Like the world as a whole, historic preservation itself is a changing field with expanding goals and priorities. The book review How to Reinvent Historic Preservation by Amanda Kolson Hurley is more than just a dry look at two recent publications about historic preservation, but also a bit of a retrospective on this change in priorities. This is one of the primary angles to The Past and Future City. Hurley explains, “The new preservation movement cares about neighborhoods as much as individual buildings. . . It looks beyond architecture for reasons why a place resonates, often finding them in social history.” Although lengthy, the full article is worth a read to gain perspective on the evolution in historic preservation which has been taking place since the late 1990s and early 2000s.
You can see how some of the ideas discussed in Hurley’s book review were put into practical application at our closest National Trust site, Belle Grove Plantation, with A Different Kind of History Lesson at Belle Grove Plantation by Kelly Schindler. She recounts her experience spending the night in the historic site in some of the same conditions experienced by Judah, an enslaved cook at the plantation in the early 19th century.
Confused about the National Register of Historic Places and what it means for you as a property owner, particularly since new areas of Winchester may be added to our existing National Register Historic District by this December?
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has put together a series of videos with Jim Gabbert, a historian with the National Park Service, to create the National Register of Historic Places Guide on YouTube.
You may start the video playlist to watch all seven parts, or jump directly to the video that interests you. Most parts are about 2-3 minutes in length.
New installments are being released on Tuesdays, so check back with the National Trust on YouTube if you can’t get enough of learning about the National Register of Historic Places.
You may also wish to visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) website, which is Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Winchester is located in the Northern Region Preservation Office, which is based in Stephens City. The DHR staff directory may be accessed here.
Do you know of a historic site that faces an uncertain future? With a few keystrokes, you might change its fate! Below are two options to recognize endangered properties:
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has used its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of the nation’s greatest treasures. The list, which has identified 253 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that only a handful of sites have been lost. Nominations for the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list are due March 2, 2015. Click to go to the National Trust’s nomination form.
Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Sites Program recognizes the Commonwealth’s irreplaceable architectural, natural, and archaeological sites that face imminent threat by demolition, alteration, inappropriate development, insufficient funding, or neglect. These special places play an important role in Virginia’s heritage and should be recognized before it is too late. Nominations for Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered list are due March 6, 2015. Click to go to Preservation Virginia’s nomination form.
If you value the benefits of historic tax credits in your projects and in your community, take a few minutes to sign the pledge at the National Trust at www.preservationnation.org/taxcredits and help us keep the federal historic tax credit in the preservation toolkit.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is reporting on Historic Preservation Advocacy Day today, where representatives from the preservation community are visiting their elected officials and informing them that “Preservation Equals Jobs.”
The Trust reports that:
In 2011, the federal rehabilitation tax credit created 55,458 jobs and generated $4.02 billion in investment. One million dollars spent on rehabilitation, compared to $1 million spent on new construction, yields between 5 and 9 more local construction jobs. Preservation is a good return on investment—it creates jobs, encourages investment in existing communities, and supports the tourism industry.
The Trust also reported on three bills that have the potential to improve the effectiveness of the existing historic rehabilitation tax credit program:
H.R. 2479 and S. 2074, Creating American Prosperity though Preservation Act (CAPP), which would amend the existing program for commercial buildings to expand historic preservation’s community and job-creating power, encourage greater reinvestment in America’s Main Street neighborhoods, and foster economic development. H.R. 2555, Historic Homeownership Revitalization Act, which would add a tax credit for owner-occupied historic homes that is similar to the current tax credit for commercial buildings. This will help revitalize communities, increase their tax base, and create jobs. S. 1685, Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act, which would amend the existing federal tax credit to make it easier to rehabilitate historic school buildings.
If you couldn’t attend the National Preservation Conference in Buffalo this year, the National Trust has announced that you still have a chance to catch livestreams of plenaries and general sessions on Ustream. The scheduled broadcasts are:
• Opening Plenary (with keynote speaker James Howard Kunstler)
Wednesday, Oct. 19
4-6 pm EST
• General Session: Preservation in the Age of Sustainability
Thursday, Oct. 20
8-9:30 am EST
• General Session: Thinking about Shrinking
Friday, Oct. 21
8-9:30 am EST
Ask Your Representative to Join Others in Signing On in Support of Preservation Funding
Last week, hundreds of preservationists visited decision makers on Capitol Hill in an effort to promote good preservation policy and restore funding that was cut from key preservation programs. The message was simple: Preservation equals Jobs.