City of Winnemucca awarded historic preservation grant

The city of Winnemucca has been awarded a $28,000 Nevada State Historic Preservation Office (NSHPO) Historic Preservation Award grant to complete a Winnemucca Preservation Planning project in conjunction with the Winnemucca Historic Resources Commission (WHRC).

Historic Resources Commission Chairperson Dana Toth said that she had applied for the project (following city council approval) requesting approximately $17,000, but received an approval for $28,000 (total estimated project cost $29,994) with the 40% cost sharing requirement waived as more funds were available due to the low number of applications received and the high score of the grant application. 

The purpose of the historic preservation plan is to provide a framework for the preservation of important places that make up Winnemucca’s unique history and past preservation efforts. 

Toth said the project will allow for an official historic preservation plan to be designed for Winnemucca to identify and articulate community preservation goals, provides current and future property owners with information about how the community intends to grow, helps eliminate confusion about the purpose of local preservation ordinance, educates the public about community history and heritage, creates an agenda for future preservation work, creates a way to measure preservation progress, encourages economic development and strengthens political understanding of historic preservation policies. 

Professional historic preservation planning consultants will be hired to draft the official preservation plan utilizing public input forums to be held in one or two visits. 

Each year, SHPO awards subgrants from the state’s annual Historic Preservation Fund award, due to limited federal funds, these subgrants are only available to Certified Local Governments, which Winnemucca is one of six in Nevada. 

Toth said that the application submitted for this project received the highest score out of the other certified local governments who applied. 

SHPO has indicated that more funds may be available for other local historic preservation projects and Toth plans to work with the city to determine additional projects that may be applicable which could be funded, possibly the creation of an officially defined downtown historic district. 

Winnemucca properties that could be in the potential downtown district and have historic preservation tax and funding benefit opportunities according to Toth are St. Paul’s Catholic Church, the Winnemucca State Bank & Trust building owned by Phillips Furniture, Cafe 345, the Shone House, Humboldt County Annex Building, Sundance Casino building, etc. 

This designation would not impact a building owner’s ability to modify their space in any way but serves as a public information marker with preservation benefits available. 

Subgrant funds must be used in one of the following program areas: Planning (current project awarded), Survey and Inventory, National Register, Documentation, Pre-Development and Development, and Education, with approximately $90,000 set aside for subgrants to support all program areas in fiscal year 2021. 

As defined by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, “Preservation planning is a proactive way to provide for the protection of a community’s historic resources and Character. A community that includes a preservation component as part of long-range planning recognizes the importance of local heritage and the built environment.” 

There will be a downtown Haunted Winnemucca tour on Saturday, October 30, 2021 from 6—9 p.m. with guided and self-guided tours with many stops, vendors, clairvoyants and more along the route and funds raised dedicated to future local historic preservation projects. 

The self-guided tour can be found online at