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Helpful Organizations

State and Local

Alabama Historical Commission (AHC)
The Commission is the state agency that oversees expenditures of federal and state funds and programs in historic preservation. The Commission also owns and manages 17 major cultural sites across the state. Commission staff coordinate survey, inventory, registration, planning and protection for historic resources and provide public information and technical services. Alabama Historical Commission, 468 South Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36130-9000, 334-242-3184, fax 334-240-3477, http://www.preserveala.org

Alabama Preservation Alliance (APA)
This statewide non-profit and partner with the National Trust publishes a quarterly newsletter and operates revolving and legal defense funds for the rescue and reuse of historic properties. The Alliance also co-sponsors, with the Alabama Historical Commission, the annual preservation conference and listing of "Places in Peril." Alabama Preservation Alliance, P. O. Box 2228, Montgomery, AL, 36102-0228, Annual Budget: $120,000, staff of 1. 334-834-2727.

Birmingham Historical Commission
The Commission recommends historic districts and sites for local designation. Local historic districting provides that district residents establish and enforce design review standards for their district. These can include requiring property owners to maintain property. Anderson, Cullom Place, Forest Park and Phelan Park have been designated local districts. Three other neighborhoods are currently seeking local historic district status. For more information, Call Karla Calvert, 205-254-2719.

Birmingham Historical Society
This private, non-profit organization conducts research and provides education and support to historic preservation though its newsletters, publications, exhibits, tours, schools programs and annual awards. Offices: Duncan House, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark; One Sloss Quarters, Birmingham, 35222, Budget: $250,000, staff three persons, research, publications, 205-251-1880.

Commercial Revitalization Districts, Planning & Engineering Department, City of Birmingham
Birmingham has designated 27 Commercial Revitalization Districts. The City offers a rebate on portions of the cost of rehabilitating structures within certain districts. This rebate can be used with federal tax credits to finance renovation of "historic" commercial properties in the City-designated districts. These include: East Lake-First Avenue North, Woodlawn, Five Points South, Downtown Cultural, Birmingham Green, 19th Street, Fourth Avenue North, Midtown, Morris Avenue, First Avenue North, Second Avenue North, Twelfth Avenue North, North Birmingham, Tuscaloosa Avenue, Lomb Avenue, Five Points West-Fair Park, Eighth Avenue North-Smithfield, Pratt City, Ensley, Wylam, Lakeview, Phelan Park, Downtown West, Roebuck Parkway East, Downtown Northwest, and Forty-First Street districts. For more information, call Kathy Puckett, 205-254-2558.

Community Development Department-Federal Compliance, City of Birmingham
The impact of federal dollars on historic resources and the environment: Section 106 and other environmental compliance review for Community Block Development Grants and NEPO-National Environmental Protection Organization are handled by the City's Historic Preservationist, Karla Calvert, 205-254-2719.

Design Review Committee
The City of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee meets the second and fourth Wednesdays to review commercial rehabilitation projects in the 27 Commercial Revitalization Districts and also reviews projects in the four National Register Historic Districts that have also been designated "local districts." For information on commercial properties, Kathy Puckett, 205-254-2719; for neighborhood districts, Karla Calvert, 205-254-2719.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD impacts the local housing scene and historic preservation through the checks it writes as well as through regulation and policy. While past policies supported destructive urban renewal, and later, funded rampant low cost apartments in historic neighborhoods, current policies support a more comprehensive look at neighborhood revitalization. Historic preservation is an eligible use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and all projects receiving HUD funds must be reviewed for their impact on historic structures and neighborhoods. Further, HUD encourages preservation of housing stock and sensitive new construction by encouraging local governments to designate Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas. Development and approval of a comprehensive revitalization plan allows tremendous flexibility in the use of CDBG funds by local governments. For instance, CDBG funds can be used in such districts for mixed income (51% low and moderate) housing and for new construction, both prohibited otherwise. Neighborhoods located in federally designated Enterprise communities are eligible for all benefits of such districts. HUD does not initiate projects. It works through local governments, housing authorities and private developers. In the Birmingham area, community development departments in Birmingham, Bessemer and Jefferson County hold annual hearings to establish which projects will be funded with their CDBG funds.

Jefferson County Historical Commission
This public agency reviews and provides historic markers (cost $100) to the requesting party. The Commission's offices at 2100 First Avenue North, Suite 517, are open Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00-4:00. For information, call Barbara King, 205-324-0988, one part-time staffer.

Jefferson Preservation Foundation
This non-profit operates a revolving fund to purchase neglected and endangered historic properties, and get them into the hands of owners willing to rehabilitate and protect them. The foundation also accepts donations of properties for resale. Founding trustees: Alice Bowsher, Todd Burdine, Jim Byram, Otis Dismuke, David Fleming, Sam Frazier, Bo Grisham, Bruce Herrington, Mac Johnston, Jim Kelley, Martha Isom, Linda Nelson, Robert Sellers and Martha Taylor; for information, call 205-592-6610. Formed in 1998 to be active in historic preservation throughout Jefferson County.

Operation New Birmingham
This public-private agency champions bringing public and private resources together to accomplish ongoing revitalization in the city center. Over the past five years, vacant buildings downtown have been reduced 50%. Current initiatives encourage and facilitate the reuse of historic buildings as lofts and support historic preservation programs in the area of the McWane Center and the Alabama and Lyric Theaters. Director Mike Calvert; ONB annual budget: c. $600,000, staff: 9 persons, 205-324-8797.

Urban Impact
This technical assistance agency serves merchants and residents that comprise the Historical Fourth Avenue Business District. Since 1980, the district extending from 15th to 18th Streets and Second to Eighth Avenues has seen more than $26 million in preservation and new construction activity. Over 1900 construction jobs (with 85% minority participation) and 203 new jobs have been created. The Fourth Avenue Land Bank has increased minority ownership by 97%. Urban Impact & Historic Fourth Avenue Visitor Center, 319-17th Street North, 205-328-1850. Nathan Hicks, Director.



National Register of Historical Places, National Park Service.
This is the nation's official list of historic places, part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect historic and archeological resources. http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr

Preserve America
The Preserve America web site is the information center for this White House initiative dedicated to helping Americans get involved in efforts to protect and restore the natural and cultural resources of the United States. The City of Birmingham is a Preserve America community, so designated in 2004. http://www.preserveamerica.gov

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
This council promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of national historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. http://www.achp.gov

The Department of Commerce
This web site offers resources and information on the stewardship of our natural resources as well as employment and grant opportunities. http://www.commerce.gov

The Department of the Interior
An excellent web site with information on the preservation of resources, endangered species, and possibilities for involvement in preservation and conservation projects. http://www.doi.gov

Heritage Preservation Services of the National Park Service
Heritage Preservation Services helps citizens and communities identify, evaluate, protect and preserve historic properties for future generations of Americans. Provides a wealth of information on the history and preservation of American battlefields, historic buildings, and landmarks. http://www2.cr.nps.gov

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Since 1949, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has provided leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities. The Trust's flagship services include the National Trust Main Street Center which has brought new economic life to more than 1,300 historic downtowns, and National Trust Community Partners program, which uses preservation as a tool for providing affordable housing in older residential neighborhoods. The Trust conducts an annual Preservation Conference at cities across the United States, works on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures and city halls to encourage the adoption of laws and policies that support local preservation and works with "smart growth" advocates to revitalize communities and reduce sprawl. The Trust has six regional offices, 20 museum properties, and the support of 275,000 members across the country. The Trust is privately funded by its members, corporations, foundations, revenues from merchandise sales and special contributions. National Trust members receive Preservation magazine, free or discounted admission to National Trust historic sites, discounts on purchases from Preservation Press and museum shops, and access to special services such as educational tours of historic places at home and abroad. The Southern Regional Office in Charleston was opened in 1977 to provide assistance to southern states including Alabama. Questions about services and programs provided by the Trust can be addressed to National Trust, Southern Regional Field Office, 456 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina, 29403, 843-722-8552. National Trust Headquarters, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20036, 202-588-6000. http://www.nationaltrust.org

U. S. National Archives and Records Administration
The nation's official record keeper, NARA keeps and maintains historic documents; this web site provides links about archive and document management and preservation. http://www.archives.gov

The Civil War Preservation Trust
A national organization dedicated to saving and preserving Civil War battlefields. This web site also includes helpful tips on how to get involved in battlefield and land preservation efforts. http://www.civilwar.org

Heritage Preservation, The National Institute for Conservation
This web site features extensive information and resources on how to preserve documents photos, and ratifications; also includes links to books and other organizations devoted to historic preservation. http://www.heritagepreservation.org

Preserve Net
A comprehensive and regularly updated database for preservationists including the latest in preservation research and professional opportunities in the field. http://www.preservenet.cornell.edu/index.html

Save Outdoor Sculpture! Project
Save Outdoor Sculpture! Is a project dedicated to documenting and preserving outdoor sculpture. The program supports and trains those interested in the preservation of sculptures, and list resources for how to get involved in local efforts. http://www.heritagepreservation.org/PROGRAMS/SOS/sosmain.htm

International Council on Monuments and Sites U. S. Committee
This organization is dedicated to heritage conservation and historic preservation; this site describes the activities of US/ICOMOS and their collaborations with other organizations committed to cultural and historical preservation. http://www.icomos.org/usicomos

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
The AASLH is a national organization dedicated to serving all facets of the fields of state and local history. http://www.aaslh.org

National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
This association is a national non-profit supporting the preservation, maintenance and revitalization of the culture and traditions of Native peoples of the United States, mostly through the support of Tribal Historic Preservation Programs approved by the National Park Service. This web site includes background on their works and related issues. http://www.nathpo.org

The Old House Journal
The online site for this magazine includes a Preservation How-to, a restoration directory which lists more than 200 companies, and tips for restoring the historic pieces you may have in your home. http://www.oldhousejournal.com/notebook/npsbriefs/index.shtml

Southeast Regional African American Preservation Alliance
An alliance of organizations in several Southern states devoted to the preservation of African American history sites and culture. This page offers links to each of these local organizations as well as their newsletter and event listings. http://www.sraapa.org

Preserving Historic Cemeteries
This site, organized by the Texas Historical Society, offers guidelines and background on historic cemetery preservation, including information on how to plan a preservation project. http://www.thc.state.tx.us/cemeteries/cempreserve.html

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tel: 205-251-1880 | www.bhistorical.org