Out of 462 applicants, the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans was one of 22 organizations awarded a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. This money will help the PRC launch its new Revival Grants program, which will assist low-income homeowners in making critical repairs to their historic houses.
With this funding, the PRC will kick off the Revival Grants as a pilot program in the Tremé neighborhood, widely recognized as one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the United States. The program will assist low-income homeowners in making exterior repairs to houses cited for violations by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission. The program will meet a critical need for residents who do not have the resources to make the repairs themselves.
“Our new Revival Grants will help homeowners in need protect their most valuable asset: their home,” said Danielle Del Sol, executive director of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. “By working with our partners at the Historic District Landmarks Commission, we will make sure that these vital repairs protect the historic integrity of these houses and the Tremé neighborhood, while also ensuring that these homeowners no longer face fines that could jeopardize their homes.”
The Revival Grants are the newest program of the 45-year-old nonprofit Preservation Resource Center, whose mission is to preserve “New Orleans’ historic architecture, neighborhoods and cultural identity through collaboration, empowerment and service to our community.”
“The PRC believes strongly in protecting not only the historic buildings in a neighborhood but also the cultural identity of the community and its residents,” Del Sol said. “By helping homeowners fix and save their historic homes, we’re helping to preserve this vibrant neighborhood for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a long and impressive history of supporting projects in the city of New Orleans, Del Sol continued. “Their work after Hurricane Katrina especially helped us preserve important historic sites,” she said. “We are so grateful for their continued investment in our city and its residents, and for their support of our new program at PRC.”
The National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a $25 million multi-year national initiative aimed at uplifting the largely overlooked contributions of African Americans by protecting and restoring African-American historic sites. With a fundraising goal of $25 million over five years, The Action Fund is the largest preservation campaign undertaken on behalf of African-American history.
Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, underscored the importance of this work, noting, “The recipients of this funding shine a light on once lived stories and Black culture, some familiar and some yet untold, that weave together the complex story of American history in the United States.” Leggs announced the grant recipients today (July 5) at the 2019 Essence Festival in New Orleans.
Tremé is one of New Orleans’ most historic, vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods. Named after Claude Tremé, who subdivided the land for development in the 1790s, the neighborhood’s early population was “largely composed of immigrants and free people of color, including refugees from Saint‐Domingue (now Haiti), black and white, who fled to New Orleans in 1810,” according to the City of New Orleans’ website. “Many Tremé families proudly trace their roots in the neighborhood back four generations or more, and the (Treme Historic) District continues to reflect their distinctive culture.”
Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans (PRC) preserves New Orleans’ historic architecture, neighborhoods and cultural identity through collaboration, empowerment and service to our community. Founded in 1974, PRC is a non-profit organization that has restored more than 1,500 properties citywide and has assisted countless individuals with their own renovation efforts through its programs. PRC provides resources and education to convey the economic, cultural and aesthetic importance of historic architecture in New Orleans and throughout the world. For more information about PRC and its revitalization efforts, call 504.581.7032 or visit www.prcno.org. Connect with PRC on Facebook; Twitter (@PRCNO) and Instagram (@PRCNOLA).
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African-American achievement and activism. savingplaces.org/actionfund