The City of Columbia has received a grant to help fix up historic properties.
Columbia holds about 140 officially recognized historic properties and many other unofficial historic homes. With the new grant from the state, city planner Rachel Bacon said the city’s preservation commission has found a way help property owners who are intimidated by updating their homes: A do-it-yourself seminar series.
“The feedback we’ve gotten is that there aren’t a lot of contractors in town who specialize in historic properties,” Bacon said. “A lot of times property owners are nervous to take on the work themselves…Perhaps they are afraid they’re going to mess up the historic elements that they have.”
Three seminars have been planned to tackle window repairs, painting and refinishing floors. Up to 60 percent of the total cost of hiring a consultant, renting a space and providing tools to workshop participants will be covered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Workshops will also be recorded and put online as a resource.
“I think the hardest part for historic property owners is nobody really wants to live in a museum,” Bacon said. “To maintain a historic home and maintain the integrity of your home you can still do energy efficiency upgrades, you can still put in modern conveniences.”
The seminars will be open and free to the public and Columbia’s historic preservation commission plans to release workshop dates in the summer.