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Challenge Grant Generates $100,000 for Historic Religious Properties Program

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Thanks to $25,000 in challenge grants from two anonymous donors, The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation is reviving its recently troubled Historic Religious Properties Program, which provides matching grants to help congregations perform exterior maintenance on their facilities.

“Since 1997, we’ve been giving an average of 70 to 80 thousand dollars a year in grants.  When we hit economic hard times in 2010, we suspended the grant program, because there just wasn’t enough money,” says Carole Malakoff, coordinator for the religious properties program.

With the grant program in limbo, two donors stepped up three weeks ago, giving the foundation 60 days to match the grants.  The foundation’s President put up $12,500, and over 288 donors contributed gifts totaling $62,710, bringing the total grant package available for the 2011 grant cycle to over $100,210, making this the most successful annual appeal in the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation’s 46 year history.

Applications for grants will be due by December 1, 2010, and provide matching grants up to $10,000 to Allegheny County churches that are over 50 years old.

“Over the years, the majority of our grants have gone to stained glass window work, roof and gutter repair, and masonry work,” says Malakoff.

As a result of the generous outpouring of support, PHLF has decided to host a technical assistance workshop on September 20 at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside.  Experts will provide demonstrations to members of congregations on green building, handicap accessibility, and all that it entails to maintain a historic building.

“We sent out a letter in June to see if there was enough interest, and we’ve had 30 congregations call to say they are interested.  So, we’ve had a wonderful response, and we’re still accepting people to come,” says Malakoff.

The workshops go from 10:30 a.m. to two p.m.  Interested parties can contact Carole Malakoff at 412-321-3612.

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Source: Carole Malakoff, coordinator for PHLF Religious Properties Program
Writer: John Farley

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633