The Heritage Preservation department’s staff, programs, and services help Minnesotans grow their capacity, increase their understanding, and ignite their enthusiasm for keeping the stories of our heritage alive through interpretation, conservation, and preservation.
As grantmakers, we ensure that state and federal grant funding for heritage preservation is administered with integrity, transparency, and fairness; meets the highest professional standards; and leaves a lasting legacy. Staff expertly guides applicants and grantees through the process of applying for and using grant funds.
The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is responsible for leading the state’s historic preservation efforts. Perhaps our best-known role is administering historic preservation programs in Minnesota under state and federal laws, advocating for the preservation of the state’s historic and archaeological resources, and moving projects forward through consultation.
Advisers, coaches, educators, and networkers since 1916, MNHS has actively supported local history and conservation efforts across the state. We connect individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions to technology, training, and financial resources, all for the purpose of helping build their capacity to interpret, conserve, and preserve Minnesota’s heritage.
June 7, 2017 — In 2017 the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill that included a provision to move the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to the Minnesota Department of Administration, effective March 1, 2018.
SHPOs were established in 1966 through the National Historic Preservation Act to administer federal programs at the state and local levels and to administer their own state historic preservation programs. In Minnesota, SHPO was created by state statute in 1969 and housed at the Minnesota Historical Society.
The SHPO is one of three units that make up the Heritage Preservation department at MNHS with the other two being Local History Services and the Grants Office.
During the 2017 legislative session, the Governor’s Office and some members of the legislature felt that the function provided by SHPO belonged in the Executive Branch of state government, where it is housed in most other states.
MNHS is working with the Department of Administration to ensure a smooth transfer and to minimize any interruptions in service to the public. As plans for the transfer develop, we will share more information here.
Thank you for your support as we make this change while continuing to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.
Local History Services
July 25, 2017 — Todd Mahon has been appointed Acting Local History Services Manager. David Grabitske served in this position for several years and recently accepted a new out-of-state opportunity. Todd started at MNHS in 2015 as a Program Specialist for Local History Services and has already jumped into his expanded new role with added responsibilities.