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Funds available for downtown façade improvements


Commercial spaces and those with mixed business and residential purposes

within  downtown Chambersburg are eligible for funding

to give them a face-lift. 


In December 2019, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Downtown

Chambersburg Inc. would receive money from a façade grant program

sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic

Development. Recipients of the funds originally had to be in a 3½-block area

on Main Street between Falling Spring Creek and Washington Street, but the

reach has been extended. 


“This new batch of funding is for a larger geographic area,” said DCI President

Sam Thrush.

The span now includes parts of Queen, King and 2nd streets, as well as Lincoln Way. Residential buildings are not eligible. A total of $50,000 is available for distribution, Thrush said. 


Since 2020, almost $50,000 has been awarded for exterior improvements and signs, Thrush said. At least 10 properties have benefited from the monetary awards, which spurred at least $70,000 in downtown face-lifts. 

Past recipients include MJ Squared, Beam Graphix Custom Print Co., The Capitol Theatre and Bistro 71, as well as the buildings housing Black & Blush Boutique and Merle Norman Cosmetics, plus the one at 19 S. Main St., Thrush said. Other beneficiaries include Council for the Arts, Ludwig’s Jewelers and Here’s Looking at You. 

​As part of the guidelines, applicants must acquire at least two quotes and, if they are dividing a project into specific aspects (such as wood restoration and painting), at least two quotes are needed for each. Those seeking funds also must file a land-use permit application with the Borough of Chambersburg. 


DCI has a five-year contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, but the cycle for the facade grants is one year. Recipients, who are chosen by a committee, have a few months after receiving their funds to get their projects completed.

Applicants are responsible for filing a Land Use Permit Application with the Borough of Chambersburg. Please visit the Borough's Land Use Department at 100 S. Second Street or click here. Your project may require a building permit from Pennsylvania Municipal Code Alliance. Please review your approved Land Use Permit for direction.

U.S. Department of Interior's "Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties"

The following Standards for Rehabilitation are the criteria used to determine if a rehabilitation project qualifies as a certified rehabilitation. The intent of the Standards is to assist the long-term preservation of a property’s significance through the preservation of historic materials and features. The Standards pertain to historic buildings of all materials, construction types, sizes, and occupancy and encompass the exterior and the interior of historic buildings. The Standards also encompass related landscape features and the building’s site and environment, as well as attached, adjacent, or related new construction. To be certified, a rehabilitation project must be determined by the Secretary to be consistent with the historic character of the structure(s) and, where applicable, the district in which it is located. The following Standards are to be applied to specific rehabilitation projects in a reasonable manner, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility.

  1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

  2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

  3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

  4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

  5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.

  6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

  7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

  8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

  9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

  10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired. FROM

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