Preservation & Facilities

Minnesota Local History Blog.

Minnesota Local History Blog.

Advice and help with building history capacity.

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Local History Services helps Minnesotans preserve and share their history. This blog is a resource of best practices on the wide variety of museum, preservation, conservation, funding, and non-profit management topics. We’re here to help.

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Preservation & Facilities

Applying for grants

By: Tamsin Himes | Funding | Preservation & Facilities | December 15, 2020

If you haven’t already, go check out this blog post about the ins and outs of getting started with the Legacy Grant process. If you have already, this is the place to be! In this blog posts I’ll cover how grantees generally move through the Legacy Grant program. Be sure to take a look at the graphic at the end of this blog post. It gives a quick visual overview of the grant process. 

Grant applicants can apply for several different kinds of grants depending on the needs of the building and the stage of their project. In general, grants for historic buildings fall under one of three categories: Predevelopment Research Documents (this would be either a Historic Structure Report or a Historic Building Conditions Assessment); Construction Documents; and Construction. For each of these grant applications, certain required documents must be submitted with the application. Check out the Grants Manual for the specific requirements for each grant. 

As mentioned in the previous blog post an applicant may apply for any one of the three types of grants listed above, even if they have not completed the previous stages of preservation (Conditions Assessment and/or Construction Documents) through the grant program. This is acceptable as long as they have the required documents that must be included with the application.  Though it is not a requirement to move through the grant process exactly as outlined here, there are many benefits to starting at the beginning with the predevelopment documents and moving through the grants sequentially. 

Conditions Assessment Typically, a Conditions Assessment grant falls under the small request ($10,000 budget), but this depends on the size, type, and condition of your building. If a building is exceptionally large or for other reasons requires more analysis and care, then you may need to either apply for a large request for this step, or cover additional costs with your own match funds.  It is advisable to talk with multiple architects and obtain a few informal estimates before applying for a grant. 

Whether through a large or small grant, once awarded, the process for this grant will include these steps: 

  • Awarding of grant 
  • Procurement (the grantee is responsible for researching, obtaining bids, and choosing a historic architect for the project). 
  • Condition/Milestone reviews: milestone reviews can vary depending on the needs of your specific project, but will always include 1) submission of an outline of the report 2) submission of a draft of the report at 75% completion. Both of these and any other milestones set when the grant is awarded will be reviewed, commented upon and approved by the Grants Office. 
  • Submission and acceptance of the Final Report 
  • Closing out of grant 

For more details about Conditions Assessments and their purpose/importance, check out this blog post. 

After completing a Conditions Assessment First, congratulations! This is a major step in the preservation of your building and is the result of a lot of work, effort, and coordination by you, the architect, and the Grants Office. Using your Conditions Assessment as a guide, work with your organization, community, and stakeholders to plan your next steps in preservation. Normally the next step would be focusing on the most urgent work recommended by the architect. Once you’ve selected this, you’re ready to apply for your second grant and the next step in the grant process. Head on over to this blog post to learn more about Construction Documents and Construction grants.

Ask us questions! This blog post is one of a series of post explaining the grants process. The next one can be found here. We at MNHS are always happy to guide you through any questions you may have. You can join us for one of our monthly open houses or you can contact us directly if you have any questions! 

Tamsin Himes, Design Reviewer: tamsin.himes@mnhs.org, Grants Office: grants@mnhs.org 

 

Choosing the right grant

By: Tamsin Himes | Funding | Preservation & Facilities | December 15, 2020

If you haven’t yet, take a look at this blog post to understand more about getting started with the grants program. Also, be sure to check out the graphic at the end of this blog post. It gives a quick visual overview of the grant program. 

Now that you have determined that both your organization and your building are eligible and have an account, the next step is to find out which grant best fits the needs and situation of your building and organization. Legacy Grants are divided into two funding levels: small requests ($10,000 and under) and large requests (over $10,000). There are four small request “rounds” (or application deadlines) a year, and there is one large request round (deadline) a year. More information about deadlines and when to apply can be found here

Grant applicants can apply for several different kinds of grants depending on the needs of the building and the stage of their project. In general, grants for historic buildings fall under one of three categories: Predevelopment Research Documents (this would be either a Historic Structure Report or a Historic Building Conditions Assessment); Construction Documents; and Construction. For each of these grant applications, certain required documents must be submitted with the application. Check out the Grants Manual for the specific requirements for each grant. 

Side note: an applicant may apply for any one of the three types of grants listed above, even if they have not completed the previous stages of preservation (Conditions Assessment and/or Construction Documents) through the grant program, as long as they have the required documents that must be included with the application. However, if an applicant has an open predevelopment grant (Conditions Assessment or Historic Structures Report) they cannot apply for a grant for construction documents or construction for that same property until the grant is closed out. 

For the purposes of this blog, I’ll describe the process starting from the “beginning” -- with an application for a Historic Building Conditions Assessment. This is a formal document produced by a qualified Historic Architect that analyzes the current state of the building, documents areas of significance and historic fabric, and identifies and prioritizes necessary preservation work. A Conditions Assessment is a predevelopment document and a vital part of the preservation process. It is intended to give direction to years of preservation and planning for your building. Later grant applications and preservation projects will be based on the recommendations within this document. You can read more about conditions assessments in this blog post. 

The term “qualified Historic Architect” may be confusing at first. This just means that the architect hired to conduct a Conditions Assessment must meet the requirements set by the Secretary of Interior’s Standards. Those requirements can be found here

Finding a Historic Architect can also seem overwhelming at first, but the Minnesota Historical Society has a resource called the Preservation Specialist Directory to help you begin looking for one that fits your needs and the needs of your building. Note: the Preservation Specialist Directory is not comprehensive or curated. Architects and other professionals can essentially add themselves to the list. It is intended to be a starting point for researching preservation specialists and the professionals included in the directory are not endorsed by MNHS in any way. 

Pro tip: the Grants Manual is your friend! Take the time to read up on the grant you’re planning to apply for. I’m giving a brief overview here, but everything you need to know is spelled out in detail in the Grants Manual. Focus on General Information Section for setting up your account and the program's administrative requirements and the Historic Preservation Projects. No need to get bogged down in the History Projects sections when your focusing on your historic building.

If you’ve made it through this whole blog post, congrats! You’re ready to dive in and start your journey with the Legacy Grant program. After you’ve completed the steps outlined here, the next steps in the grant process are outlined in another blog post which can be found here. 

Ask us questions! This blog post is one of a series of posts explaining the grants process. The next one can be found here. We at MNHS are always happy to guide you through any questions you may have. You can join us for one of our monthly open houses or you can contact us directly if you have any questions.

Tamsin Himes, Design Reviewer: tamsin.himes@mnhs.org, Grants Office: grants@mnhs.org 

Infographic: the Legacy Grant program

Navigating the Legacy Grant program for Historic Properties: Getting started

By: Tamsin Himes | Funding | Preservation & Facilities | December 15, 2020

So let's say you’re part of an organization that has a historic building in its care. You recognize the need to begin preservation projects, but don’t know how to go about it. You’ve heard of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants (MHCHG) program  – commonly known as the Legacy Grant program – but have no idea where to start. Or maybe you’ve just joined your county’s historical society and you’ve been tasked with the rather overwhelming job of figuring out how to move forward with much-needed building preservation. 

Whatever your specific circumstance, this blog post is for you! Here, and in subsequent blog posts, I’ll break down the Legacy Grant program into bite-size pieces and give you tips and pointers for navigating the different steps of the grant process. 

First, let's take a wide view of the grant process. I’ll get into the nitty-gritty details a bit later. Here is what it looks like simplified into different steps: 

 

Graphic showing the grant process.

Eligibility 

The first step is to make sure both the building and the organization are eligible for Legacy Funds. For organizations, there are four eligible categories: 1) nonprofit 501c3 organizations 2) units of state or local government 3) federally recognized tribal organizations, and 4) educational institutions. Buildings must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places OR in some cases, it is sufficient to be eligible for the National Register -- I’ll get to that in a minute. In addition to being on the National Register, all work on historic properties must conform to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. 

So, what if your building is not in the National Register, but you’d like it to be? There are resources to help with that too. Jump over to this blog post for the ins and outs of the evaluation and nomination process and how the Legacy Grant program can help you.

Signing up for an account 

Before applying for a grant, you’ll need to request an account on the grants portal. This is where all applications are submitted and where official communication happens between the applicant/grantee and the Grants Office. This is also where your grant project will “live” after the application process and where milestone reviews and grant amendments will be processed. Requesting an account is easy and simple. Just click “create an account” on this page to get started. Once your request has been approved by grants office staff, you’re ready for the next step. 

Ask us questions 

This blog post is one of a series of posts explaining the grants process. The next one can be found here. We at MNHS are always happy to guide you through any questions you may have. You can join us for one of our monthly open houses or you can contact us directly if you have any questions! 

Tamsin Himes, Design Reviewer: tamsin.himes@mnhs.org 

 

Representation and The National Register in Minnesota

By: Julia Larson | Preservation & Facilities | August 17, 2020
Lena Olive Smith and client at Olive Hair Store, Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis. Courtesy of MNHS.

The National Register of Historic Places recognizes places with national historical significance. But, does this recognition extend to places that represent different ethnic and regional identities? What does the data from the National Register tell us and what are some organizations, states and individuals doing to reconcile lack of representation?

What is the National Register?

The National Register of Historic Places is a list of places that are considered worthy of preservation at a national level. The worthiness of a place is determined by an advocate for that place working with State Historic Preservation Office staff and a National Register Review Board at the state level. Their recommendations are sent to the State Historic Preservation Officer for signature and then to staff at the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. The final step in the process is for the Keeper of the National Register to officially add it to the National Register list. 

The places that are nominated to be listed in the National Register have to meet Criteria for Evaluation. While the National Register Criteria brochure was last updated in 1997, the actual Criteria have not been updated since the National Historic Preservation Act was passed in 1966. The National Register Bulletin: How to Complete the National Register Registration Form has guidance on choosing “Areas of Significance” within each Criterion. This can be one or more categories from the list “Data Categories for Areas of Significance”. The category in the Area of Significance related to ethnic and regional identities is “Ethnic Heritage.” On the National Register application form an applicant can choose Asian, Black, European, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander or Other if they believe the place is significant because of its Ethnic Heritage. The Area of Significance is not required to have an Ethnic Heritage affiliation. Other categories an applicant can choose from are Architecture, Education, Engineering, Law, Religion, Transportation and so forth.The National Register application also has a section called “Cultural Affiliation,” but that is only used for Criterion D, which is a resource’s potential to yield important information, most commonly used for Archeological Sites. This blog post focuses on places listed under Criteria A-C.

Representation

Now to take a turn, I’ll come back to the Area of Significance in a bit. I want to clarify who I am referring to when I mention representation within the National Register. According to the Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota has Ethnic Minorities that are defined as American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos/Latinas, Asians and Blacks. In brief, the U.S. Census shows Minnesota residents currently identify as 84% White / 7% Black or African American / 1% American Indian and Alaska Native / 5% Asian / 0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 3% Two or More Races. Also, 6% of Minnesotans identify as Hispanic.

Now, back to the National Register requirements--nowhere does the application require racial identification or ethnic heritage, nor does the application require a certain percentage of applications be related to a certain ethnic identification. Also, nowhere in the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office requirements do they call for identifying as an ethnic or racial minority on or within applications. Due to the lack of this type of requirement, the only way to determine if a certain identity’s history is represented on an application is that it is identified as an Area of Significance on the form or if it is mentioned in the Description and Statement of Significance (categories on the application form). Also, ethnic and regional identities and population variations are considered fluid in Minnesota. As a 2009 disclaimer by the Minnesota State Demographer’s Office states, 

Racial and ethnic groups are social, not biological, categories, and they change over time. For example, the Hispanic/Latino category was not used in Census data before 1970, and multiple race data was not collected before 2000. It is likely that racial and ethnic concepts will continue to change in the future. New identities may emerge. The growing diversity of the population and the increase in the number of people of mixed backgrounds could make racial identity less salient. On the other hand, unforeseen societal changes could lead to more focus on racial differences than we have now. 

Representation in the National Register 

When attempting to look up what is listed in the National Register in Minnesota right now, the Statewide Database is not currently available. There is a National Database. The website says it only lists properties from 2013 and earlier with details. I did check if more recent listings were included and they were not. When searching the National Database, it shows 1,766 properties are listed in Minnesota from 2013 and earlier. You can Advanced Search by “Area of Significance.” The first table below shows the properties for each Ethnic Heritage group in Minnesota and the name of the resource listed under that category. The second table shows the Ethnic Heritage categories as the percentage of the 1,766 total properties listed in Minnesota.

Table 1: Ethnic Heritage categories and places listed in the National Register for Minnesota
Asian Black European Hispanic Native American Pacific Islander Other
• Fujita, Jun,
Cabin
• Smith, Lena O., House

• Avalon Hotel

• Bullard, Casiville,
House

• Hall, S. Edward, House

• Harriet Island
Pavilion

• Holman Field
Administration Building

• Pilgrim Baptist
Church

• St. Mark’s African
Methodist Episcopal
Church
54 Total*
*not listed
due to
space constraints
None • Church of Sts. Joseph
and Mary–Catholic

• Church of St. Francis
Xavier–Catholic

• Yucatan Fort Site

• Traverse des Sioux

• Pipestone Indian
School Superintendent’s
House

• Birch Coulee School

• Lower Sioux Agency

• Inyan Ceyaka Otonwe

• Maka Yusota

• Upper Sioux Agency

• Wood Lake
Battlefield
Historic District
None None
Table 2: Ethnic Heritage categories percentage of the total listings in the National Register in Minnesota.
Ethnic Heritage Asian Black European Hispanic Native American Pacific Islander Other
Total 1 8 54 0 11 0 0
Total % out of 1,766 .06% 0.45% 3% 0% 0.62% 0% 0%

Looking at the census data in 1960, the percentage of Blacks in Minnesota (page 36)  was 0.7% of the population, 0.9% in 1970, and 1.3% in 1976. This is roughly 50 years ago which could be an indicator of the percentage of properties listed in the National Register. One rule of the National Register is that the place must be 50 years or older to be listed, in most cases. Minnesota has some catching up to do if it wants to base representation of listings in the National Register to the population 50 years ago. This type of comparison to the representation of the population 50 years ago does not take into account that the places listed in relation to certain identities should actually be more as history extends earlier than 1960. This comparison also fails to acknowledge the destruction of significant spaces due to Urban Renewal and other public places and systems. As it stands, Minnesota would need to roughly double their listings associated with Black history to reach the 0.7% of the 1960 population identifying as Black.

This comparison to representation within a population is a flawed comparison, but could be a starting point to clarify that representation is not where it should be. The example calculation is for Black identifying people and could also be done for the other population identifiers. This comparison can also be noted as flawed because some places may be listed due to an identity but are not marked as related to an Ethnic Heritage on the nomination form. 

Importance of Representation

Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, talks on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour about what having more Black sites on the National Register means. 

Making amends means Black Americans are appreciated, that our community is recognized for a 400+ year contribution, that our history and the physical places where the history is held are preserved. Making amends means that our nation is making new investments to address years of disinvestment and inequity. I believe that making amends is to understand that the Black experience is an American Experience.

According to Leggs, on a national scale, of the over 95,000 total entries in the National Register of Historic Places, only 2% focus on African American History. Leggs believes the National Register mirrors social issues of the country. He stated on a national level, officials are working to rectify this inequity. 

In my experience as a reviewer in the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant program, working at the Missouri DOT and interning at the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, places listed due to non-European Ethnic Heritage happen through three avenues: (1) specific advocacy from a person or people towards listing a place; (2) stories that are conveniently tied to European properties; or, (3) the obviously significant places that cannot be ignored. This leaves out places that do not have one of those three avenues to get them listed in the National Register. A couple examples are 470 Hopkins Street in St. Paul, a house used for an exhibit at the Minnesota History Center and 612 E. Summit Ave. Fergus Falls, MN,. The latter is the house of Prince Honeycutt, the town’s first African American, a barber and baseball player. The Honeycutt House was evaluated in 2012 for National Register eligibility and was determined it needed further information to make a determination if it is eligible for listing in the National Register.

Reconcilers

Public entities and organizations are working to reconcile the discrepancy in representation in the National Register. For example, some state historic preservation offices have divisions with a direct mission to represent certain identities such as the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office’s African American Programs and the Black Heritage Council of Alabama. The National Council on Public History recently reported on the importance of reviewing current and past nominations to tell yet untold stories. Some states are listing and updating places that have significance to Native Americans identities including the recently listed Higginbotham Turnpike in Van Buren, TN and advocacy toward renaming a historic district, Indian Village, in Detroit, MI. The National Park Service continues to administer their Underrepresented Community Grants, started in 2014, to diversify “the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places.” This year, they include $750,000 towards 18 projects. In Minnesota the National Register nomination for the Fort Snelling Historic District is also in the process of being updated to reflect the deep history of the Dakota people and the nationally significant story of Dred and Harriet Scott. 

By using existing data and information, the field can come together to advocate for representation of identities whose histories are often not told. This includes using two of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants administered by the Minnesota Historical Society to reconcile nominations. The National Register grants are for the determination of eligibility for the National Register and writing, updating or revising a National Register Nomination. Feel free to join in this discussion by reaching out to the Minnesota Local History Services with ideas and thoughts.

Museums Allowed to Reopen, with Restrictions, on June 10

By: Todd Mahon | Preservation & Facilities | June 9, 2020
Neon Green Open Sign

On Friday, June 5, it was announced that museums can reopen on June 10. Guidelines from the state are found on the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s website

The document can be used to adapt the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions. Museums are required to have this completed business preparedness plan. It is not required to be submitted to Department of Labor and Industry for approval but needs to be made available upon request.

The Key Requirements:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan 
  • Limit occupancy capacity to no more than 25% not to exceed 250 persons 
  • Ensure social distancing and a minimum of 6 feet between persons 
  • Strongly encourage masks for workers and customers

Worker Protections And Protocols For All Workplaces 

  1. Ensure sick workers stay home
  2. Social distancing – Workers must be at least six-feet apart 
  3. Worker hygiene and source controls
  4. Workplace building and ventilation protocols
  5. Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocols
  6. Drop-off, pick-up, and delivery practices and protocols
  7. Communications and training practices and protocol 
  8. What patrons can do to minimize the transmission
  9. Additional protections and protocol for receiving/ exchanging payment
  10. Additional protections and protocol for managing occupancy 
  11. Additional protections and protocol for arrival and assignment 
  12. Additional protections and protocol to limit face-to-face interaction
  13. Additional protections and protocol for distancing and barriers
  14. Additional protections and protocol for concessions
  15. Additional protections and protocol for exiting 
  16. Additional protections and protocol for sanitation and hygiene

Here are some of the key findings in some of these sections. This summary should not take the place of reading and understanding the full document. 

  1. Ensure sick workers stay home
    • Establish health screening protocols for workers at the start of each shift (e.g. health screening survey, taking temperature). 
  2. Social distancing – Workers must be at least six-feet apart 
    • Workers who are able to work from home must work from home.
    • Evaluate traffic patterns, choke-points, consider one-way traffic flow, etc.
  3. Worker hygiene and source controls
    • Ensure that workers regularly wash their hands.
    • Provide recommended protective supplies (face-coverings, gloves, disinfectant, guards, etc).
    • Post “Hand-washing” and “Cover your coughs” signs
    • If touching something (door handle, button, etc) is needed to open a bathroom door, provide a station with paper towels and a waste bin stationed nearby.
  4. Workplace building and ventilation protocols (Ventilation System Start-up)
    • Consult the Center for Disease Control guidance for re-opening buildings after prolonged shutdowns.
    • Increase the outdoor air-percentage to increase dilution of contaminants, and eliminate recirculating, whenever possible, while maintaining indoor air-conditions.
    • Continuously maximize fresh-air into the workplace, and eliminate air recirculation. 
    • Maintain relative humidity levels of RH 40-60% 
    • Keep systems running 24/7.
    • Add a flush cycle to the controls of the HVAC system, and run HVAC systems for 2-hours before and after occupancy.
  5. Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocols
  6. Communications and training practices and protocol 
    • All workers must be trained on procedures, practices, and protocols.
  1. What patrons can do to minimize the transmission
    • Advise them to conduct a self-check prior to arrival.
      1. Have them review a screening survey. 
    • Have patrons wear a face covering unless not recommended for health or physical ability reasons. 
  2. Additional protections and protocol for receiving/ exchanging payment
    • Use contactless payment whenever possible.
    • When contactless payment is not available ensure six of distance.
    • Install physical barriers between staff and patrons.
  3. Additional protections and protocol for managing occupancy
    • Venues must defer to the occupant capacities as established by applicable state or local authorities.
    • Stagger reservation times.
    • Post signage at entrance.
    • If using reservations, send protocols to visitors before arrival.
  1. Additional protections and protocol to limit face-to-face interaction
    • Evaluate all face-to-face activities.
    • Staff should always use masks when working with a patron.
    • Avoid performance-related demonstrations between staff and patrons that conflict with social distancing. 
  2. Additional protections and protocol for distancing and barriers
    • Space, configuration and flow of the establishment should be evaluated to allow for physical distancing of 6-feet by all workers and patrons.
  1. Additional protections and protocol for sanitation and hygiene 
    • Schedule reservations for longer than their typical duration to minimize the congregation of patrons waiting, allow for social distancing during arrival and departure, and provide for ample time for sanitation and air-circulation.
    • Provide hand sanitizer at the entrance, point of purchase, and prominent locations for customers

MHCG: Spray Room Installation

By: Joe Hoover | Preservation & Facilities | September 27, 2011
An old coal room was retrofitted with a compatible reuse where the intake has been reversed to exhale. This special facility will enable the Winona County Historical Society to be more intentional and responsive with its exhibits, which before the addition were fairly static. Their stated intention in the final report is to have exhibits that change more often and therefore prompt the Society’s building to be used a more frequent gathering space.



History Overnight

By: grabitsdm | Interpretation | Preservation & Facilities | October 6, 2010
Historic Dayton House in Worthington, MinnesotaMinnPost on Saturday October 2, 2010, ran an article on Linden Hills, a two-mansion historic site complex in Little Falls, that discussed the competing concerns when a house museum allows for overnight stays.

This blend between historic house museum and bed & breakfast is not surprising considering the economic times. Small nonprofits need to look under every rock and pillowcase to find resources to preserve the past, and those funds are elusive. Perhaps with the growing popularity of so-called "stay-cations" offering a historic house museum as a place to stay overnight could appear to be a win-win.

The stroke of genius in allowing people to stay in a historic house museum is that these museums recognize that buildings were built for a purpose. In the case of historic house museums, they were originally built to house people and are generally not as well suited to museums. Allowing people to stay in them fulfills the purpose for which the house museum was designed and thus potentially furthers the building's preservation and the organization's mission.

The work of history, though, is not just about preservation. It is also about access. A colleague of mine often tells me there is absolutely no reason to save anything, unless we can figure out how to make what we save accessible and relevant. The blending of museum and B&B also meets this admonition as guests have unparalleled access to the past as they get to rest in its comforts. Not only can they put themselves in the shoes of those that lived in the past by walking the same halls to the same toilets, but they can literally dream where others dreamt.

As with everything else, this blending does not come without risk. Certainly curators and conservators might easily point out the risk to the collections on account of such far reaching access. The collections may be further at risk from plumbing needed to allow occupancy, since it is never a question of if a pipe will leak, but when. And, if the "breakfast" part of B&B involves cooking in the historic house there is also the issue of infestation and migratory residues.

Further risks include working with state departments that regulate kitchens, local building officials who monitor code compliance for occupancy, and the Internal Revenue Service for potential Unrelated Business Income. There may be others.

Linden Hills is not the only historic house museum to offer this opportunity in Minnesota. Among the them are Dayton House in Worthington and the Two Harbors Light Station on the North Shore.

Staying overnight in a historic house museum, though, is nothing new. Many traditionally had caretakers who lived on site for security and other reasons. Folsom House, operated by the Taylors Falls Historical Society, still carries on that tradition. There may be some others that use a portion of their historic house museum as rental property, which can be a locally sticky issue.

Perhaps what is a new trend is both the transient nature of overnight stays in historic house museums and how common it is becoming. There don't appear to be studies showing the prevalence of this trend, but it can be spotted around the world, including the President Paul Kruger House Museum in Pretoria, South Africa, and 80 National Trust sites in the United Kingdom.

There may be other house museums considering taking this step. Those entrusted with these historic resources would do well to carefully consider risks along side of the potential rewards by having conversations with their tax advisor, local building inspectors, health department officials (if applicable), preservation experts, local residents about their thoughts, internally about how such a proposal fits mission, and with those that currently operate historic house museums with an overnight stay option for the public.

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