Posted: Nov 12, 2012 5:23 PM by KXLF Media Center
The number of historic buildings in Uptown Butte is slowly decreasing despite efforts to restore them. Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization is on a mission to save the cultural heritage expressed in the architecture of Uptown Butte.
"It is a battle," said Dick Gibson, public relations coordinator for Butte CPR. "It is a struggle to get the money and to get the work done, but to me it's something that really has to happen because Butte is just an unbelievable place."
Every year Butte CPR provides three to six grants for people to put toward restoring a historic building. The funds total nearly $10,000 every year.
"If we had the money and we had the applicants we could easily do 50 projects a year," said Mitzi Rossillon, board member for Butte CPR. "We don't have either, but that's what we'd like to aim toward."
Butte CPR board members receive about ten applications every year for grants. The most they have ever received is 20. They say the number of applicants does not compare to the number of buildings that need to be restored in Uptown Butte. To apply the building needs to be at least 40 years old, according to Rossillon.
Jill Barber of Butte was awarded a grant in June 2012 for $3,300 to make repairs her home that was built in 1897. The improvements she has made, have given her house the face-lift it needed.
"The wood was rotting," Barber said. "I don't think it could've gone much longer without some help, and to see it now it just feels so good."
"There actually are not very many funding resources for individual residential property owners," according to Gibson.
Butte CPR is essentially the only organization that will provide substantial funding to restore historic buildings in Butte, according to Gibson. If a building is within the URA district this is a possibility for a 25 percent match, but many areas that need funding do not fall within those boundaries.
When a property owner is awarded a grant they have one year to complete their project. The funds can only go towards projects that will be conducted on the exterior of the building.
"We want people to value historic properties as a lot of our members do and people already do in this community, but they value them even more when they see people are taking care of their properties and have some pride in them and continue to maintain them," Rossillon said.
"By using historic buildings over and over again and making them usable for the current generation then we're not putting stuff in the land fill and we are saving stuff for the future and not creating excess waste that we don't need to do in our society today," Rossillon said.