Frequently Asked Questions
Preservation Related Questions
Where can I find funding to help me restore my historic property?
Funding restoration projects is one of the most difficult challenges facing preservationists. Most grants are intended for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities. There are state and federal tax credits available for income producing properties and mortgage programs, which encourage the purchase of historic buildings for restoration. For a complete list of grants, loans, tax credits and other funding sources see the Funding Directory under RESTORATION HELP.
Is my property listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
The most direct way to find out if your property is listed is to check the National Park Service's NATIONAL REGISTER INFORMATION SYSTEM. This online database is the most up-to-date record of properties listed on the National Register. Another resource is the State Historic Preservation Office which is the state entity responsible for nominating National Register properties to the National Park Service. They will also be able to provide you with a copy of the National Register Nomination form. For more information on whether a property is historic see Designating and Listing Your Historic Building, Area or Road under PRESERVATION HELP.
What is the difference between a National Register District and a Local Historic District?
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, sites or areas worthy of preservation. Listing does not restrict what the property owner may do with the property unless the owner is using federal assistance.
A Local Historic District offers the most protection for significant historic and architectural buildings in Connecticut and allows municipalities to establish districts for which exterior architectural changes are reviewed by a local preservation commission. This allows towns to ensure that alterations, additions or demolitions are in keeping with special character of the designated district.
For more information on both the National Register and Local Historic Districts please see Designating and Listing Your Historic Building, Area or Road under PRESERVATION HELP.
Help! Someone has just purchased one of our town's architecturally significant historic buildings and has plans to demolish it. What can we do as concerned citizens and neighbors? What is the best course of action?
The Connecticut Trust's Circuit Rider Program can provide direct hands-on preservation advice to communities and organizations throughout Connecticut. The Circuit Riders can provide help, contact information and resources needed to protect our state's architecturally significant built environment. They have the expertise to assist with preservation issues such as the imminent demolition of an historic building or proposed development that threatens an historic downtown. The Circuit Riders can educate communities on preservation- based alternatives and are available to help local groups organize and choose effective strategies. For more information on the Circuit Rider Program or how to contact them please see Preservation Advice >Circuit Rider under PRESERVATION HELP.
There is a building in our community listed on the National Register of Historic Places that is currently vacant and left open to vandalism and deterioration. What can I do as a concerned citizen to protect this property?
A good place to start would be contacting the Connecticut Trust's Circuit Riders who can review the situation and help determine the best strategy. This may include contacting the owner, and involving municipal officials, the State Historic Preservation Officer and local historical society. Also, in Connecticut there is a state statute, the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, which allows citizens to intervene to prevent "the unreasonable destruction of historic structure and landmarks of the state", which includes buildings listed on the National Register.
For more information on the Circuit Rider Program see Preservation Advice> Circuit Rider under PRESERVATION HELP.
For more information on the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act see Protecting Historic Resources > Connecticut Environmental Protection Act under PRESERVATION HELP.
I am considering vinyl siding my 1774 Colonial period farmhouse and would like to know if this is acceptable preservation practice and would it alter the historic appearance of my house?
Preservationists contend that the character of an historic building is substantially altered and diminished by artificial siding of any type. Not only would it considerably change the historic appearance of your historic house but could also diminish the value of your property. For more information on artificial siding see Vinyl Siding: The Real Issues under RESTORATION HELP.
Our local preservation organization and historical society would like to create a plan to adaptively reuse a vacant historic structure in town as a community center. Can you help?
The Connecticut Trust distributes Historic Preservation Technical Assistance Grants (HPTAG) to help communities plan for the preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings throughout the state. A high priority for HPTAG will be projects that build and strengthen local preservation/community organizations. No HPTAG awards can be used for bricks and mortar projects.
For more information on HPTAG see Funding Directory>Grants>Historic Preservation Technical Assistance Grants under RESTORATION HELP.
Site Help / Support-Related Questions
Why can't I open the documents on the site (files, print forms, etc)?
Most documents distributed by The Connecticut Trust are in Adobe's portable document format (.pdf). To view these documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. See our Helper Applications Page for link to Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available for free for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
When trying to view PDF documents from the site, I received an error message that says "There was an error processing a page. A font contains a bad CMap/Encoding." What does this mean and what should I do?
This usually means that a later version of Acrobat Reader is needed to open the file. See our Helper Applications Page for link to Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available for free for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
This can also sometimes happen if you try to view PDF documents right through the web browser (using the Acrobat Reader Plug-In). When you click the "download" link for a document, select "Save" instead of "Open". Select a location on your hard disk to save the PDF document to, then once downloaded open it via the Acrobat Reader.
I'm getting an error message. What should I do?
Please use our Web Support Request Form to submit a request for assistance. This form gathers the information we will need to assist you. When submitting a Web Support Request Form, we ask that you take the time to complete the following form as completely as possible - this will help us in quickly finding a resolution to your issue.