Dinniman announces $80K in local history grants


State Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-19)

State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that eight cultural and historic organizations in Chester County were awarded a total of $81,232 in state funding last week from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).

“Our history is very much alive in Chester County thanks largely to historical organizations, societies, and museums that ensure that it is well-documented and preserved for the new generation,” Dinniman said. “Each of these organizations adds to the quality of life in Chester County in their own unique way by teaching us about our past and preparing us for the future.”

The funding came through two grant programs – the PHMC Support Grant and the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program. The PHMC Support Grant provides funding for support and operating expenses to museum and historical organizations according to a formula based on their size and operating budgets.

Seven historical organizations in Chester County were awarded PHMC Support Grants. They are as follows:

  • $8,699 for the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center.
  • $17,711 for the Chester County Historical Society.
  • $8,461 for the Graystone Society.
  • $4,310 for Historic Sugartown.
  • $10,349 for Historic Yellow Springs.
  • $4,000 for the Mill at Anselma.
  • $6,602 for the Wharton Esherick Museum.

These grants come as part of 137 organizations from 56 counties statewide that applied for and are receiving nearly $2 million in total PHMC Support Grant funding. Chester County was only second to Philadelphia in the number of PHMC Support Grants awarded.

The Keystone Historic Preservation (KHP) Grant program is used to fund preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration activities of historic sites that are eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Non-profit organizations or municipalities who operate publicly accessible historic properties can apply for KHP grants to fund historic repair and renovation projects or planning activities like architectural drawings, historic assessments, archeology, regional planning or other historic preservation initiatives.

Two Chester County organizations were awarded KHP grants. They are as follows:

  • $16,000 for Historic Sugartown to restore the East Porch of its Sharpless Worrall House (circa. 1860). Built in the Italianate style by Sugartown’s storekeeper Sharpless Worrall, the House’s prolific decorative porches are vital contributing features to the historic character of the home and the 19th-century village crossroads of Sugartown.
  • $5,100 for the Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children for a 20-year maintenance plan for two historic buildings that are contributing resources to the National Register Historic District and the West Chester Historic Zoning District. The goal is to determine maintenance costs for budgeting. Separate plans will be developed for each building that include itemized/cyclical maintenance, reserve replacement funding and programmatic upgrades. 

These grants come as part of 30 projects statewide that will receive more than $1.2 million in KHP grant funding. Only 36 percent of the applications received for KHP grants were approved. Applicants are considered separately and the ration of funding recommendations is based on their respective totals in each category. All applicants are required to provide a 50 percent cash match in order to demonstrate their commitment to the projects.  

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