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Grants Would Help Revamp Austin Landmarks

The Historical Landmark Commission of Austin meets tonight to decide the future of four grants to preserve historical landmarks.

And every project may not get their slice of the $126,000 that’s been requested this year.

Still in the running are St. Edward’s University, Mayfield Park, the Stateside Theater and the nearly century-old Paramount Theater, whose facade hasn’t been renovated in at least thirty years. The grants are for the upkeep of non-profit buildings that attract visitors and preserve the city’s heritage. They're managed by the Austin Convention and Visitors Board and paid for by hotel occupancy taxes.

The maximum amount allowed for an individual grant is $47,000.00.

The Landmark Commission’s Steve Sadowsky says that the commission is likely to grant the maximum amount to both theaters, even they are owned by the same non-profit, because both are considered iconic by both Austinites and tourists.

“$47,000 is not going to cover all the work they want to do, but it certainly helps get it going and make these projects possible." 

Mayfield Park's grant request, on the other hand, may be declined, according to Sadowsky, who says previous grants projects at other parks have yet to be completed.  

The commission typically opens up grant applications twice a year in August and February. But in 2012, the commission took applications in only one cycle. Next year, Sadowsky says, events like Formula 1, Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest should generate additional funding and put the grant program back on its normal cycle. 

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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