The O'Connor Fund

The O'Connor Fund for Historic Preservation was created in 2000 to help the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission (KHPC) support historic preservation activity in Kalamazoo. It was created by Pam O'Connor (who was a member of the KHPC at the time) and her husband Terry.

In 2022, the KHPC developed the O'Connor Fund/KHPC Competitive Grant Program to support preservation projects in two types: building rehabilitation and preservation planning. Grants of $2,000 up to $10,000 can be awarded for projects that are:

  • located within the city of Kalamazoo
  • owned by a 501(c)(3) or other non-profit organization, public agency, or governmental unit operating in the city of Kalamazoo
  • buildings and contributing resources that are more than 50 years old, or where a majority of the contributing resources are more than 50 years old
  • buildings and contributing resources originally built as institutional, educational, civic, societal, cultural, sacred, entertainment, or other non-profit building types as determined by the grants committee
  • in alignment with City, County, and State plans (see related information on this page)

Applications are accepted in the spring each year and grantees notified in the following summer. 


Step 1.Contact the Historic Preservation Coordinator

All applicants must contact the City's Historic Preservation Coordinator before submitting an application. They can make sure you have all of the documents you will need to apply. Some projects may require approval from the Historic District Commission as well, and they can assist you with that process too.  

Luis Pena, Historic Preservation Coordinator
(269) 337-8804

Step 2.Submit an application

After speaking with the Historic Preservation Coordinator, you can submit an application online. Make sure you upload all supporting documents that are requested. 

Apply for an O'Connor Fund Grant

You can also print and return a paper application(PDF, 278KB) to the Historic Preservation Coordinator. 

The deadline to apply for a 2023 O'Connor Fund Grant is Friday, May 12.

Step 3.Application Review

Projects will be scored for program alignment, community impact, applicant occupancy, and applicant capacity. Bonus scoring points will be given for projects in historic districts or with historic designation, or projects that have already secured 60% or more of the needed funding. Review all “Related Information” on this page for program alignment as you prepare your application and before you submit. You can also review the scoring rubric that will be used during the review process here(PDF, 94KB)

Applications will be reviewed at a public meeting of the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission. Grantees will be announced in June. 

Step 4.Award & Commencement of Project

Successful applicants will be notified in June and will be required to submit a signed and notarized preservation agreement.

Grant Agreement for Rehabilitation Projects(PDF, 58KB)
Grant Agreement for Planning Projects(PDF, 75KB)

The grantee will also receive additional information upon award, such as how to recognize the O'Connor Fund and KHPC on signage, printed materials, and social or other digital media. 

Work must be completed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for rehabilitationRepresentatives of the O'Connor Fund or KHPC may visit the project site at reasonable times to ensure the conditions of the agreement are being observed. The project must adhere to all city ordinances, including those in Chapter 18 and 18A regarding non-discrimination and fair housing. Grantees must abide by the terms of the preservation agreement for its duration.