Planning Department Announces Grant Award for Tradeswomen Study

Published on March 29, 2024

The Lincoln-Lancaster Planning Department today announced it has been awarded a grant from the National Park Service to study the history of women working in the trades industries. Lincoln is the first city in Nebraska to receive the $73,000 Underrepresented Communities Grant (URC). The project will start in spring 2024 and will run through summer 2025.

The Women in the Trades Context Study is designed to identify significant tradeswomen in fields such as design and construction who helped shape the built environment in Nebraska and the Midwest. The research will create a better understanding of the contributions of women in the building industry, which is considered a highly underrepresented group, not just in Lincoln’s historic preservation program, but across the state and region, said Stephanie Rouse, Historic Preservation Planner.

The context study work will provide the information needed to complete the Laura B. Wood Residential Historic District nomination. The Laura B. Wood Residential Historic District is significant for its exemplary collection of period revival houses that were built by renowned female builder, architect, and designer Laura B. Wood in the 1930s and 1940s

“Across Nebraska we have few National Register nominations highlighting the impact women have had and none that recognize the valuable contributions that women have had on building our cities. The Women in the Trades Context Study will provide valuable information not only to get the Laura B. Wood Residential Historic District listed but to uncover additional female figures and potentially additional nominations in other communities across the state” said Betty Gillespie, Interim Deputy SHPO.

This project is supported in part by the Underrepresented Communities Grant from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The HPF has funded more than $2 billion since its inception in 1977 towards historic preservation grants. For more information about the URC grant program, visit

For more information on the project and to stay up to date on progress visit

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