May 4, 2019 — Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, announced today that the historic Kyle Building in Historic Old Town Florence was selected to benefit from an Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant award. As an Exploring Downtown member of the Oregon Main Street Network, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce submitted the application in collaboration with Kyle Building owners Joann and Stuart Henderson and Ron Hogeland. The matching grant award of $69,314 will fund installation of a new roof and gutters, completion of structural and flooring repairs, updates to the plumbing system and exterior painting of the 118-year-old building. The rehabilitation project is expected to begin in August and be completed by April of 2020.
“We were so pleased to hear that the Main Street grant for the Kyle building was accepted in its entirety,” said Joann Henderson. “While taking up the challenge of growth in the 21st century, Florence has not forgotten its roots.”
The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant program invigorates communities by expanding opportunities for viable businesses, leveraging private investments, creating and retaining jobs and supporting a stronger tax base.
The chamber’s Downtown Revitalization Team joined the Oregon Main Street Network in 2016; the boundaries of the Main Street district align with the Florence Urban Renewal Agency district. In 2017, the chamber was awarded $21,651 from Oregon Main Street to rehabilitate the Waterfront Depot. For this year’s grant application, the Florence community moved to protect its heritage by supporting repairs to the iconic Kyle Building.
“We’ve dedicated ourselves to nurturing the Old Town area by maintaining the Kyle Building as an anchor in its revival,” said Hogeland. “Hopefully, the efforts we’ve made will stir similar revitalization throughout Florence.”
When the Kyle Building was purchased in 1971, the Hendersons and their original partners, Michael Jarman, Deb Spanton and Ted Bruce, saw it as an important historic feature for a town that had slipped into economic depression. At that time, the building’s roof and most of its windows needed replacing; it had no plumbing, electricity, or paint — but the bones of the 1901 building were solid clear fir.
Hogeland later joined the Hendersons as an owner. After almost 50 years of steady restoration efforts, including acceptance by the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, the Kyle Building has provided a focal point for the reinvention of Old Town Florence as a thriving business and residential community, as well as a major tourist destination.
“We’re grateful to all of the people who helped shepherd this grant proposal through the process, especially Bettina Hannigan and the chamber board, the Florence City Council, Kelli Weese, Ellen Huntingdon, Susy Lacer and the neighbors and business owners who supported the project,” said Joann Henderson, speaking for the Kyle Building partners. “We also appreciate the State of Oregon for funding this program and recognizing the importance of maintaining the foundations on which we build. Thanks to their support, we hope the Kyle Building and Old Town can look forward to at least another 100 years of prosperity.”
For this cycle, Oregon Heritage awarded 30 matching grants worth $5,244,261 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state.
“The department funded projects that best conveyed the ability to stimulate private investment and local economic development, and best fit within the community’s long-range plan for downtown vitality,” said Oregon Heritage Grants and Outreach Coordinator Kuri Gill in a news release on Thursday.
The 30 matching grants will help projects ranging from façade improvement to housing and seismic upgrades with awards ranging from $56,731 to $200,000. Close by, Reedsport received $165,317 to repair and replace roofs and awnings on five historic commercial buildings downtown.
The Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, when a permanent fund was established and an initial infusion of lottery funds was provided. The legislature included the grant program in the lottery bond package approved in 2017. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities.
To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonheritage.org.