This story appeared in the March issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door monthly? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!

Throughout the year, the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is full of activities dedicated to preserving Louisiana’s historical, cultural and archaeological resources. Here’s a look at the SHPO’s work across our great state.

Within the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism’s Office of Cultural Development, the Louisiana SHPO is comprised of the Division of Historic Preservation and the Division of Archaeology. The SHPO provides support for preservation in Louisiana through the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and state funds. The HPF provided the SHPO with $884,288 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year to advance public interest in preservation and archaeology through programs and staff support.

The following are some of the major accomplishments of the SHPO during the 2018-2019 fiscal year:

  • Louisiana’s listings in the National Register of Historic Places continued to identify important resources at the local, state and national levels. Fifteen individual listings and six historic districts were finalized, with listings dispersed across the state.
  • The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program leveraged more than $297.9 million in private investment in 95 of Louisiana’s historic, income-producing buildings.
  • Additionally, the State Commercial Tax Credit Program leveraged more than $94.4 million of investments in 57 commercial historic buildings.
  • Combined, these programs leveraged $392.4 million in 152 of Louisiana’s historic buildings and created or supported 4,130 construction jobs.
  • Staff reviewed 666 state and 471 federal tax credit application forms.
  • Through the Survey & Planning program, the SHPO awarded $227,993, which funded 12 projects.
  • The Certified Local Government program, which receives 10 percent of the SHPO budget per the National Historic Preservation Act, received $88,428 during the fiscal year which funded trainings, scholarships and seven projects within CLG communities across the state.
  • The Section 106 program initiated 2,288 reviews based on programs associated with a federal permit, license or funding per 36 CFR 800.
  • A total of 128 new Main Street businesses opened, creating 533 new jobs, with associated rehabilitations and new construction that totaled $32,030,273.
  • Reinvestment in Louisiana Main Street communities totaled $32,468,340 with 7,515 volunteers leading the charge.
  • The Archaeology Education Outreach Coordinator visited numerous schools throughout the state highlighting what archaeologist do and how they perform their work.
  • In commemoration of the New Orleans’ Tricentennial, SHPO worked with the Housing Authority of New Orleans and HRI Properties to design Basin Street Banners depicting the history of the former Iberville Housing Development site from the time of the Storyville neighborhood through its transformation to Bienville Basin.

Nicole Hobson-Morris is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation.

1: Before a mock dig, Dr. Valerie Feathers instructs students at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge on the importance of recording stratigraphy (geological layers) and artifact placement. Image courtesy of the Division of Archaeology.

2: Cane River Brewing Company is located in Building B of the Southern Cotton Oil Mill District in Natchitoches. A wonderful adaptive reuse of the industrial building, the project was completed in December 2018 with an estimated rehabilitation cost of $1,250,000. Image courtesy of Brian Davis, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation

For more information about the programs offered by the SHPO, visit the Division of Archaeology or the Division of Historic Preservation on the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s website.