Historic preservation moving beyond saving grand old buildings

National Trust for Historic Preservation CEO says the focus is on saving cities, not just buildings

October 11, 2016 |

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Historic preservation is moving beyond efforts to save grand, classic structures from demolition to include entire neighborhoods, says Stephanie Meeks president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In her new book, According to The Past and Future City, Meeks points out that older buildings are adaptable, and can be turned into mixed-use space that increases density. This can help alleviate shortages of affordable housing, she contends.

Meeks argues for the retention and expansion of historic tax credits to preserve this old building stock, which isn’t necessarily iconic or especially grand. She also says there should be a focus on stories that aren’t recognized or commonly told—particularly concerning diverse ethnic groups and traditions.

In addition, Meeks would like to see more effort to preserve small, independent businesses in urban neighborhoods.

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