The Heritage Preservation Grant is dedicated to preserving Austin's irreplaceable historic and heritage tourism experiences that represent the inclusive stories of the past through capital, planning, educational or marketing preservation projects that engage new audiences while attracting tourists. 

Heritage Grant Header

What we do

The Heritage Preservation funding program supports an inclusive cultural and heritage tourism approach that tells the multilayered history that created the City of Austin. Our goal is to connect people and preservation while supporting racially and culturally diverse places where tourists and residents can experience the stories and places that focus on Austin’s historic and heritage sites. 

The Heritage Preservation Grant Program is funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) proceeds from Austin’s convention and hotel industries.


REVIEW DRAFT: Heritage Preservation Grant Guidelines

Heritage Preservation Grant 

The Heritage Preservation Grant serves to preserve and promote Austin's irreplaceable historic sites and heritage tourism experiences that authentically represent inclusive stories of Austin's history through capital, planning, educational, or marketing projects that engage new audiences and tourism.

Seeking feedback from historic property owners and managers or non-historic site owners with a potential collaborative project at a historic site.

Please review the draft guidelines and provide survey feedback.
 

DRAFT Heritage Preservation Guidelines

 


Who is eligible to apply 

Use of hotel occupancy taxes must directly enhance and promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. Preservation projects or activities must be at, or in the immediate vicinity of, convention center facilities, or located in the areas that are likely to be frequented by tourists. Capital, planning and educational projects must be historically designated.

What we fund

Capital Projects

Capital Projects (Maximum award: $250,000)
Contractual preservation reimbursement agreements to restore, rehabilitate and stabilize tourism-serving historic designated sites or contributing buildings within historic districts that are consistent with the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and local design standards. The project site must have a historic designation or be eligible for historic designation (designation must be obtained within the term of the contract). Two outside consultant bids are required.

Capital Project types include:

     
Roof Repair Building Exterior: Masonry Interpretive Project (Outdoor)
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Door / Window / Screen / Trim Repair Historic Accessory Structure
Pier & Beam / Foundation Stabilization Millwork / Wooden Repair Exterior Light Fixtures
Facade Elements / Exterior Walls Cast Iron Restoration / Repair Architectural Design and Structural Analysis
American Disabilities Act Exterior Access Signage / Installation (neon ineligible)  

 

Planning Projects

Planning Projects (Maximum Award: $30,000)
Funding to secure property-specific professional planning expertise in areas such as preservation, architecture, or engineering plans; or historic research and historic nominations for tourism-serving sites or potential historic districts. Projects must already be historically-designated or eligible for historic designation (designation must be obtained within the term of the contract).

Commercial historic properties deemed eligible for historic designation in the East Austin Historic Survey will be prioritized. For more information on the historic surveys conducted by the City of Austin Historic Preservation Office (HPO) visit: http://austintexas.gov/page/historic-survey

Planning Project types include:

 

Historic Structures Report Preservation Plan Cultural Landscape Preservation Plan
Heritage Tourism Assessment Architectural Design Structural Analysis
Consulting for Historic Designation Nomination Interpretive Plan Consulting for Historic Tourism Sites
Educational Projects

Educational Projects
Projects that actively create experiences for tourists and residents to interact with historic places, events, or activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and enhance the understanding or perspective on heritage, culture, and history. The project site must be historically-designated or eligible for historic designation (designation must be obtained within the term of the contract). 

Educational Project types include:

Events and Programming at a Historic Site or Historic District   
Historic, Heritage, Legacy, Cultural, and Natural Resource Tour Development  
Heritage and Historic Exhibitions (for outdoor interpretive projects - see Capital Projects)  
Conferences, Workshops / Training, Skill Demonstrations, Technical Assistance Programs  
Historic Marker (includes Consultant fees) - must indicate eligibility in advance  
Marketing Projects

Marketing Projects - Marketing of Historic Culturally Significant Projects (Maximum Award: $30,000)
Projects that actively connect and market heritage, particularly of underrepresented histories or under-interpreted histories, places, or events, that encourage residents and tourists to connect and engage with historic sites and heritage stories. No historic designation is required, but the project must be history-informed and encourage heritage tourism. Legacy businesses that have been around 20 years or more and contribute to the history, culture, and authentic identity of Austin are also eligible.

See guidelines for Historic Culturally Significant Project information.  

Marketing Project types include:

Digital Marketing Projects (focused on exploring heritage and historic record)
Heritage & Multicultural Tourism Marketing: Destination Video & Photography
Heritage & Multicultural Tourism Marketing: Social Media / Marketing
Language Translation of Marketing Materials (print or digital assets)
Marketing Content, Asset Development, and Distribution: Brochures, Maps, Guides, Rack Cards, Itineraries
Website Enhancements (must be associated with site history; operational costs are ineligible)

 

Please Note: Owner-occupied properties are ineligible to apply. See complete list in draft guidelines.

 

Connect with us

The Heritage Tourism Division staff is available to assist with any questions about program and services. 
Connect with us here.

 


Leading with Equity: Cultural Funding Review: Arts, Music and Heritage

In partnership with MJR Partners, the City of Austin Economic Development Department is reimagining its Cultural Funding Program for arts, heritage, and music with an intentional focus on equity and inclusion, while more effectively promoting tourism to Austin, as well as the city’s convention and hotel industries. Read more about the Cultural Funding Review and review presentations and material from previous community engagement meetings.
 


Other Helpful Recovery Resources: 

  • City of Austin's ATXRecovers.com - A one-stop resource to help artists and musicians recover from the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
     
  • Austin COVID-19 Information
     
  • Economic Development Department’s Small Business Resources Directory - Database of local, state, federal, and community resources. Filter by “Disaster Relief” to find immediate support for creatives and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historic Preservation and Cultural Significance Research Resources (Designation Verification)

 

Additional Housing & Planning Department Historic Preservation Division Resources