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2024 Historic Property Grant Information

1.  Program Purpose


This program aids owners of historically and architecturally significant buildings in maintaining the character of their historic exteriors. It encourages use of appropriate materials and methods and rewards quality workmanship. Long-term, the program goal is to enhance overall integrity and pride of place while magnifying neighborhood real estate values.


2.  Funds Available & Timing


The Grant Program refunds no more than 50% of the cost of historically appropriate exterior improvements, to a maximum of $5,000 per project. Applicants may be awarded less than the full 50% amount, even if a project qualifies for the full amount. Grant Program budgets vary from year to year, depending on resources available. To date, Preservation Burlington has been pleased to fund approximately 75% of grant requests made by qualified applicants. Over the last three years, the average grant award has been more than $2,500, averaged to include smaller projects of less than $1,000.

There will be a Public Information Meeting on January 20, 2024 (see information below) to review application requirements. Following this meeting, members of the Grant Committee will be available to consult personally with prospective applicants regarding program standards and submittal requirements. Final Applications must be received by email to on or before March 15, 2024. Grant awards are announced on May 15, 2024.


3.  Eligibility


Two classes of historic buildings are eligible to apply for these grants:

  • Owner-occupied residential property that is a historic building either individually listed as a Local, State, or National landmark, or that is a contributing property within one of Burlington’s six National Register Historic Districts.

  • Income/business property that is a historic building either individually listed as a Local, State, or National landmark, or that is a contributing property in or within a two block perimeter of any of Burlington’s six National Register Historic Districts. The property may or may not be owner-occupied.


Previous grant recipients may apply for additional grant funding for the same property. However, any one property address is limited to a maximum of $5,000 in grant funding during any 5-year period. 


4.  Program Guidelines


This is a matching grant which will reimburse up to 50% of the approved Project Cost, up to a $5,000 maximum. Grantees are not guaranteed to receive the full 50% or $5,000 match. Grants are competitive and award amounts are variable. The amount of each grant is in the discretion of Preservation Burlington, regardless of the total Project Cost.

1. Grant awards will be announced in writing, and paid out as each Project is completed as originally approved under program guidelines. ​​


2. Funds from the Preservation Burlington Grant Program may be used for exterior preservation work only, such as:

  • Period porch repair and restoration

  • Repair/restore period wood doors and/or windows, including street-facing garage doors

  • Original siding/stucco/masonry and exterior trim restoration

  • Historic foundation and hardscape stabilization

  • Exterior painting, including proper preparation and priming

  • Other needed work in keeping with the structural and design integrity of the historic building


3. Program funds cannot be used for:

  • Interior work of any kind

  • Landscaping, fencing or yard features

  • Enclosure or other modifications of original open porches

  • Exterior materials other than the historically appropriate type

  • Addition of new architectural features that were not original to the property

  • Door or window replacement other than the historically appropriate type

  • Any work deemed inappropriate by Preservation Burlington in its mission to preserve the integrity of historic properties and to follow best practices for the treatment of historic properties under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

4. Special consideration will be given to Projects that will make use of original materials, avoid removal of stable historical elements, and exhibit high quality work to enhance, restore, and/or stabilize the historic building as viewed from the street or public sidewalk.


5. Contractor credentials, which are important in terms of assuring quality work, should be submitted with the application. This is not a DIY funding program. Work funded under this program is to be completed by qualified tradesmen, and where required by local and state building codes, they should be licensed and insured. Contractor bids will be solicited by grantees and are to be detailed in work process, labor requirements, and materials proposed. Sample bids are provided for illustration purposes. Preservation Burlington does not negotiate between grant applicants and contractors; it is the responsibility of the applicant to secure contractor conformance to program requirements.

6. Projects must meet code requirements of the City of Burlington, the Burlington Historic Preservation Commission, the State of North Carolina, and any other applicable government authorities. Preservation Burlington is a nonprofit organization -- not an agency of the city of Burlington or the state of North Carolina.

7. All funded work is to begin after the grant contract is signed, not before. Grant funds will not apply retroactively to work previously performed.

8. Grant recipients agree to display, in front of their property, a banner or sign provided by Preservation Burlington, which will remain on display throughout the year in which the Project is being funded.

9. Failure to comply with the approved Project Plan without first obtaining an approved change order in writing from Preservation Burlington may result in the loss of grant funding (or do-over work). Preservation Burlington reserves the right to deny payment if completed work is inconsistent with the approved plan or if work is of substandard quality.

10. Work on funded Projects is to begin no later than July 1, 2024, and be completed by October 15, 2024. Failure to meet these timing milestones may result in loss of funding.

11. Once the Project is completed, the Grant Committee will inspect the work to ensure it has been accomplished as per the approved scope of work.

 12. Upon successful and timely completion of the Project and all grant requirements, including documentation of payment of the contractor(s), the grant funds will be paid to the applicant. Grant funds are paid on a reimbursement basis only.

 13. Grantee(s) agree not to sell the property within 2 years of grant funding; if the property is sold within 2 years, owners agree to repay the grant amount to Preservation Burlington.

5.  Application Process


Application Forms are available here. Applicants should keep the following program requirements in mind:

1. A public information meeting will be held on January 20, 2024 from 4:00-6:00pm at Persnickety Books, 347 S. Main Street, Burlington, NC. At this meeting, members of the grant committee will be available to answer questions and review the grant application process. Applicants are encouraged to attend this meeting. 


2. From February to early March, Preservation Burlington is available for consultation, so as to provide technical assistance to prospective Applicants. Consultation requests should be emailed to

3. To be successful, applications must provide all requested information and be supported by written description, drawings, a detailed materials list, current property photos (in jpg format, 500 kb to 750 kb each, and clearly labeled), historic photos (as available), itemized contractor quotes with contractor credentials, and a site plan -- as per the Application Form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted by email to The Application Deadline is March 15, 2024.

4. Grant selection will be made by the Board of Directors of Preservation Burlington, following initial evaluation by its internal Grant Committee. Preservation Burlington reserves the right to approve or deny any application in its sole discretion. Applicants whose Projects are not funded are encouraged to request committee feedback regarding their proposals, and they may reapply in any later grant cycle.

5. Applicants need not be members of Preservation Burlington. However, membership is always encouraged and does allow for special consideration. Membership is available at

6. Financial need will be given special consideration in the grant selection process. Applicants may choose to include information supporting financial need, but they are not required to do so.

6.  The Grant Award


Projects will be evaluated on a list of criteria designed to reward historically appropriate and well-executed improvements that respect the character of the historic building and that support the unique context of the historic district. If the Project is to be phased, it is best to include an overall exterior plan to show the applied for work in its relation to the overall plan. Previous grant recipients may apply for additional grant funding for the same property. However, any one property address is limited to a maximum of $5,000 in grant funding during any 5-year period.

Notifications of awards will be sent by May 15, 2024 by email. Thereafter, a meeting with representatives of Preservation Burlington will be scheduled to finalize the grant agreement with Grantees. Proof of funds for the Project must be provided by May 31, 2024 and failure to provide proof of funds can result in disqualification. Work must begin by July 1, 2024 and must be completed by October 15, 2024.

Grant awards are subject to income tax. Grant applicants are encouraged to consult with their tax advisers regarding the impact of receiving a grant.

Grantees are encouraged to contact members of the Preservation Burlington Grant Committee at any time for reasonable assistance in carrying their Project forward.

Preservation Burlington, Inc.

P.O. Box 171, Burlington, NC 27216




1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.


3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.

6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.


8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.


10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

Maps of Historic Districts in Burlington, N.C. 

Click on the arrows to scroll through maps. Click on any map to open in full screen.

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