Last Tuesday the Southern Hills Future Foundation hosted the restoration resource summit at the Mueller Center. The event was put on to connect property owners with the resources they need to restore historic buildings.
The Southern Hills Future Foundation is a nonprofit organization. Their goal is "to see all historic buildings throughout the Southern Black hills restored and transformed for generations to come."
Hot Springs Mayor, George Kotti, formally endorsed the Restoration Summit. In his endorsement, he said, "Those who came before us have left this city with a rich architectural legacy. Restoration of our past buildings, whether commercial or residential, provides us with an unbreakable link to our heritage while providing updated facilities to accommodate new businesses or modern family housing.
Several speakers were featured along with networking opportunities, a special information session for real estate agents and trade show featuring businesses and organizations that can help with building restoration and preservation.
Keynote speaker Kevin Kuchenbecker Historic Preservation Officer for the city of Deadwood presented on Deadwood's many incentive programs for historic preservation and restoration.
"History is economic development for Deadwood," Kuchenbecker said. In his overview of Deadwood's programs, he suggested several incentive programs which work for Deadwood that might work in the Southern Hills as well. These included: paint grants for both historically contributing and noncontributing buildings, door and window restoration programs, siding restoration programs, an incentive program designed to help elderly residents with restorations of properties, foundation restoration, vacant home improvements and retaining wall restoration.
Kuchenbecker also put a heavy emphasis on Deadwood's commitment to historic education, saying, "historic interpenetration is an important part of our historic preservation." He highlighted several of Deadwood's education initiatives, including: interpretative signage, walking tours, publications, a wall of fame, exhibits and historically oriented events.
Brian Powers of the Hot Springs Historic District Commission gave a presentation on the role of the commission's role in Hot Springs. He explained their roll is to preserve the historic integrity of Hot Springs as it grows, adding, "we want to encourage economic growth in Hot Springs."
Other speakers included Jeff Haverly and Lori Fredrick from the Governors Office of Economic Development. Both spoke to the different programs and resources available to property owners for restoration projects from the state.
Architect Gene Fennell presented on the nuts and bolts of a restoration project as he took the audience through the process of a home he helped restore in Deadwood. He advocated for creative solutions to the unique problems encountered while restoration of historic buildings.