Providing the Tools for Preservation


The enduring popularity and charm of older buildings means Restore Oregon receives hundreds of calls from all types of Oregonians. Individuals, local agencies, and organizations call every day requesting help to preserve historic properties, heritage barns, shuttered theaters, decommissioned schools, and just about anything else that can be considered a historic place.

To better serve Oregonians trying to understand and navigate the often daunting task of rehabilitating a historic structure for current use, and figuring out how to plan and pay for it, we recently embarked on a project to create a Preservation Toolkit.

“Restore Oregon is providing tools to help people who love historic places navigate the process of preservation and reuse. Download your free copy, or make a donation in support of the hundreds of hours of work it took to create.”

The Preservation Toolkit is a step-by-step framework to develop and execute a Preservation Plan for a historic property so it can be viably, sustainably reused. It’s a valuable tool for individual property owners, organizations from Main Street business associations to historical societies, and government agencies working to revive a historic building, main street or district.

Individual modules tackle particular aspects of preservation planning in a logical way:

Process Overview: a simple flowchart illustrating the steps for a successful preservation project.

An Orientation to Preservation & Adaptive Reuse: introductions to terminology, standards, organizations, and the National Register.

Condition Assessment Checklist: a top-to-bottom checklist for examining and documenting the current state of your property.


Creating a Viable Rehabilitation Plan: a guide to determining a feasible new use for your property, and testing the economic dollars and sense.

Funding Sources & Incentives: bank loans, grants, tax credits – what is available and the associated stipulations.

Working with the Right Preservation Professionals: assembling the right team and understanding the role they play can make or break your project.

Organize & Build Community Support: tips on telling your story and getting the community on board.

Maintenance Planning: what should be included in a maintenance plan and how to approach it.

The Preservation Toolkit is an effort to address the enormous need for preservation assistance and information across the state, and the fact that there are few resources to meet it.  From assessing the condition of a structure to developing a reuse strategy, understanding standards and regulations to locating contractors qualified to do the work and finding the money to pay for it… Restore Oregon’s Preservation Toolkit provides the roadmap.

Grants from the Pacific Power Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, and the Oregon Community Foundation have made the Toolkit possible. To download the Preservation Toolkit or individual Toolkit modules, visit our Preservation Toolkit page.

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Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation