4Culture Grants + Calls

Preservation Special Projects

The people and organizations preserving our historic spaces take on all kinds of challenges, from advocacy to long-term stewardship planning. Preservation Special Projects grants pave the way to a built environment that is valued and protected.

Steps to Apply

1 What Preservation Special Projects Funds

1 What Preservation Special Projects Funds

This grant funds the activities that are the building blocks of preserving our historic buildings and spaces in King County: neighborhood surveys, landmark nominations, building assessments, planning projects, educational workshops, advocacy efforts, and more. We are also interested in projects that engage underrepresented communities and reach audiences new to historic preservation.

In 2019, 11 projects received funding, totaling $94,766 in support of historic preservation projects throughout King County. Awards typically range from $1,000 to $10,000.


We award this grant through a competitive process, carefully evaluating each application. We want to see that you have a good plan behind your project, and that you’re exploring and sharing historic preservation in a real way.

For this particular grant, we’ll look to see how well your project shows the following:

  • Quality: Your project aligns with best practices in historic preservation or shows innovation within the field. Your application is clear and complete.
  • Public benefit: Your project has the potential to expand the public’s understanding and awareness of historic places in King County. Your project addresses underrepresented aspects of King County history, and/or engages underrepresented communities or audiences new to historic preservation.
  • Feasibility: Your ability to develop and complete the project within 20 months of the award date as demonstrated through a realistic budget, suitable project team, and ability to fund the project on a reimbursement basis.

Public Benefit: Why It Matters

Every time a visitor to King County stays in a hotel, they pay a Lodging Tax—this is where our funding comes from, and our mission is to put it back into the community. As you work through your application, tell us exactly how your fellow King County residents will be able to enjoy and learn from your work.

Here are some ways Preservation Special Projects may benefit the public:

  • Free or low-cost tours, presentations, or access to materials and documents created with the grant including research, publications, audio, or video recordings.
  • Public meetings in underserved areas of suburban or rural King County.
  • Project involvement by underrepresented groups, including youth, recent immigrants, or residents from minority races or ethnicities.
  • Good preservation planning for the long-term viability and use of a landmark property in King County.


2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?

2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?


  • You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of King County.
  • If you receive funding, you’ll need to provide us with your Social Security number in order to receive payment. Organizations, community groups, and public agencies must operate within King County, and will need to provide us with a Tax ID or EIN in order to receive payment.
  • You must contact Program Manager Brandi Link prior to applying if you or your organization has an open contract with 4Culture.
  • You may only submit one project proposal to Preservation Special Projects per year.
  • You must be able to complete your project on a reimbursement basis.
  • Current employees, family members or business partners of an employee of 4Culture may not apply.
  • We do not fund schools or school districts. Eligible applicants proposing the creation or enrichment of existing cultural programs in K-12 schools must partner with a King County public school or district.

Your Project

  • Your project must contribute to the protection of King County’s historic buildings, sites, neighborhoods, and/or landscapes.
  • You can request funding to develop documentation, identification, research, analysis, educational programming and advocacy efforts focused on historic preservation issues and/or the history of the built environment.
  • Your project must provide a public benefit for King County residents and visitors.
  • Projects funded through this program, or portions thereof, may not begin prior to the award date of May 4, 2020, and must be completed within 20 months of that date.
  • This grant may not be used for stabilization, restoration, rehabilitation or maintenance of historic building fabric or landscapes, property acquisition, or new construction.
  • If your project involves multiple disciplines—preservation, heritage, and/or the arts—it may be eligible for consideration under more than one 4Culture projects funding program. You may request funding for different elements of your project through the separate funding programs, but must disclose in your application what other 4Culture funding you have requested, or will request. Contact Brandi to discuss your project’s eligibility before applying.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed


Workshops make a huge difference in the success of your application—each year, we find that the strongest applications come from people who have attended a workshop. You do not have to RSVP to attend the workshops—just show up! You can also schedule a one-on-one appointment with Program Manager Brandi Link to discuss your application or project ideas.

Jan 21
Bothell Library
18215 98th Ave NE, Bothell
Jan 23
Muckleshoot Library
39917 Auburn Enumclaw Rd SE, Auburn
Jan 28
Renton Library
100 Mill Ave S, Renton
Feb 6
4Culture Office
101 Prefontaine Pl S, Seattle
Feb 12
Bellevue Library
1111 110th Ave NE, Bellevue
Feb 13
Shoreline Library
345 NE 175th St, Shoreline
Feb 18
Kent Library
212 2nd Ave N, Kent
Feb 19
4Culture Office
101 Prefontaine Pl S, Seattle WA 98104

Tutorial Video

Watch this step-by-step application tutorial video to assist you through the process of creating an account, starting your application, and saving it for later.


Read sample applications A and B that successfully received funding last year. View a listing of all funded projects from the last 3 years on our Past Grants page.

You can also read through the application questions before getting started:

  • Project Description: Your project must contribute to the protection of King County’s historic buildings, sites, neighborhoods, and/or landscapes. Describe your proposed project, including dates, locations, and activities. What are your main objectives, and what will be the specific project outcomes? How does your project align with best practices in historic preservation or show innovation within the field? Why is the proposed project a priority at this time?
  • Public Benefit: Describe the project’s intended impact within the community. How will project activities contribute to the long-term preservation of the built environment (i.e. buildings, landscapes, structures, objects)? Will the project engage underrepresented communities or audiences new to historic preservation? If so, how?
  • Relevant Expertise / Experience: Describe who will be managing the project; summarize their roles and qualifications in preserving, maintaining and/or planning for historic places. • Projects funded through this program, or portions thereof, may not begin prior to the award date of May 4th, 2020, and must be completed on a reimbursement basis. How do you intend to meet this requirement? If you do not receive the full amount requested through this program, how will your project change?


We are here to assist you! If you have any questions, please email or call at any time.

Brandi Link

Staff are also happy to review draft applications and provide feedback with adequate notice. For full draft reviews, save your work and contact Brandi no later than Wednesday, February 19. After that date, staff won’t be able to review full drafts, but will still be available to assist with specific questions and/or troubleshooting. 

We will make every effort to ensure equal access for all applicants. If you require assistance, please contact us.


4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The deadline for this grant is March 4th, 2020 at 5:00 pm PST. All applicants will receive an email from Program Manager, Brandi Link, notifying them of the funding decisions by May 4, 2020. Remember, you can start your project—or the portion of the project you are requesting funding for—no earlier than May 4, 2020, and you must complete it by December 31, 2021.

Selection Process

4Culture Program Managers first review all applications to ensure eligibility. We then facilitate a panel of historic preservation and heritage specialists, which changes annually, to evaluate all eligible applications. The panel, not staff, selects and recommends the most compelling projects to the 4Culture Board for funding based on the criteria outlined above. The Board then approves the final list of awards, approximately two months after the deadline.

Contracts and Payment

We provide grant funds on a reimbursement basis, after your project or portions of your project are complete. If the 4Culture Board approves your project for funding, Brandi will work with you to create a contract outlining the scope of your project and a payment schedule.

Requirements and Appeals

Learn about what will be required if you are awarded a grant, and about the process for appeal of a 4Culture decision.

5 Apply

5 Apply

Once you’ve started your application, you can save it as a draft and continue to work on it up to the deadline. Once you click Submit, your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

What We Require

The online application includes questions connected to the criteria for this grant, as well as a project budget. You must complete all required fields in the online form in order to submit your application for review. Read all the instructions carefully, answer all the questions as thoroughly as possible, and complete the project budget to the best of your ability. All application materials must be submitted through the online application.

Below, you will find information on additional support materials. You may need to gather this information well in advance of submitting your application, so start early!

Demographic Information

In addition to your application, you must provide demographic information for the current year for yourself, and, if you are applying as an organization, for your board and staff. You must submit this information by the application deadline—March 4, 2020. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County.

Consultant Estimate

Submit one or more written estimates if your project will involve hiring a consulting historic preservationist, architect, historian, or other professional.

Optional Materials

You may also provide images, letters of support, drawings, previous research, studies, images and audio/video clips, or reports to help illustrate your proposal. Optional support materials may be uploaded within the online application. Carefully read the upload requirements within the application for the different types of materials you choose to submit. Be selective—these are optional!