all walks of life engaged in the work that we’re doing.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia recently launched its WV Historic New Deal Trail website at https://wvnewdealtrail.com/. This website and other promotional materials were made possible from a West Virginia Humanities Council mini-grant. The trail originally was developed through a partnership between PAWV and the West Virginia Historic Preservation Office as part of a Preserve America Treasures Grant. Paper and former website materials were obsolete and led to PAWV creating this website and promotional rack card to be distributed statewide and regionally.
This website is a work in progress, and we believe there are more sites to be added to the site. If you are interested in having your site added to the website or have suggestions about content updates, contact Danielle Parker at email@example.com.
The New Deal in West Virginia:
President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal programs to revitalize the nation’s economy during the Great Depression. Recreation and infrastructure projects provided employment opportunities. Begun in 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), commonly called the “Tree Army,” focused on reforestation and recreation projects. More than 55,000 West Virginia men were enrolled in the CCC and the state had more than 65 camps. Generally, CCC camps held a complement of 150-200 men housed in Army-style barracks. Enrollees were paid $30.00/month with $25.00 sent to the families and $5.00 for personal use.
The second wave of New Deal programs began in 1935 and included the Works Progress Administration (WPA); it became the largest New Deal agency. The WPA built and improved city and county infrastructures such as roads, sewer systems, bridge building and municipal buildings. The WPA was also responsible for many arts, drama, media and literacy projects. Evidence of federally sponsored activities such as the Writer’s program, photography of the Great Depression in Appalachia, as well as post office murals and other arts programs are found throughout WV.
PAWV has received an allocation of Neighborhood Investment Program Tax Credits for 2019. Donate to PAWV and earn a tax credit.
PAWV is raising funds for donors to adopt one of West Virginia's Endangered Properties and help local volunteers succeed in saving our special places.
PAWV will work with licensed professionals to provide technical assistance to low-income stewards working to revitalize endangered historic properties in Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas, Preston and Randolph Counties. Funds will be used to tackle site-specific obstacles at challenging buildings, as well as respond to emergency situations that arise at a historic building that will in turn endanger it. PAWV will work with low-income individuals who both serve on nonprofit organizational boards, as well as volunteer to reuse historic sites to benefit their community, or low-income individuals who own a historic building.
Businesses and individuals who donate $500 or more in cash or professional services to PAWV are eligible to receive up to 50% of the contributed amount in the form of state tax credits. Donors may use the tax credit to reduce the liability of Corporate Net Income Tax and/or Personal Income Tax. PAWV has $2,250 ($4,500 in donations) available in NIP tax credits. Contact Danielle Parker at 304-345-6005, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Historic Coal Company Office Building in Thomas WV Placed on the West Virginia Endangered Properties List
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has announced that the Davis Coal and Coke Company Administrative Building just south of the historic River Street District of Thomas has been recognized as a significant endangered historic building for 2019.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011 because of its importance as the Tucker County headquarters of the company founded by legendary railroad and coal magnate Senator Henry Gassaway Davis from 1900 until 1950. The Alliance is adding it to the West Virginia Endangered Properties List because it has been sitting vacant since the 1980s and is structurally failing.
In 1995, the City of Thomas assumed the building and has been able to maintain the exterior walls and roof but not the structural problems inside the building. The Friends of Blackwater took an interest in the building and has partnered with the City of Thomas and Vandalia Heritage Foundation to seek additional funding. The future is looking bright. In July 2019, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office granted $29,100 to Vandalia Heritage to replace joists on the first floor and repair a structural wall in the building.
There are still many unknowns, and the Friends of Blackwater are looking to bring more attention to this important project by nominating it to the West Virginia Endangered Properties List. The current plan is for the City to enter into a long term lease with the Vandalia Heritage Foundation to redevelop the building, but no actuals plans are in place, making this project still unsecure. The Friends of Blackwater initiated this endangered properties recognition process on behalf of the City of Thomas and has solicited the assistance of the Preservation Alliance for historic preservation technical assistance, as well as applied for grant funding to develop an adaptive reuse plan for the building. The mostly likely redevelopment path for the building would be to have retail space on the main floor, with offices or residential space on the second floor and in the attic. You can donate to this project by visiting, https://saveblackwater.org/donate/.
The West Virginia Endangered Properties List is a collection of historical resources in danger of being lost. The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in our Mountain State. It maintains the West Virginia Endangered Properties List and administers the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program. For more information contact Danielle LaPresta Parker, 304-345-6005 email@example.com
We very seldom ask you to support a particular historic preservation effort, as there are so many worthwhile and deserving projects in West Virginia, but we’re making an exception with this message for an Endangered Property. For 80 years the Homestead School and community center has been the beating heart of the Tygart Valley Homestead community in Randolph County, WV. Created by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program to provide housing and work for unemployed coal miners and others who lost their jobs in the great Depression, the community helped people gain home ownership through sweat equity. Descendents of many of the original Homesteaders still live in the community today, and have for years supported the school through our Tygart Valley Homestead Association. The unique architecture and historic importance of the community led to its being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 as “Tygart Valley Homesteads Historic District.”
Declining enrollment and budgetary problems resulted in deferring much needed upkeep, and eventually led to the County Board of Education placing the Homestead School on its closure list. The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia in 2016 named the school a significant Endangered Property .A determined community effort led by the Tygart Valley Homestead Association convinced the Board of Education to rescind the closure decision, but shortly after this victory a freak windstorm damaged the school building to the point that the school system determined it was no longer safe for student occupancy.
This was a major setback, but we of the Tygart Valley Homestead Association didn’t give up, and convinced the powers that be to turn the building over to us for a token payment. We managed to raise enough money to get the roof fixed, and have done major upgrades to the school’s electrical system, but now we are faced with a daunting project: bringing the school building back up to standard so it can continue to serve as a community center.
The number one item on our priority list is to bring the restrooms up to modern standards – some of the 80 year old original fixtures are still in place. Donate at gofundme.com/homesteadcommunitycenter
National Heritage Area designation for Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area became official with the President’s signing on March 12 of S.47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the also known as the Natural Resources Management Act.
The Bill also included a wide variety of designations and land management bills from across the country, including the Sportsman Act and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate on February 12, and in the House on February 26, by overwhelming majorities.
Sen. Joe Manchin, sponsor of the original Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act, and a co‐ sponsor of the Senate Natural Resources Management Act, said “The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is a treasure that has done a great deal for West Virginia. This national designation is long overdue.” The Appalachian Forest designation bill was also co‐sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Sen. Ben Cardin, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen.
The companion House bill is sponsored by Rep. David McKinley, with co‐sponsors in the previous session from Rep. Evan Jenkins, Rep. John Delaney, and Rep. Alex Mooney, and in the current session adding co‐ sponsors Rep. Carol Miller and Rep. David Trone.
“Creating an Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area will allow us to continue to celebrate and promote the beauty of our state, preserve our heritage and plan for the future,” Rep. McKinley said of the legislation. “National Heritage Areas deliver a significant economic return and helps us showcase the sometimes‐hidden gems of our cultural heritage.”
“We are incredibly excited to be finally receiving National Heritage Area designation for the Appalachian Forest,” said Phyllis Baxter, Executive Director of Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Inc, the coordinating entity for the newly designated area. “We have been working on this for fifteen years, and are so pleased to now be nationally recognized. This designation will increase our visibility to attract tourism, and increase our capacity to help local communities.”
National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. With the official national heritage area designation the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area can earn recognition as being nationally significant, and will have access to National Park Service technical assistance and funding to provide more services to the region.
The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area works in 16 counties of West Virginia and 2 counties of western Maryland on conservation, forestry, cultural heritage, tourism and community development. With the overall theme of forest heritage, the initiative works with willing partners to explore and enhance the relationship between the forested mountains and the people who live here.
For more information see www.appalachianforest.us, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 304‐636‐ 6182.
A recent study of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s AmeriCorps program suggests its heritage tourism programming is an important economic engine for West Virginia, according to Danielle Parker, executive director for the alliance.
The study found that more than half of travelers who visit the program’s heritage sites traveled from more than 50 miles and that each visit generated nearly one night’s hotel stay and an average of $271.30 for the local economy, Parker said.
Heritage tourism usually include museums, state parks, historical theaters, and living history sites such as Jackson’s Mill, near Weston, or Carnegie Hall, in Lewisburg.
The study also found that museums and historical organizations contribute positively to the quality of life in the state’s cities and towns and that people enjoy and learn from their visits to sponsor organizations, Parker said.
The alliance worked with McMahon Consulting Group to study the effects that the program and heritage tourism have on West Virginia.
“We discovered that AmeriCorps members are essential to providing an excellent visitor experience and to developing their site for tourists,” Parker said.
“It’s clear from the study that AmeriCorps members’ service is leading to more effective organizations and improving the quality of visitor experiences.”
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is a statewide service initiative in which AmeriCorps members are engaged to Main Streets thrive and communities capture their history, and to preserve beloved historical landmarks.
AmeriCorps members serve one-year terms at historical organizations where they complete special projects aimed at developing heritage-tourism destinations and improving the sponsoring organization’s ability to carry out its missions.
There are more than 20 historical sites sponsoring Preserve WV AmeriCorps members in 2019, Parker said. Two high-profile sponsors include Cockayne Farmstead, at Glen Dale, and the Waldomore, at Clarksburg.
Jessica Kittle, assistant director for the memorial foundation for Pricketts Fort State Park, reported that her organization’s participation in the program for two years benefited the foundation “by helping us fulfill our mission of preservation through various projects that we would not have been able to complete on our own.”
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is celebrating its sixth year of operation and is currently competing to become a nationally-recognized program.
Download the full report here.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is praising federal legislative action this week for protecting the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, which is part of 18 counties including Randolph County.
Manchin, a ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, secured the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the national designation of the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area and an increase in the funding cap for the Wheeling National Heritage Area as part of the Natural Resources Management Act.
“I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to finally permanently reauthorize LWCF so our land management agencies can operate fully and without the fear of losing access to the funding they rely on. The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is a treasure in Randolph County and this national designation is long overdue,” Manchin added.
“By reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this bill supports West Virginia’s heritage and outdoor recreation economy and keeps faith with the important idea that America’s outdoors and public lands are part of who we are as a nation,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of West Virginia Rivers.
LWCF is a conservation tool that ensures states and federal public land management agencies are able to protect and conserve our natural resources without relying on taxpayer dollars. In West Virginia, LWCF funded the acquisitions of the Gauley River National Recreation Area, New River Gorge National River and Dolly Sods. Since 1965, more than $243 million in LWCF funds have been spent in West Virginia on more than 500 projects, both on state and federal lands.
This includes improvements to local parks and public spaces in 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.
To read the full article, visit the Intermountain's website at www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2019/02/forest-heritage-area-receives-designation/?fbclid=IwAR1sTMTTTLEegcPCRiZrjqIitSA2InvF1267CLT4wF1MFTAPznAV8dW4BKA
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