Historic Preservation

Preservation Toolkit

Smart, sensitive development is key to keeping our historic district a vibrant part of our community. Local and federal tools are available to individuals interested in improving commercial and also residential properties. There are financial tools if your property and project are eligible; these tools can help offset the cost of renovation and preservation. There are also technical tools to help plan project and successfully preserve or rehabilitate our historic fabric. 

​Downtown Historic District 

For properties in the Historic District, exterior work must follow Design Review Guidelines and could be subject to approval by the Historic Zoning Commission. The Certificate of Appropriateness Application includes instructions on starting the review process. By following the guidelines, the property contributes to the charming feel and historic character of downtown which is a win-win for the community and for property owners. 

Pilot Program

The PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) Program is a local incentive is administered by the McMinnville Downtown Revenue Financial Corporation (MDRFC) Board of Directors. This is a tax abatement program to encourage development in downtown McMinnville.

For more information contact Mike Weatherspoon - 931-212-6498

PILOT Program One Sheet
PILOT Program Guidelines

Federal Tax Credits

The IRS and National Park Service offer incentives to encourage the rehabilitation of historic and older structures. Check out these one sheets on the federal Tax Credits for improvement work. It gets confusing pretty quickly... feel free to come to Main Street McMinnville to learn more about these programs!

10% Investment Tax Credit for structures in use before 1936 

20% Investment Tax Credit for structures on the National Register

Hypothetical Example of 20% Tax Credit

Preservation Tools

The Secretary of Interiors Standards for Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration and Reconstruction from the National Park Service are the gold standard preservation principles in the USA. The Standards are easy to read making them an indispensable tool for experienced preservationists and novices alike.

Preservation Briefs by the National Park Service provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings. They currently cover 49 topics including rehabilitating historic storefronts, roofing on historic buildings, restoring windows, and much more. ​

Online Training from the National Park Service provides another way to tackle preservation issues. These are more like slide shows with photos to illustrate techniques and examples.

This Old House

Old House Journal

Traditional Building


Preservation Advocates & Resources

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Main Street Center

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

American Association for State and Local History


The Association For Preservation Technology

Preservation Green Lab of the NTHP


Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee Main Street Program

Tennessee Historical Commission

Tennessee Preservation Trust

MTSU Center for Historic Preservation