Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Total applications received in the last grant cycle: 40 applications for a total of $556,000 in requests
Grant dollars awarded: $256,400
Average award: $11,655
Percentage of applicants that received grants: 55%
Number of grants awarded: 22
Application deadline: June 1

Recent Grants from the Belvedere Historic Preservation Grant Program


Background



The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center mansion in Livermore restored windows with a grant from the Belvedere Historic Preservation Grant Program.

The criteria for the Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Grant Program have been updated. Please carefully review the program rules that follow before applying.

The Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Grant program invests in the preservation, restoration, and retrofitting of historic buildings in Maine. Grants from this fund focus on capital investments in historic buildings that serve as civic, cultural, or economic hubs for communities. All proposed projects must be for historic buildings listed in or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Priorities

The grants committee looks for the following key components in proposals to the fund:

  • Properties with historical significance at the local, state, or national level
  • Buildings that are utilized by and provide value to the community, or a compelling vision for the revitalization and reuse if the building has been vacant or underutilized
  • Organizations with demonstrated commitment to ongoing stewardship of the building and readiness to complete the project
  • A clear restoration plan that preserves the historic integrity of the building.

Please note: It is expected that applicants either have or plan to establish a regular maintenance budget for ongoing repairs and upkeep of the building as part of their commitment to the stewardship of their building. The grants committee will consider requests for capital repairs due to neglected upkeep or maintenance, but only if the applicant details a comprehensive plan for future maintenance and care of the building to avoid such situations in the future.

Restrictions

The building must be owned by a nonprofit organization or municipality or quasi-municipal entity. The building must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or be determined eligible for listing on the Register. If you are not sure, please contact the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Types of Support

The Belvedere program supports three types of projects, and projects may combine these elements: capital restoration, energy audits, and energy implementation.

  • Capital restoration: Capital restoration projects include capital expenditures related to the preservation, restoration, and reuse of historic buildings. This can include professional assessments, surveys and plans by qualified assessors, engineers, or other building professionals. The maximum grant size is $20,000. Restoration requests may also include energy efficiency measures recommended by an audit, as long as the request does not exceed the maximum grant size.
  • Energy audits: Energy audit projects include the cost of an energy audit up to $5,000. Proposals should include a written cost estimate from an auditor. The audit must include an executive summary that details the recommended efficiency measures in order of priority as well as the estimated time frame for the return on investment for each efficiency measure. Energy audit proposals may be combined with capital restoration expenses, but the total requested amount may not exceed the maximum grant size of $20,000.
  • Energy efficiency implementation: Energy efficiency implementation projects include energy efficiency measures recommended by an energy audit. The proposal must be consistent with priorities identified by the audit. The audit executive summary must be included with the application (If the applicant does not have a summary, they may attach the full audit report). The audit must have been performed within three years to be current. Applicants must identify methods for measuring the impact of the efficiency measures. The maximum grant size is $20,000. Energy implementation grants may include other capital restoration expenses as long as the total request does not exceed the maximum grant size and if the requested restoration work ensures the integrity of the efficiency investment (i.e. moisture abatement, foundation or stabilization measures, or roof repairs). Energy implementation plans should reflect best practices for energy efficiency improvements to historic properties.

Proposals may combine capital restoration expenses with energy audit or efficiency-related expenses. However, applicants may not submit proposals that include both an energy audit and energy efficiency implementation, as implementation must be based on the results of a completed audit.

Award

The maximum total grant award is $20,000. The maximum amount awarded for an energy audit is $5,000.

Timing

Grants can only be used to support projects or activities that occur after the grant has been awarded, usually by September 1. This means that requests for support for any activities or expenses that occur prior to September 1 will be declined.

Eligible Expenses

Grant requests may include the cost of labor, technology, materials, and equipment related to the restoration or energy efficiency work on the building.

Ineligible Expenses

The Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Fund cannot be used to support the following activities and expenses:

  • Program, overhead, indirect costs: Funds may not be used for utilities, office equipment and supplies, insurance, and general salaries for maintenance or other staff. Allowable expenses under this program are capital expenditures only. Contingency costs must be paid with other funds.
  • Replacement vs. restoration (repair rather than replace): In general, unless it is unavoidable or recommended by a historic building professional to restore original historically accurate features, this program will not fund replacement of original building features. The most common requests for replacement tend to be windows. If you have questions about your approach, we recommend that you speak with staff at the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for advice.
  • Endowments or annual appeals

How to Apply

Complete the online grant application by clicking the link in the Online Grant Application box at the top right corner of this page. Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on June 1.

Questions?

For questions about the application or review process or the eligibility of proposed projects, please contact Maggie Drummond-Bahl at the Maine Community Foundation, by e-mail or by phone, toll-free, at (877) 700-6800.

For questions on technical aspects of historic preservation and to review specific approaches for your project, please email or call Mike Johnson at the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, at (207) 287-2949.

For assistance with all energy audit and efficiency-related proposals, please email or call Anne Ball at the Maine Development Foundation and Maine Downtown Center at (207) 512-4906.