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Dinniman: PHMC Approves $ 92,000 in State Grants for Chesco Organizations
WEST CHESTER (June 16) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today announced that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) recently approved $ 92,000 in total state grant funding to support the historic preservation efforts of three Chester County organizations.
“This grant program is a valuable tool in preserving the historic structures and places that helped define Chester County and give our region such a distinct sense of place,” Dinniman said. “Some of these buildings date back to the Civil War and as we have recently marked its 150th Anniversary, it is imperative that they be preserved as a reminder of Chester County’s role in our nation’s great and defining struggle for freedom.”
The grants, which come through the PHMC’s Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program, are as follows:
- Lincoln University will receive $25,000 to support the development of its preservation system to preserve its historic cultural assets. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated Lincoln University as a National Treasure and together the National Trust and Lincoln have engaged Morgan State University to conduct a campus heritage preservation plan. Morgan State has formed a team to create a document to equip administrators and trustees with the tools and strategies necessary to preserve the campus’s historic and natural resources.
- Pocopson Township will receive $50,000 to rehabilitate the Eusebius Barnard House for township offices and the Kennett Underground Railroad Center’s public spaces and offices in a park that preserves the context of the property. The Barnard House is a significantly important and well-documented property in the history of the Underground Railroad. The project calls for building stabilization and repairing and replacing windows and doors consistent with standards of rehabilitation.
- The Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art will receive $17,000 to preserve the Springhouse at Kuerner Farm, a designated National Historic Landmark. A recent assessment of the Kuerner Farm’s buildings found that the Springhouse (built circa 1814) is in need of significant preservation, including roof replacement and structural work. The Brandywine Conservancy owns and operates the Kuerner Farm and two other historic properties related to the Wyeth family. The farm borders Chester County. All of the properties are open to the public for educational tours.
These three projects are part of only 39 selected for funding from 72 eligible applications received in this highly-competitive round of funding. In total, the PHMC expects to provide $1.15 million in funding for Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program projects this year.
Specifically, Dinniman highlighted the Pocopson and Lincoln University projects, noting that they represent Chester County’s Quaker abolitionist heritage before the Civil War and its role as a center for education during the subsequent struggle for civil rights.
“These buildings are not only tied to our county’s rich agrarian tradition, they also stand as a reminder of what our predecessors accomplished to move our nation toward freedom and equality,” Dinniman said. “The buildings at Lincoln University, in particular, help bridge the gap from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Era. It is important that they be recognized for the historic treasures they are and be preserved and maintained for generations to come.”
The Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program funds preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of activities of historic sites that are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Eligible recipients include nonprofit or municipal governments that operate publicly accessible historic properties. Eligible projects include repair, or replacement in-kind of historic fabric that ensures a positive preservation outcome.
The program allows for grant funds to be used for both construction and planning activities that support the preservation of historic properties. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $25,000 for planning projects and $5,000 to $50,000 for construction projects. All applicants are required to provide a 50 percent cash match in order to show a commitment from the sponsoring organization.