Minnesota State Preservation Office Weblog

Subscribe using iTunes Subscribe using any Podcatcher


Archived Posts from this Category

Flood Recovery Funds Still Available

Posted byLeslie Coburn on 11 Jan 2013 | Tagged as: Funding, Uncategorized

Swinging Bridge at Jay Cooke State Park after 2012 Flood

Swinging Bridge at Jay Cooke State Park after 2012 Flood

Funds are still available to assist historic properties damaged in June 2012 storms.  The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is administering $250,000 in state funding.  A simple pre-application will help determine whether a property is eligible for assistance.  Grants are available to owners who have exhausted other sources of disaster assistance, such as FEMA and insurance. 

Where must the property be located?  See this map for counties and tribal areas included in the grant program. 

Which properties are eligible?  Those that are listed in or eligible for lising in the National Register of Historic Places, including buildings that are contributing to a historic district.  If you’re not sure whether your building is eligible, send in the pre-application, along with photos, for a determination.   Other kinds of historic resources, such as museum archives, that were damaged by flooding also may be eligible.

Who may apply?  Homeowners, commercial property owners, owners of rental properties, units of government, and nonprofit organizations.

How much?  The maximum grant for most historic properties is $15,000; the cap for properties listed in the National Register is $30,000. For special cases, more assistance may be requested.

How do I apply?  Complete the pre-application (PDF) and mail it to the address on the form.

What’s the catch?  Repairs will need to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

For more information, see Printable Documentation (PDF) or SHPO’s Flood Recovery Webpage.

Still have questions?  Contact Leslie Coburn at (651) 259-3457 or

Glazing the Way: Spring Window Restoration Classes Announced

Posted byLeslie Coburn on 08 Jan 2013 | Tagged as: Education, Uncategorized

Instructor Paul Schmidt at the 2012 Statewide Preservation Conference in Fergus Falls

Learn how to repair, restore, and weather strip your home’s old windows in evening classes offered in Spring 2013 through St. Paul Public School’s Community Education.  Even if you don’t plan to do the work yourself, you’ll learn the basics and vocabulary to hire a competent contractor.  Instructor Paul Schmidt, a local window restoration expert, brings window samples, tools, and materials to class to give students an up-close look.  Paul tailors his advice to the students’ specific projects.

Window Restoration: Energy Efficiency is offered on February 25 and repeated on May 13; Window Restoration: Glazing Repair will be held on March 4 and May 20.  All classes are 6 – 9 PM at Ramsey Junior HighRegistration is online.

Original windows are character-defining features of a building and should be repaired rather than replaced.  Replacement windows often cost more than repairing the originals, and the new materials won’t last as long as historic wood frames.  For an excellent discussion of replacement versus repair, complete with loads of photos, see the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Repair or Replace Old Windows: A Visual Look at the Impacts.

paul-schmidt You may recognize Paul Schmidt, owner of Restoration Window Systems, from his presentations at past Minnesota Statewide Historic Preservation Conferences, most recently at the 2012 Fergus Falls conference, where he demonstrated window restoration techniques at the former Northern Pacific Depot. 



Posted byLeslie Coburn on 20 Dec 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Treats from our neighbors down the hill (no, not Catholic Charities)

Treats from our neighbors down the hill (no, not Catholic Charities)

The State Historic Preservation Office will be open, as usual, over the next two weeks, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Many staff members will be on vacation, but those of us who drew the short straws will be available to assist you during regular office hours.


We’d like to thank our many admirers for the holiday treats we received over the last few weeks.  Disclaimer: The treats were made available to the public at all times.  But in the interest of public health and welfare, SHPO staff—pictured above—worked diligently to remove the threat of sugary snacks to the public’s waistlines.  Participating staff will remain anonymous and resolutely uninfluenced in the performance of their duties.



SHPO’s Holiday Hours:


Mon., Dec. 24 – Staff are working, but the building is closed to the public

Tues., Dec. 25 – Closed

Wed., Dec. 26 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Thurs., Dec. 27 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Fri., Dec. 28 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM


Mon., Dec. 31 – Staff are working, but the building is closed to the public

Tues., Jan. 1 – Closed

Wed., Jan. 2 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Thurs., Jan. 3 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Fri., Jan. 4 – Open 8:30 AM – 4 PM