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Utah Department of Community and Economic Development

The Utah Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is best known for stimulating Utah's economy through projects ranging from recruiting new businesses to installing water lines. You may be surprised to discover that DCED also devotes substantial resources to historic preservation by assisting communities that wish to re-use and preserve their historic buildings. In just the last five years, DCED has provided over $3.5 million for 114 preservation projects across the state.

Some of these projects involve the major renovation of landmark structures. For example, grants from the Permanent Community Impact Board and the Utah Energy Office helped Salina City rehabilitate the Salina Municipal Building and Library. The town of Moab leveraged a $10,000 grant from the Centennial Commission to raise over $50,000 to re-roof and make other repairs to Star Hall. The Royal Hotel in Ogden was rehabbed as low income housing with $393,000 from the Olene Walker Housing Trust Fund.

Other projects involve less glamorous but essential rehabilitation work. For example, the Utah Energy Office provided $7,800 to weatherize and upgrade the energy efficiency of Pleasant Grove's 1887 town hall. Main Street grants of about $5,000 helped to restore the facades of over 60 buildings across the state including the Senior Hotel in Springville, the Lehi Hotel, the Panguitch Co-op, and the Graff Mercantile in Hurricane.

Many of the DCED programs providing the grants and services that benefited these projects are not specifically targeted at historic preservation. The department's support of preservation is thus especially commendable. Moreover, DCED always consults with its staff in the State Historic Preservation Office on projects involving historic buildings to make them as preservation sensitive as possible.

No other state government agency comes close to matching DCED's support of historic preservation. Without DCED's efforts, dozens of historic buildings across the state would have been lost or left in disrepair.