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Preservationists are the only people in the world who are invariably confirmed in their wisdom after the fact.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Our Programs: Place


Older structures with character and charm that were built to last, contribute to a diverse setting, attract small businesses, and lure high-value tourists,

or featureless concrete containers that wear out in 30 to 40 years and are more difficult to retrofit for other purposes.

Historic Preservation Makes "Place"

  • Many historic buildings that are torn down daily could be preserved and retrofitted for other purposes – often as attractions tourists frequent: bookstores, galleries, museums, coffeeshops, and B&Bs. Not coincidently, some of the most popular tourism destinations are towns with effective historic preservation programs, such as Charleston, Savannah, or San Francisco – not to mention smaller places like Missoula or Bisbee.

  • Often when buildings are torn down, they aren’t replaced immediately (since many towns levy lower taxes on vacant land). The empty space is taken over by weeds, trash, and graffiti, or it becomes a sad parking lot for years. Nothing could be worse for place-making.

  • The revitalization of downtowns is partially driven by a recommitment to and reinvestment in historic buildings – not only for loft-living, but as business locations for today’s "Creative Class," or museums and stores that appeal to heritage tourists.

  • Historic structures are our past; they define who we were and are. It’s good public policy to save them, and it makes economic sense. It’s often less expensive to rehab the old than build new, and historic structures attract smaller businesses that can’t afford high-rises or office parks – producing the diversity on which place-making depends.