A current Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant helps fund rehabilitation efforts at the Hotel Lincoln in Harrington, where owners are restoring this long-vacant building to its former glory as a hotel and eatery with retail space.

During the current COVID-19 crisis our Main Street communities have been especially hard hit, with small businesses in our historic downtown centers across the state facing unprecedented challenges. While government programs, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, have been put in place to try to support these communities, current funding and programs are not enough to meet the need for assistance.

Working with partners at the local, state, and federal levels, we’re advocating for both new and existing programs that will support our historic Main Streets. One program we’ve identified is the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants, an existing initiative of the National Park Service that funds the rehabilitation of historic properties and fosters economic development in rural communities. These grants can provide crucial, direct funding to the small businesses and historic downtown organizations that need it most. Founded in 2018, the program has already provided much-needed funding for historically significant sites in rural towns (population less than 50,000), including three buildings here in Washington State: the Hotel Lincoln in Harrington (pictured above), the Modern Woodmen of America Hall in Hoquiam, and Fort Worden’s Barracks Building 203 in Port Townsend.

Substantially increasing funding to the Bruhn grant program can be an important element of overall recovery efforts. More grants would provide support for important rehabilitation projects, creating much-needed jobs and saving the buildings that house small businesses in our downtowns.

Please call or email your members of Congress and encourage them to provide $75M in funding toward the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program. See below for sample text to guide your letter; however, we strongly encourage you to include your own story as part of your request.

Sample Text

Dear [Senator/Representative Name],

As Congress begins consideration of the next recovery package, I encourage you to provide $75 million toward the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program within the National Park Service. This program focuses on providing subgrants for economic development in rural communities – Main Street communities with historic downtowns hit especially hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. Funding for the program could readily be administered by state historic preservation offices and passed through to local communities, creating jobs as part of the recovery effort.

In 2019, funding from the Bruhn Grant program supported projects in Hoquiam, Port Townsend and Harrington. Increased funding would enable more projects to be implemented in rural communities across the state – projects that often create commercial space where small businesses can thrive.

[Insert local story/example here. For example: which of your favorite local businesses, especially those located in historic structures, are currently closed and/or struggling?]

We need to do all we can to support small businesses as they weather this storm. Providing $75 million in funding to the Bruhn grant program would serve as an important step on the road to economic recovery.

Thank You,

[Your Name Here]

Contact Information for Members of Congress

Senator Maria Cantwell: email or call (202) 224-3441

Senator Patty Murray: email or call (202) 224-2621

Representative Suzan DelBene, 1st District: email or call (202) 225-6311

Representative Rick Larsen, 2nd: email or call (202) 225-2605

Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler, 3rd: email or call (202) 225-3536

Representative Dan Newhouse, 4th: email or call (202) 225-5816

Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, 5th: email or call (202) 225-2006

Representative Derek Kilmer, 6th:  email or call (202) 225-5916

Representative Pramila Jayapal, 7themail or call (202) 225-3106

Representative Kim Schrier, 8th: email or call (202) 225-7761

Representative Adam Smith, 9th: email or call (202) 225-8901

Representative Denny Heck, 10th: email or call (202) 225-9740

Not sure who your Representative is? Search your address here to find out.