Five small businesses were selected as recipients of the 2022 Kendall Whittier Façade Grant, an annual program that helps property owners make improvements to their historic properties or business storefronts.

“Projects range from small improvements like replacing a door to huge projects like a complete building overhaul,” said Jessica Jackson Seay, executive director of Kendall Whittier Main Street. “There are projects that help bring buildings back to their historic look and others that help a business see more foot traffic.”

“There’s always a little bit of everything, and that’s what makes this grant so great,” she added.

Award recipients include:
Cabin Boys Brewery – new tempered glass garage door
Circle Cinema – new window awnings and custom sign
Mark Lewis Studio – replacement of a wooden door for historic look
The Bureau – repair damaged brick and replacing window and door
Business X* – complete building rehab
* Business and project information is not yet public.

Grant amounts vary, although they usually range from $1,000 or $3,000. They are matching grants, so the applicant must supply no less than 50 percent of the funding for the project.

The Façade Grant is made possible thanks to the underwriter, George Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The support we’ve received from GKFF as the grant underwriter over the years has made it possible to award tens of thousands of dollars to small businesses and local property owners to fix up their properties and highlight the historic character of the district,” Jackson Seay said.

In the program’s nine years, $52,400 has been awarded and nearly 30 projects have been completed.

The Façade Grant program provides matching grants up to $3,000 for exterior building projects including brick and mortar repair, window/door repair/replacement, awning repair/replacement, removing non-historic materials, signage, lighting and public art.

Selections are chosen based on historic/architectural integrity, lasting improvements and high visual impact as well as need and funding availability. Grants are competitive.

“This year, we had 10 applications submitted requesting $21,000,” Jackson Seay said. “The committee only had $8,500 to give out, so they had to make some tough decisions. All the projects were great, and we really wish we could have selected everyone.”

Façade Grant applications open each February and recipients are notified by the end of March. Projects must be completed by the end of the year. Details and applications are available in English and Spanish online here.

Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. KWMS is a 2020 Great American Main Street Award winner and an Oklahoma Certified Cultural District.

For more information about the Kendall Whittier Main Street, please call or text 918-633-1934 or email info@visitkendallwhittier.com.

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