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"Plunge" Scores Historic Preservation Grant
March 31, 2003

The California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) announced that the City of Richmond has been awarded $245,500 to be used for rehabilitation of the Richmond Municipal Natatorium (The Plunge). The project qualified for the grant funds because it is a contributing structure in the Point Richmond Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The state received 58 applications for the August 2, 2002, Second Cycle deadline. The Second Cycle deadline was the last and final opportunity to submit applications for funding from the Park Bond Act of 2000 (Proposition 12). The Richmond grant represents 1/20 of the total amount awarded state-wide.

All grant applications were reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) in consultation with the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) Review Committee. The SHPO selected twenty-four (24) projects for grant funding. Second cycle grant awards total $4,506,000. For  complete list of grant winners, see

Although this most recent grant is a relatively small amount of the approximately $8 million needed to rehabilitate and expand The Plunge, it will be combined with other grants and donations that already total well over $1 million, and it underscores the credibility and popular support that The Plunge continues to enjoy.


Other recent winners of historic preservation-related grants include the Red Oak Victory with $1.1 million of federal TEA-21 grant money. See http://www.redoakvictory.org/.

It is ironic that as this grant is being awarded, the City of Richmond administration is recommending total de-funding and dismantling of all historic preservation related programs in Richmond. For additional information, see the attached letter to the City Council Finance Committee. The administration already dismantled the grant management staff of the City, crippling an essential source of free money that paid for itself many times over. This is really short-sighted.


If you would like to support Richmond's historic preservation programs, read the attached letter and let the Finance Committee members know how important these programs are.


Charles Belcher (510) 215-8039, (510) 235-6215, c.h.belcher@worldnet.att.net

Gary Bell (510) 893-6742, (510) 758-8367, gb926@aol.com

Maria Viramontes, (510) 236-5977

Nat Bates, 510/222-1101, Nat_Bates@ci.richmond.ca.us