Historic Boston Incorporated developed the Steeples Project to help Boston’s active religious congregations preserve and maintain the city’s historic houses of worship. HBI has made this a priority because restoring these critical buildings can create a stronger sense of community and help revitalize a neighborhood.
The Steeples Project is a competitive, dollar-for-dollar matching grant program for preservation planning, major repairs and exterior lighting projects for historic houses of worship. HBI will grant up to $10,000 for planning, up to $25,000 for major renovation work and up to $10,000 for exterior lighting.
Since its inception in 1993, the Steeples Project has awarded grants of more than $1.4 million to 51 congregations throughout Boston’s diverse neighborhoods. These grants were used to leverage additional investments of more than $13 million.
Participating congregations form a strong project team that works closely with Historic Boston, architects, preservation consultants and contractors. Together, the project team develops a comprehensive plan that defines and prioritizes the specific needs of their building, including space planning, repairs, and project cost estimates. Simultaneously, the project team determines the right approach for fundraising, so they can implement the plan. HBI also offers grants, and provides direction and training, for the preservation work.
To be eligible, a property must be listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and must be an active house of worship located within the city of Boston. The congregation must also use its building to provide community services and support.