COVID-19 Updates: In order to help reduce the increased spread of COVID-19, options for accessing our headquarters building have changed. Click here for more information.

How to Apply for Historic Preservation Fund Subgrants for Certified Lo | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

How to Apply for Historic Preservation Fund Subgrants for Certified Local Governments

How to Apply for Historic Preservation Fund Subgrants for Certified Lo | Wisconsin Historical Society

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have made changes to the application timeline and process. 

  • 2021 Application deadline extended to January 4, 2021

  • Letter of Intent waived

  • Digital application submission encouraged

Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) subgrants are administered by the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). At the federal level, the program is managed by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior. The HPF is derived from federal offshore oil leases, not from tax revenues. The Catalog of Federal Assistance number is 15.904. The information below explains eligibility for subgrants, how to apply, all the forms and guidelines needed, and the application review process.

Who May Apply?

Only Wisconsin Certified Local Governments (CLG) may apply. For a list of CLGs please see our map (PDF, 217 KB) or the National Park Service CLG search page.

What Type of Activities can be Funded with CLG Subgrant Funds?

All proposed projects must assist Wisconsin historic resources in one of the following ways:

  • Architectural, archaeological, and historical survey projects to identify and evaluate historic properties. For intensive survey projects, the applicant must have survey boundaries approved by SHPO staff by Fall 2020. 
  • Preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. For proposed National Register Historic District nominations, the applicant must have had a public meeting by Fall 2020 to introduce the project to the neighborhood.
  • Educational activities, such as workshops, slide or video programs, and the preparation of booklets, brochures or other publications that further the goals of historic preservation.
  • Development of municipal preservation plans.
  • Administration of municipal historic preservation programs.
  • Agreeing to host a Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program (CAMP)

Currently there are no subgrants for rehabilitating historic buildings. Wisconsin does offer the following income tax credits:

How Does a CLG Apply for Funding?

A CLG may apply to the Wisconsin SHPO for HPF subgrants during the annual application period. The funds are competitively awarded through this formal application process. Local governments may be certified and participate in review of National Register nominations and other CLG activities even if they do not choose to apply for CLG subgrant funds.

Application Evaluation Criteria

The application evaluation criteria are essential for planning a project and completing a letter of intent and application. Staff are available to review project ideas and draft applications if assistance is requested prior to December 7, 2020.

Certified Local Government Subgrant Criteria

Application Guidelines

These guidelines outline how to plan and apply for an HPF Subgrant. All applications must be received at the SHPO office by January 4, 2021.

We have made some changes to the 2021 CLG Grant process to make it more flexible. Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed decision-making in many Wisconsin cities and villages, so we have amended the timeline and requirements to streamline the application process. Please note the temporary changes on this page in bold. 

Application Guidelines (PDF, 140 KB)

Letter of Intent

Due to widespread delays in local government decision making caused by response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the formal Letter of Intent has been waived for the 2021 grant cycle. State Historic Preservation Office staff is available to discuss proposals for CLG grant-funded projects. Please contact Jason Tish by December 1, 2020 at 608-264-6512 or

Application Forms

If you would like to receive a paper copy, see below for contact information. Please include a brief description of your project with your application form.

Please download and complete the 2021 application. Email completed applications to Jason Tish at by January 4, 2021.

Certified Local Government Subgrant Application (PDF, 1 MB)

Application Review and Approval Process

Applications are reviewed by SHPO staff and approved by the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board. Results will be made known to all the applicants in March 2021.

Subgrants Manual

Once a CLG is awarded a subgrant, the Subgrant Manual summarizes the federal regulations and Wisconsin requirements for project management that must be followed by the CLG. Failure to meet all of the requirements and procedures in the manual may result in cancellation of a subgrant and return of any affected reimbursement. CLGs can use the sample documents provided below as guidance to draft a Request for Proposal and a Contract to hire consultants to implement the subgrant project.

Learn More

Have Questions

Contact Jason Tish by phone at 608-264-6512 or by email below: