MATTHEWS – Two historical buildings recently received a facelift thanks to help from Matthews.
Town leaders started a program in 2012 to help preserve the historic and unique characteristics of older buildings in the downtown area. An organization can submit an application, including projected costs and details for the project, and the town will decide whether to allot funds to each individual group.
“The purpose (of the grants) is for the restoration of older properties, and part of the purpose was to renovate these facades in downtown Matthews,” Jamie Justice, the assistant town manager for Matthews, said.
The Matthews Historical Foundation, which owns the Reid House, and Jeff and Paula Fuller, the owners of the Funderburk-Plaxco House, both received grants for projects this year to help with upkeep for the outside of their facilities. The Matthews Historical Foundation received $3,500, and the Fullers received about $2,500. Both organizations painted the exterior of the buildings and completed other small-scale projects.
The Reid House, which was built in the 1890s, has older-style gutters that needed work, and the historic foundation wanted to repaint the building, which hadn’t been painted in more than a decade. Although the project was already planned, the foundation reached out to the town for a grant, and came in below the proposed budget of $15,500, at only $14,000.
“We definitely needed to do it,” Paula Lester, with the historical foundation, said. “We hadn’t painted there for quite a while, since 2002, so we really had been talking for a year or two about how we needed to paint. The façade grant helped us push that forward.”
This was the first grant received by the historical foundation from the town.
The Plaxco House needed interior and exterior work, but the façade grant program only funds projects for the exterior of the building. The grant from the town was $2,500 to go toward the $5,848 needed to paint the home, according to an email from Matthews Communications Director Annette Privette Keller. The Fullers also constructed a small parking lot and did some landscaping on the property.
Organizations apply for grants through the Economic Development Advisory Committee and then have to be approved by the Matthews Board of Commissioners before receiving any grant funds.
“I think (the grant program) has been good,” Justice said. “I know we have talked to a few other folks who were interested in doing it.”
Find more information about the façade grant program at www.