Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development announced the awarding of nearly $800,000 in federal, supplemental assistance grants through the Historic Preservation Fund from the National Park Service. The grants will assist in conducting surveys of historic buildings at least 50 years of age or older and listing properties in the National Register of Historic Places in parishes affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Cane River National Heritage Area was awarded $72,750 to update the Historic Resource Inventory (HRI) in Natchitoches Parish.
“Historic buildings are truly some of the great treasures of our communities, giving us a glimpse into the past and telling the stories you too often don’t get from history books,” said Nungesser. “These grants will help greatly in the preservation, repair, recovery, and resilience of these landmarks and aid in updating mapping in these communities to help identify vulnerable properties to assist in future disaster response efforts.”
The surveys will be completed in accordance with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation Survey Guidelines. Data collected in the field will include building age, architectural style and form, and historic significance.
“This comprehensive update to our historic resource inventory will serve as a valuable information tool that can help to guide future planning and land use decisions in the City of Natchitoches and the Parish,” commented Rebecca Blankenbaker, Cane River NHA Executive Director. “The last comprehensive update of the Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District HRI occurred in 2011 and included the evaluation of existing and previously unidentified historic resources constructed through 1968. However, this survey did not update the historic resource files for buildings or structures located outside of the city limits in the Parish of Natchitoches. Those structures were last updated in the late 1980s.”
Once the data has been reviewed, it will be added to the existing Historic Resource Inventory and posted on the Division of Historic Preservation’s public web map. This information may be used by emergency responders, researchers, or other consultants as a useful tool to assess hurricane damage, as well as to identify vulnerable properties and assist with future disaster response efforts.
In addition, listing in the National Register of Historic Places will honor significant buildings in the affected parishes and provide the owners of these structures access to other National Park Service grants and federal Tax Credits to aid in their preservation and rehabilitation.
The 14 applications were reviewed by an outside panel and funding was recommended for the following 10 applications.
Cane River National Heritage Area was awarded $72,750 for their Natchitoches Parish Structures Survey.
South Central Planning & Development was awarded $100,000 for St. Charles Parish Historic Structures
South Central Planning & Development was awarded $57,400 for their Red River Historic Structures Survey.
Lake Charles Certified Local Government was awarded $100,000 for their City of Lake Charles Survey.
Kisatchie Community Center was awarded $14,532 for Kisatchie High School.
Louisiana State University was awarded $179,362 for Historic Preservation in Hurricanes – Affected Areas of Louisiana (Beauregard & Cameron Parishes)
Sabine Parish Tourist & Recreation Commission was awarded $82,450 for their Sabine Parish Historic Resource Survey
Beauregard Parish Police Jury was awarded $14,092 for Beauregard Preservation 2020
Allen Parish Tourist Commission was awarded $76,000 for Standing Structure of Allen Parish
Vernon Parish Tourism & Recreation Commission was awarded $72,750 for Their Vernon Parish Historic Resources Survey.
In total, the National Park Service awarded $48.5 million to several communities in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.