The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) oversees the Historic Heritage Grant program. 

What’s the purpose of the Historic Heritage Grants?
To strengthen and preserve Oak Ridge’s rich historic heritage by providing grant funding to owners of historic properties. The program provides small scale, high impact grants to help preserve the properties that are at the heart of what many Oak Ridge residents love most about our community—its historic, village-like atmosphere.

Who can apply for a grant?
Owners of historic properties located in Oak Ridge. Although priority will be given to projects located in the Historic District, preservation projects for historic properties elsewhere in Oak Ridge will be considered.

How much can I apply for? And how much do I need to contribute?
Owners of historic properties can apply for up to 50% of the cost of the entire project, to a maximum of $3,000 or $4,000 for nonprofits.  Owners must contribute at least 50% of the project costs.  Since grants will be paid on a reimbursement basis, owners must cover the full costs of the project out-of-pocket until all reporting requirements have been completed.

What kinds of projects are eligible?
Eligible projects include structural repairs, restoration of historic materials, or other conservation work related to preserving the building’s exterior. In the case of highly significant properties, other site features may also be considered eligible. Properties must be at least 75 years old and of demonstrated historic, architectural, or cultural significance. The potential positive impact of the projects on Oak Ridge’s historic fabric and its streetscape are an important consideration for this program. Approved preservation projects may be completed by property owners or by outside contractors; eligible costs include contract labor and necessary materials, with matching fund requirements, as described below.

All grant-funded work must comply with the Oak Ridge Historic District Design Standards (available HERE). Interior work, new construction (including additions), and work that has already been completed are not eligible.

How do I apply?
Application forms are available HERE and at the Oak Ridge Town Hall. Application forms can also be requested by mail by calling Town Hall at (336) 644-7009.  The application deadline for 2023 is April 14, 2023.

How will grant decisions be made?
Grant applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Architectural, historical, and cultural significance of the property
  • Appropriateness and urgency of proposed Project Budget and Project Plan work for preserving the property
  • Potential positive impact of the project

A committee of outside preservation experts will evaluate the applications against the criteria above and make recommendations to the Historic Preservation Commission, who will make the final decisions regarding grant awards.

Additional Information
Grant applications for properties within the Historic District that require a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) must submit a COA application. Application forms are available HERE and at Oak Ridge Town Hall.