Attractive building facades support local businesses and encourage a vibrant downtown. They can have a significant effect on the attractiveness and marketability of the surrounding area. With this in mind, the purpose of the Robert S. Johnson Fund is to maintain the facades of historic buildings in the Lexington downtown historic commercial district.
The Fund is administered by HLF and the City of Lexington. Buildings and structures that are 50 or more years old and located in the historic commercial district are eligible for grant consideration. Grants are available in the range of $500 to $2,000. The total grant will constitute up to 25% of the project costs (projects at a $8,000 or higher level are eligible for grants up to but not exceeding $2,000).
Among the categories of work eligible for grants are mortar repointing, window repair, gutter replacement, repainting of exterior elements, chimney repair and flashing, and cornice repair. Not eligible are elements distinct from the facade, such as business signage and awnings. Priority will be given to project emphasizing property preservation techniques and materials, e.g., window repair rather than replacement, matching mortar type of buildings.
For purposes of the grant program, preservation is defined as “the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain existing form, integrity and materials of an historic property.” Facade is defined as exterior wall surfaces.