Featured Image Courtesy Image Courtesy Cody Raskin

Banking On History: Five Incentives for Preservation Projects

An intermediate-to-advanced look at five types of financial incentive: Federal Historic Tax Credits, Community Development Block Grants, The Mills Act, Grants and Easements. You will dig into the financial and legal aspects of historic preservation incentives early in the day. After lunch you’ll engage with case studies from the Pasadena area to see which projects are best suited for each incentive. Case studies will also address the complexities and process of application and implementation. Determine how to calculate the amount of the potential cost off-set and understand which expenses are eligible under each program. Participants will be asked to complete sample calculations using example projects. The day concludes with two special access tours to hotel projects, one in the conception phase and one completed:
  1. The Julia Morgan-designed Pasadena YWCA, a stunning example of Morgan’s fusion of Spanish Colonial Revival with Beaux Arts undertones
  2. The Constance Hotel, a seven-story, 1926 Mission Revival built during Pasadena’s booming years. The project, now completed, took advantage of federal rehabilitation tax credits.

Learning Objectives

  1. Determine the financial benefits and limitations for various kinds of historic preservation project incentives, both federal and local.
  2. Identify funding approaches for different kinds of projects and to combine financial incentives while still meeting guidelines.
  3. Using hypothetical projects or case examples, estimate the amount of expected benefit and total project cost.
  4. Engage with examples of how the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are involved in certain financial incentive programs.


  • Tara Hamacher, Founder and President, Historic Consultants, Inc
  • Diana Letsinger, Partner, Novogradac & Company LLP
  • William Huang, Director of Housing, City of Pasadena
  • Jesse Lattig, Preservation Director, Pasadena Heritage
  • Shane Swerdlow, Associate, Chattel, Inc
  • Patricia Johnson-Conner, Assessor, County of Los Angeles
  • Charles Loveman, Executive Director, Heritage Housing Partners
  • Kevin Sanada, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Christopher Smith, Architectural Resources Group
  • John LoCascio, Senior Architect, AIA, Historic Resources Group