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National Grant Program Renamed in Honor of Paul Bruhn

Leahy Renames National Historical Revitalization Grant Program In Honor Of The Late Vermonter Paul Bruhn

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Sept. 27, 2019) – A national grant program dedicated to the rehabilitation of historic properties and preserving community resources is being renamed the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants program in honor of the Vermonter who dedicated his life to preserving the legacy and historic icons of rural America.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was the driving force behind the name change and also led in creating the grant program itself. Leahy included the naming provision in the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, the annual budget bill that funds the Interior Department and other agencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved the bill, which goes next to the full Senate.

Leahy said: “Paul Bruhn was one of the finest Vermonters I ever worked with and one of the best friends Marcelle and I have ever had. He was a champion of historic preservation and leaves our state a legacy that is preserved in brick, mortar, stone and wood. Paul knew that historic preservation is not a cost for saving the past, but a wise investment in the future. Renaming this program is a fitting gesture of our appreciation for what Paul did for our state and our country.”

Bruhn was a longtime friend and advisor of Leahy’s, serving as his campaign manager in 1974 and later as his first chief of staff in Washington. After leaving Washington in 1980, Bruhn co-founded the Preservation Trust of Vermont and served as its Executive Director until his passing last week at the age of 72. It was his work in Vermont that was a foundation for Leahy’s creation of the Historic Revitalization grant program in 2018. Bruhn earlier had partnered with Leahy in organizing dozens of projects across Vermont to help revitalize town centers, while conserving Vermont’s history and Vermonters’ heritage. Bruhn and Leahy received an award for these efforts from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The program is designed to support small projects in rural communities that often do not have the resources to access larger grant programs. Bruhn’s leadership and success in Vermont proved that these small communities can often accomplish big things when they are given access to the resources they need. The program receives its highest funding level ever in the Interior Appropriations Bill, with $7.5 million for the newly named Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants program, a $2.5 million increase over fiscal year 2019.

Leahy’s full statement from the Committee markup of the bill is available HERE:

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