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Acadiana cities get funding for main street revitalization, preservation

Posted at 4:12 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 17:12:28-05

The Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of Historic Preservation have announced $100,000 in grant funding to ten Main Street communities  to revitalize historic commercial buildings.

Five of those sites are in Acadiana cities including New Iberia, Morgan City, Eunice, and Opelousas.

The Louisiana Main Street program is an economic development program with its foundation in historic preservation. The program offers two types of competitive state-funded, dollar-for-dollar matching Restoration Grants, a $10,000 grant for major projects and a $2,500 grant for minor projects. Grants are awarded annually for either interior or exterior rehabilitation for a historic commercial building.

“Historic downtowns are the heart of any community and the people who live near these areas will reap the benefits from seeing commercial buildings put back into productive reuse. Visitors and tourists visit a town to learn about its history, experience its culture, and to see its historic landmarks,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

The 2018-2019 Louisiana Main Street Restoration Grant recipients are:

  • Gulf Coast Housing Program (Weiss Building); O.C. Haley Boulevard in New Orleans
  • Claudia Morgan & Courtland Porter (Bazus Building); New Iberia Main Street
  • Jules, Armond and Barbara Schwing (Old Post Office); New Iberia Main Street
  • Vera Warren-Williams (Community Book Center); North Broad Street in New Orleans
  • Donaldsonville Area Foundation (Mistretta Store); Donaldsonville Main Street
  • Natalie Noel, White Owl Properties; Donaldsonville Main Street
  • Shannon Hardware Store; Morgan City Main Street
  • Annette’s House of Décor; Slidell Main Street
  • Georgia Morel (Circa Event Center); New Roads Main Street
  • Vera Nagy (Old Bodemuller Building); Opelousas Main Street
  • Schepis Museum Foundation; Columbia Main Street
  • Johnathan R. Schmidt Law Offices; Hammond Main Street
  • Paul E. Brown; Eunice Main Street.

According to the Main Street Program, To qualify for the statewide grant funding, required criteria include that a building must be located within a Main Street district, be used for commercial purposes, and be at least 50 years old. In addition, the proposed work must be approved by the local Historic District Commission and the Louisiana Main Street office, while also conforming to the guidelines set forth by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Sites are chosen by a panel of judges. More on the program can be found here.