History Colorado Invests in Preservation Efforts Impacting 13 Colorado Counties with Latest Round of Grants
New grant application standards result in broader reach from an important engine for economic and social vitality.
DENVER — April 12, 2022 — History Colorado’s State Historical Fund (SHF) announces a newly completed grant round that provides over $750,000 in grant funding for preservation efforts benefiting 17 communities across the state. These awards leverage $425,125 in matching funding provided by grant applicants and their community partners to exceed over $1.2 million in total funds for these projects. Given that research shows that statewide every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado creates 14 new jobs, increases household incomes by nearly $640,000 and stimulates another $1 million in spending, the SHF plays an important role in strengthening Colorado.
Beyond stimulating local economies, SHF awards provide important social and community benefits by enhancing environmental sustainability, fostering community pride and resilience, and protecting priceless cultural resources. Further, SHF awards help local communities leverage their investments in preservation to permit the successful execution of projects they value so optimal impact is achieved.
To ensure the benefits of preservation are accessible to as many Coloradans as possible, new considerations for diversity, equity, and inclusion enhanced the evaluation process for every application received in this grant round.
Following an effort to better align the grantmaking process with History Colorado’s inclusivity championing Grounding Virtues, a new section of the SHF application asked applicants to discuss how their prospective grant project would involve and benefit Colorado’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
History Colorado encouraged new projects from BIPOC communities by lowering cash-match requirements. As such, this reduced or eliminated additional fundraising burdens for those seeking grants enabling small or more marginalized groups to get started on projects. Just over half the funding awarded to the six projects across the state to receive funding from this grant round went to BIPOC-inclusive projects.
"History Colorado is excited to see how preservation dollars can provide transformational investment in our beloved Colorado communities,” said Dawn DiPrince, History Colorado Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer. “We are committed to building a State Historical Fund program that is accessible and inclusive for all Coloradans to save the places that they love."
Highlights from this grant round include:
Hillcrest and Valley View Cemeteries: $47,173, Rocky Ford— Located in the rural community of Rocky Ford in southeast Colorado, the Hillcrest and Valley View cemeteries are currently owned by the town. This project continues the work of documenting the history of the diverse people that settled in Otero County including Latino and Japanese American families. The project collaborates with local individuals and descendants of the families. This phase of the project will lead to a successful National Register Nomination for the cemeteries and development and distribution of oral histories tied to individuals and families buried at the cemeteries.
Colorado Sikhs: $49,728, Statewide — Colorado has been home to Sikh Americans for well over a century. This project will amass archival research and oral histories that will be used to develop a historic context for Sikhs in Colorado. The Sikh community hopes that this initiative will help guide future work to document the significance of buildings and historic sites that are meaningful to the Sikh community.
Central Platoon School: $50,000, Brush — Located on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, this school building was once an active elementary school for the City of Brush. Vacant since 1997, the building was sold to a buyer interested in adapting the building to serve as affordable housing. The school is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the new owner hopes to utilize various incentives including affordable housing funding, preservation grants, green energy loans, and state and federal preservation tax credits. This phase of the project is the first step towards providing 39 affordable housing units.
Formative Era “Fortification” and Drill Hole Sites: $35,000, Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties — “Fortification” and drill hole types of sites reveal a particular period of human occupation of northwest Colorado during the Formative Era.These sites are located in the Bureau of Land Management-White River area. This project will update research on at least fifteen previously recorded sites and an additional three unrecorded sites. Currently, five of these sites occur within Canyon Pintado National Historic District and the applicant will examine the landscape distribution of all sites in relation to other known sites and trails. Remarkably, features specific to these sites include walls built of sandstone clasts and drill hole/posts for possible wattle and daub or wicker walls.
Amache-Granada Relocation Center: $50,000, Prowers County — The site was one of ten former Japanese American incarceration camps in the U.S. Located outside of Granada, this site, a National Historic Landmark, recently became a National Park Site by legislation President Biden recently signed. Through the State Historical Fund, History Colorado has provided more than $850,000 in grant funding to support preservation work at this nationally renowned site. This project will result in a film that will capture and document firsthand experiences of the Japanese American community of survivors and descendants.The film will be used at the Amache Museum and future National Park Site visitor center.
Truxaw and Kruger Grocery: $50,000, Raymer— Located in Weld County is the little town of Raymer. The town’s history is shared through its remaining historic buildings. The Truxaw and Kruger Grocery was built in 1909 and is listed in the State Register of Historic Properties. After almost 60 vacant years, The Friends of Raymer, Inc. took on the task of bringing the Truxaw and Kruger Grocery building back into operation as a community hub which will house the High Plains Satellite Library, Museum, and Meeting Room.
Since 1991, historic preservation projects in Colorado have created over 27,000 jobs and generated a total of nearly $3.9 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts, adding $2.2 billion to Colorado’s Gross Domestic Product. History Colorado estimates it will award at least a half million more dollars in its next mini-grant round targeted at smaller statewide preservation projects.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to: view important dates and guidelines for the next round; learn how to submit a Letter of Intent; and, apply for grants before the May 1 deadline by visiting historycolorado.org/state-historical-fund. A full list of projects funded through this round as well as other projects previously funded by the SHF can be found on this web page.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 142-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, ten additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.