The Historic Tax Credit program brings history to life, providing a 20% tax credit for the restoration of a certified historic structure that complies with rehabilitation guidelines. Good news for those of us who are both historic preservation nerds and PolicyMap users: historic tax credit sites have recently been updated to include projects approved during the 2013 fiscal year, making it easy to plan your next road trip from the comfort of your home or office.
If you travel along Route 66, for example, you’ll pass through a great deal of history. Although many iconic Route 66 buildings have been lost along with the road itself (after being bypassed by many major highways, the road was officially decommissioned in 1985), there are plenty of places leveraging this history as an economic engine. There are thousands of buildings that have received the historic tax credit, but only a handful have been completed along Route 66 since its designation as an official historic corridor in 1999. However, many more Route 66 buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places – meaning they could be eligible for rehab funds.
Let’s start our tour of the recently completed projects in Claremont, California, just north of US-210 where the highway follows old Route 66. Here, a $2.8 million renovation was completed of the Padua Hills Theater, which was built as part of a mid 20th-Century arts colony. It is now a performance space and popular wedding venue.
In Winslow, Arizona, the location of one of the famed Harvey House hotels built alongside railroad stops – the Mission Revival style La Posada – was renovated in 2005 and continues to serve its original function as an upscale hotel.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the slightly more modest accommodations of Luna Lodge were transformed into affordable and accessible rental housing, as part of a $2.4 million project.
As we cross the Texas panhandle and drive through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois, the vast diversity of historic tax credit projects is evident. Along old Route 66 these painstakingly renovated buildings include a gas station, the Gillioz theater, commercial storefronts within the Bloomington, Illinois central business district, and once you make it to Chicago, residential lofts in the Loop.
Historic Tax Credit project locations are provided by the National Park Service department of Technical Preservation Services. Use PolicyMap to view projects completed and approved for the credit since 2001 in Federal Guidelines > National Park Service. To read more about some of the restoration projects completed last year, be sure to read the NPS 2013 Annual Report (pdf).