2013 Award of Honor: The Octahedron
Frankenstein, Inc. in collaboration with LMN Architects

Photo Credit: Trevor Dykstra


Finding Money to Restore Historic Buildings: An Introduction to Preservation Tax Credits

 Although there are approximately 300,000 structures in the U.S. that are potential candidates for the federal "Rehabilitation Tax Credits" program, developers (and lenders) often miss opportunities for millions of dollars in necessary investment cash for their building rehabilitation projects. In this challenging economy, typically the only projects that are funded and realized are those that have an unusual tax credit component or other benefit that contributes to the additional equity required to make these projects work.

This discussion will focus on the basics of the Rehabilitation Tax Credits program, using case studies as examples, and will give an overview of which redevelopment projects are eligible, and how developers, owners, and architects can take advantage of the program. It will outline recurring challenges involved in using the credits and provide an overview of recent changes in the law that expand the availability of the credits. The discussion will also touch on the central role that the RTC program (and historic preservation in general) can play in promoting sustainability, protecting historic properties and encouraging the conservation of resources.


Stephen Day AIA is both an architect and attorney.  He has collaborated with a variety of clients and colleagues in architectural development projects over the past twenty years with a focus on the adaptive reuse of landmark historic properties.

Good design makes a difference

American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects