Local courthouse receives preservation grant

The Searcy County Courthouse at Marshall is among 25 across the state sharing over $1.5 million in grant funding from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The program is a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The 2020 grant recipients were announced at an awards presentation in late June at the DAH headquarters in Little Rock.

The Searcy County grant of $25,000 will be used for a condition assessment prepared by an architect.

DAH director and state historic preservation officer Stacy Hurst says, "The courthouse is often the most beautiful, iconic structure in the county, and the life of every citizen intersects with their courthouse in some way."

Hurst says, "The Courthouse Restoration Grants provide vital funding to help maintain these historic properties so that they can continue being the focal points of downtowns across our state."

The County Courthouse Restoration Grant is an annual award in existence since 1988. It is funded primarily by an annual grant to the AHPP by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC) using Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) funds.

The purpose of the County Courthouse Restoration Grant program is to encourage and promote the preservation and continued use of Arkansas's historic courthouses by providing financial assistance for restoration, selected maintenance and accessibility projects.

To apply for a county courthouse grant a structure must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or eligible for listing, either individually or as a contributing resource in a historic district.

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage division responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state's cultural resources.

Other divisions are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.

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