Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

#PreservAtionHappens at the Local Level with CLG Grants

Each year, the PA SHPO awards grants to the Commonwealth’s Certified Local Governments (CLG) for the purpose of advancing local historic preservation activities.

Through a competitive application process, CLG communities apply for funds to assist with advancing their local preservation programs.

For fiscal year 2023, seven communities in Allegheny, Cumberland, Delaware, Lancaster, and Montgomery counties have been awarded grants. More than $125,000 will be distributed to these municipalities to undertake projects which have been identified by community stakeholders, leadership, and planning staff as priorities for economic development, cultural identity, and community vitality.

The CLG Grant Program

The CLG grant program provides participating communities with matching grants to undertake projects that help build local capacity and achieve preservation outcomes.  Eligible projects include design guidelines, cultural resource surveys, ordinances, comprehensive plans, National Register nominations, feasibility studies, educational programs, and other activities that may help the community preserve historic places.

In addition to project grants, the PA SHPO has a scholarship and mini-grant program for CLGs. Scholarships are intended to assist with cost associated with attending conferences and bringing in speakers for continuing education and training. Mini-grants are intended for smaller scale projects or those which are shorter in duration.

Funding for the CLG Grant Program comes from Pennsylvania’s allocation of the federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF is funded by royalties from offshore oil and gas leases and annual grants help support staffing and programs at the State Historic Preservation Office.

Federal Fiscal Year 2023 CLG Grant Recipients

City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County—The City of Pittsburgh will be using CLG grant funds to prepare illustrated design guidelines for three of the city’s historic districts: Mexican War Street Expansion, Schenley Farms, and Roslyn Place. The three sets of guidelines will help the Historic Review Commission and community residents plan and review projects in the districts.

Row of two-story brick houses along a brick road.

Roselyn Place is one of the three historic districts in which the City of Pittsburgh will be using CLG funds to develop design guidelines. Roselyn Place includes a small enclave of historic homes and an extremely remarkable wooden street!

Carlisle Borough, Cumberland County—Carlisle Borough will use their CLG grant funds to complete a historic resources survey of properties located within their local historic district and additional priority areas to assist with local historic preservation planning activities.

Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County—Chadds Ford Township will use CLG grant funds to prepare a Preservation Plan for the Mother Archie’s Corner—a site that includes the remnants of Lydia ‘Mother’ Archie’s AUMP church and cemetery. The site was identified by stakeholders as a planning priority during Chadds Ford’s Comprehensive Plan development process.

Columbia Borough, Lancaster County—Columbia Borough, one of the newest CLGs in the commonwealth, will use their CLG grant funds to complete a historic resources survey of their local historic district. The borough hopes to use this project as a steppingstone to develop additional tools to be used in their local historic preservation planning efforts.

Streetscape in borough with large brick building with arched roof, building with a steeple, and three-story brick building.

Columbia Borough is one of the Commonwealth’s newest CLG communities. The Columbia Market, pictured here, is a great example of historic preservation serving as an economic driver for communities. By updating their survey records through their fiscal year 2023 CLG Grant, Columbia will develop a stronger base of information to make local preservation planning decisions.

City of Lancaster, Lancaster County—The City of Lancaster will use CLG grant funds to complete a historic resources survey of the East End and Northwest Industrial Corridor. Lancaster will also develop a story map to share the results of the survey—and the history of these two historic areas—with residents.

Borough of Strasburg, Lancaster County—The Borough of Strasburg will use CLG grant funds to prepare illustrated design guidelines for their local historic district. Strasburg will be working on design guidelines in tandem with updating their preservation ordinance.

Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County—Lower Merion Township will use CLG grant funds to undertake the second phase of work to complete a scenic viewshed corridor study. Phase one consists of survey of historic landscapes and viewsheds in the township, with phase two finalizing the survey work and providing regulatory recommendations to protect their historic viewsheds.

Congratulations to this year’s CLG grant recipients!

About the CLG Program

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is a partnership between municipal governments, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO), and the National Park Service (NPS) that promotes and supports holistic and effective historic preservation programs and policies in Pennsylvania municipalities.

CLG designation is a mark of distinction that provides participating communities with credibility, as well as access to technical assistance and grant programs; it means that the municipality views preservation as an integral part of its community and economic development. There are currently 50 municipalities spread across the Commonwealth participating in the program.

If your community is interested in learning more about the CLG program and whether you’re eligible to participate, visit our website for more information and a brief eligibility quiz. Please reach out to the Community Preservation Coordinator for your region for further assistance.



  1. Tenderrlee Little

    How does one go about getting a barn listed in the Historic Preservation Association? We have a local barn in Erie County that we would like to apply for grants to help restore and this would be a great program for the General McLane Alumni group who is working on this endeavor.

    Thank you

  2. Megan McNish

    Tenderrlee, I will send you an email to put you in touch with Bill Callahan, our Western PA Community Preservation Coordinator, who can provide assistance with your questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial