Missouri has a rich heritage that is reflected in thousands of historic properties. More than 12,000 of these properties are already listed in the National Register of Historic Places and hundreds more are eligible for listing. But National Register listing does not guarantee funding or protection. Many of the same properties - those significant enough to be part of the national honor roll of American heritage - are threatened by abandonment, neglect or new development. 

Since 1980, the Department of Natural Resources' State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has had a unique tool to help preserve such endangered properties - the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund. The fund, established by the General Assembly in 1979, allows the SHPO to use a variety of real estate and financial techniques to encourage preservation. Through means such as acquisition and resale, short-term loans and acquisition of options or easements, the fund allows state government to play an active role in preserving Missouri's heritage without the costs of long-term ownership and operation. Sale proceeds and loan repayments are returned to the fund to support future ventures.

Fund assistance is subject to availability. To qualify for fund assistance, properties must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or eligible for listing. Properties typically are endangered or threatened in some way in order to merit assistance. In addition, projects must have strong community support and a viable long-term preservation plan.