Historic Barns Grants
What grants are available for saving my barn?
Currently, there is no funding available for hands-on reconstruction or rehabilitation. The NH Division of Historical Resources had been fortunate to offer two rounds of funding for barn reconstruction, but that source of funding is no longer available. We are investigating sources of new funding.
The Preservation Alliance offers a Historic Barn Assessment Grant, which is a competitive, matching grant program. It provides matching funds for an expert in the field of barn restoration to comprehensively assess a structure’s needs and prepare a report. Again, the Assessment Grant does not provide funds for actual hands-on reconstruction. To download an application click here, or contact Beverly Thomas, Program Associate, at (603) 224-2281.
What is the historic barn tax incentive/RSA 79-D/discretionary preservation easement?
State law, RSA 79-D, authorizes towns to grant property tax relief to barn owners who a) can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other farm buildings and b) agree to maintain their structures throughout a minimum 10-year preservation easement. Applications are reviewed by the local board of selectmen (or similar body) and if they determine that the proposed preservation of the structure is consistent with the purpose of the law, they may acquire an easement on the structure for a minimum of 10 years and grant tax relief within a range of 25-75%.
A guide to the tax incentive, including the text of the law and an application, can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.
A model discretionary preservation easement is available from the NH Preservation Alliance, (603) 224-2281.
How can I keep up to date on grants and programs for barns?
Join the Preservation Alliance’s Old House & Barn Network. They’ll share breaking news regarding grants, legislation and special events. You can sign up using their Join Us form (be sure to click Barn Network under Advocacy Groups, you do not need to be a member to join the list)
National Trust for Historic Preservation – February Preservation Fund
These grants provide nonprofit organizations and municipalities the opportunity to gain technical expertise needed for particular projects, and act as a catalyst to encourage financial support by the private and nonprofit sectors. If you are considering submitting this February, please contact Brent Leggs (Brent_Leggs@nthp.org) or at 617-523-0885 x44234), to discuss your proposal.
The CLG program is a partnership between municipal governments and the state historic preservation program, to encourage and expand local involvement in preservation-related activities.
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources provides grants under the Conservation License Plate Program, commonly called the “Moose Plate” program, for the conservation and preservation of significant publicly owned historic resources or artifacts that contribute to New Hampshire’s history and cultural heritage.
State Arts Council Grant Information
The Arts Council supports the efforts of arts and non-arts organizations and individual artists through a variety of grants
The Preserve America community designation recognizes communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.
Keys to Success for Local Preservation Efforts
Where to Get Help
The Preservation Alliance’s Historic Barn Assessment Grant Program
When it comes to figuring out what to do with an historic barn, you’re not alone. The Historic Barn Assessment Grant Program was created by the Preservation Alliance, in conjunction with the Division of Historical Resources and the New Hampshire Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee, to help barn owners assess the needs of their historic structures. The program offers competitive matching grants of $250 or $400 to hire a barn assessment consultant who determines what’s required to stabilize, repair and reuse the structure. The resulting assessment report is a wonderful planning tool to help set preservation goals.
A list of approved barn preservation contractors, who will do assessments on a fee basis, is also available by request.
To download an application, click here, or contact Beverly Thomas, Program Associate, at (603) 224-2281.
Click here to download the Farm Reconnaissance Form (must submit with grant application).
Historic Barn Tax Incentive
DISCRETIONARY PRESERVATION EASEMENTS: A Property Tax Incentive Mechanism to Help Save Historic New Hampshire Agricultural Buildings
A 2002 state law, RSA 79-D, creates a mechanism to encourage the preservation of historic New Hampshire barns and other agricultural buildings by authorizing municipalities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who (a) can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other historic farm buildings, and (b) agree to maintain their structures throughout a minimum 10-year preservation easement.
A guide to the tax incentive, including the text of the law and an application, can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here. For more information about this program visit the Division of Historical Resources or contact the Preservation Alliance.
Barn Restoration Grants NH: http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/programs/barns.html
Resources for Old Home Owners
Resources for Older Homes
NH Division of Historical Resources
State of New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources
19 Pillsbury Street, Box 2043, Concord, NH 03302-2043
603.271.3483 * 603.271.3558 * FAX 603.271.3433
Voice/TTY Relay Access 1.800.735.2964
Historic Buildings and Code Compliance
Access, building, and safety codes generally include special provisions for historic properties, to take their particular circumstances and/or construction methods and materials into account; but not all building officials are aware of these specific considerations for historic properties.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not only a civil rights law; it is also a historic preservation law. It explicitly includes particular and more flexible allowances for historic properties, so that accessibility modifications do not “threaten or destroy” architecturally and historically significant building elements.
- Sections 3406.0 of the BOCA National Building Code (1999 and earlier editions) exempts historic buildings, subject to certain conditions, by stating: “3406.1 Historic Structures Compliance: The provisions of this code relating to the construction, repair, alteration, addition, restoration and movement of structures shall not be mandatory for existing buildings and structures identified and classified by the federal, state or local government authority as historic buildings where such buildings are judged by the code official to be safe and in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare regarding any proposed construction, alteration, repair, addition and relocation.” [The Italics are in the published text of the code.]
- The New Hampshire state lead poisoning prevention rules include options for treatments of historic properties, to avoid or ameliorate damage or destruction to historic buildings and building fabric.
- Similarly, the state fire marshal’s office is very committed to helping historic buildings become fire-safe without destroying their character, and State Fair Marshal Donald P. Bliss and his colleagues are happy to be invited to meet with local officials and building owners and preservationists, to try to find mutually beneficial solutions. Their presence and their ideas seem to give local fire and code officials a much greater level of confidence when coping with code issues in historic buildings. As Don Bliss says, “we’re all trying to do the same thing: protect life and property.” On July 2, 1999, he included NFPA 909, Standard for the Protection of Cultural Resources Including Museums, Libraries, Places of Worship, and Historic Properties, 1997 edition, with its appendices, in the State Fire Code. A copy of the revised State Fire Code has been sent to every fire chief in New Hampshire. In addition, Don and State Architectural Historian James L. Garvin are members of a national committee which is revising NFPA 914, “Fire Protection in Historic Structures,” into a NFPA Standard that can be adopted by communities.
- FEMA criteria for floor-prone areas, and the NH model floodplain development ordinance, exempt work on historic properties from flood proofing requirements, so long as the alteration will not preclude the building’s continued designation as a “historic structure.”
In addition, income-producing historic properties may qualify for federal rehab tax credits; contact Christine Fonda at the NH Division of Historical Resources (telephone 271.6437; FAX 271.3433) for more details. Businesses can take IRS tax credits for qualifying ADA-related work (see § 44 and § 190 of the IRS code).