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Federal Programs for the Tennessee Historical Commission

National Register

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's list of cultural resources considered worthy of preservation. In Tennessee, the staff of the Tennessee Historical Commission administers this program. Three times a year, the State Review Board meets to recommend properties for listing in the National Register.

Preservation Grants

The Tennessee Historical Commission awards federally funded grants for historic preservation projects. The amount of funds available each year is decided when Congress passes the annual budget. The grants are matching grants and will pay up to 60% of the cost of approved project work. The remaining 40% must be provided by the grantee as matching funds.

Investment Tax Credit Program

In Tennessee, buildings of almost every type imaginable have benefited from the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program, from Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and shotgun houses to large-scale business developments. Over 1,000 buildings in Tennessee have been rehabilitated using the ITC program, generating over $1 billion investment in Tennessee’s historic buildings.

Section 106 Review

The Tennessee Historical Commission is responsible for consultation with agencies, applicants, and interested persons relative to the Section 106 review process. Use the information and links provided as you proceed through the Section 106 review.

Local Government Assistance

The Tennessee Historical Commission assists local communities who have established or wish to establish local historic preservation programs. The Local Government coordinator can provide assistance in writing historic zoning ordinances, conducting public meetings, establishing historic districts and design guidelines, and in becoming a Certified Local Government.

Tennessee's Plan for Historic Preservation

As the state agency primarily responsible for the stewardship of historic resources in the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Historical Commission has taken the lead in efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for historic preservation in the state. 

Survey of Historic Resources

The Tennessee Historical Commission is responsible for surveying and recording resources that are at least 50 years old. Surveyed properties can range from an early nineteenth century home in East Tennessee, to a grist mill in Middle Tennessee, or a twentieth century church in West Tennessee.