Grants from DAR and Community Foundation

Face Lift for Historic Facade Completed

Thanks to two grants, one from the Daughters of the American Revolution and one from the Community Foundation of Knox County and Mount Vernon, the Knox County Renaissance Foundation was able to complete the restoration of the facade of the historic IOOF Building at 112-114 South Main Street. Modern Builders was the contractor.

Jeff Gottke, President of KCRF said, “We are so pleased to receive these generous donations from the DAR and the Community Foundation.  Without them we couldn’t be restoring this important landmark so important to the downtown redevelopment vista.”

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) under its Special Projects Grants for historic preservation donated $3900.00 for the protection, restoration, repair, and repainting of the Victorian Italianate  circa 1858 Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building, a key architectural element in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon. The north wall was also repainted and sealed. Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship and help of the Lucy Knox Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, located in Mount Vernon.  “The Lucy Knox Chapter is so proud to be a part of helping our beloved Mount Vernon/Knox County.  Thank you to KCRF for preserving our town’s history for generations to come,” said Lana Siekkinen, the Lucy Knox Chapter Regent.

The DAR grants program was started in 2010. Funding is awarded to support projects in local communities which promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism.

The DAR receives hundreds of grants applications each year, making competition high for the funding through non-profit organizations. Interested groups must be sponsored by a local DAR chapter, submit a copy of their public charity 501(c)(3) IRS documentation, and include a narrative describing the need and urgency of the project as well as planned activities and benefits to the community which will result from the grant.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With 178,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit For more about applying for a Special Projects Grant from DAR, visit For more information, please contact Lana Siekkinen at or visit

A second grant of $2500 for this project was received from the Community Foundation of Knox County and Mount Vernon whose ongoing support for the restoration of this building has been instrumental in other phases of the restoration as well. For more information for awards to non-profit organizations go to Sam Barone, President of the Foundation said, “Preserving downtown treasures like the Odd Fellows Building contributes to the vitality of Main Street from one end to the other. The Community Foundation is pleased to have enabled this effort.”

  KCRF has been restoring the building since 2012 thanks to grants such as these to non-profit organizations.  The building was purchased from the IOOF in 2009 in accordance with its mission to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Knox County. KCRF began in the late 1980’s and has functioned often as a catalyst for change through starting programs that have then taken on a life of their own such as the Dan Emmett Festival, the restoration of the Woodward Opera House, and the Visitor’s Bureau. Advocacy for the preservation of the brick streets was one focus until they became protected by legislation. The biennial  2014  Knox County Barn Tour has been the latest large project outside the ongoing work of the IOOF Building.  Work on the first floor interior is also an ongoing project that will continue this month but independently of this grant help. More information about KCRF is available at their website


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: