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In the mid-1960s, Congress recognized that the increased rate of human development needed to be balanced by efforts to preserve the nation’s natural and cultural resources. This awareness led to the passage of both the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.   The Wilderness Act created a mechanism for designating some of the country’s most undeveloped public lands as wilderness areas, thus preserving them in their natural state for future generations. Designated ...
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By Carlton Eley  Pollution can affect public health, weaken local economies, and hinder preservation within communities with environmental justice concerns. When communities are affected by wide-ranging problems, comprehensive and thoughtful solutions are needed.  Thirty years ago, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development published the Brundtland Report . This study introduced a definition for sustainable development that experts continue to cite: “development that ...
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation is thrilled to announce our newest National Treasure, the Historic Neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In this complex and deeply historic American city, the Trust is furthering our commitment to defining the role of older buildings and blocks in advancing more inclusive, vibrant, diverse, and resilient cities through our ReUrbanism initiative. We are already advancing this work in Miami, Louisville, and Detroit by designing supportive policies, creating ...
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Last week National Trust for Historic Preservation staff traveled to Chicago for a site visit in advance of  PastForward 2017 , which will take place November 14–17. This trip provided conference staff based in Washington, D.C., an opportunity to conduct dry runs of events and tours, check out meeting spaces, and connect with our local supporters. Get a sneak peek at this year’s Field Studies and special events, along with a look at our host city, through the PastForward Storify (a roundup of social ...
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Historic battlefields, such as Antietam and Fort McHenry in Maryland and Little Bighorn in Montana, are iconic and evocative sites that encourage us to reflect on defining and oftentimes difficult events in our nation’s history. America’s very ideals and values were contested, shaped, affirmed, and reaffirmed at these places. In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln said: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is ...
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By Kiki Bolender Displacement of low-income people, especially people of color, is alive and well in Philadelphia, where 54 percent of the population is African American or Latina/o. Modern-day redlining is keeping many people of color from getting the home improvement loans they need to maintain their 100-plus-year-old rowhouses. In 2012 38 percent of occupied homes in Philadelphia were owned by households earning less than $35,000. The Healthy Rowhouse Project has found that, in this most ...
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Last month Congress completed long-overdue work on FY17 spending bills, wrapping 11 of them into an Omnibus appropriations bill that the president signed into law on May 5. While the Omnibus came more than halfway through the fiscal year, it brought a number of highlights for historic preservation , including near-record funding for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), increases to National Park Service (NPS) funding that will help address the deferred maintenance of historic structures , and ...
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By Mariana Jordan Webb Lighthouses—intentionally constructed in exposed areas close to sea level—have long been the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to talking about historic structures being impacted by sea level rise. In recent decades, several historic lighthouses have been relocated inland and to higher ground due to encroaching waters. More recently, the threat of sea level rise has expanded to endanger entire neighborhoods in low-lying coastal areas like Annapolis, Maryland; San ...
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By Marlee Gallagher In 2014 I went to a neighbor’s house for a community meeting and met graduate student, Ken Chu, along with a group of other Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students, both graduate and undergraduate. They were all enrolled in a class focused on the intersection of design and policy and were designing a project to tackle blight in and around Pittsburgh. They focused on Wilkinsburg , a borough just east of Pittsburgh, not only because of the vast amount of blight and vacancy ...
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By Peggy Sigler and Sandy Carter Located in Clackamas County, on the southeastern edge of Portland, Oregon, the magnificent Willamette Falls , carved from basalt during the Ice Age floods , create a natural stopping place on the navigable Willamette River. Since time immemorial, indigenous people have taken salmon with dipnets from the falls’ cascading waters and harvested Pacific Lamprey from among the rocks. Trappers, settlers, and entrepreneurs were first drawn to the banks of the ...
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Last week Preservation Leadership Forum hosted our first ever Forum Town Hall: "Responding to Change: Advocating for Preservation Under the New Administration." The town hall featured remarks from policy experts followed by a Q&A and open discussion with audience members. This live event provided members of the preservation community the opportunity to exchange ideas, questions, and concerns in response to federal policy changes under the new administration that impact historic preservation. The ...
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This article originally appeared on CityLab on May 17, 2017. It is reposted here with permission. By Alexis Clements Just a block and a half away from where I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is the Bedford Union Armory, which for a few years now has been sitting largely unused. Turned over by the state to the City of New York in 2013, this massive, 110-year-old former National Guard facility appears from the outside to be headed toward quiet dereliction, but in fact, it’s now the epicenter ...
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The edges of our country are eroding. From Alaska to Louisiana, centuries of culture, tangible history, and dynamic communities are being battered by stronger storms and sea level rise—raising difficult questions about adaptation, relocation, and what it means to be an American experiencing climate change today. In this series Victoria Herrmann, a National Geographic Explorer will chronicle America’s Eroding Edges (AEE) , helping you explore the challenges of all those facing the impacts ...
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On Thursday, April 27, as part of its ongoing webinar series, Preservation Leadership Forum hosted “ Preserving and Supporting Businesses in Historic Neighborhoods ” in collaboration with NeighborWorks America. Pacific Cafe in San Francisco. | Credit: San Francisco Heritage This webinar examined how small local businesses contribute to the vitality of older neighborhoods by not only offering essential service but also serving as community anchors and strengthening neighborhoods’ ...
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Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined preservation colleagues all across the nation in celebrating 50 years of achievement under the National Historic Preservation Act—the critical 1966 law that still shapes our work today. We also took the opportunity of this golden anniversary to draw inspiration from the preservationists who made the act a reality; take stock of the current direction, strengths, and shortcomings of our field; and develop a vision to guide our efforts ...
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The Preservation Green Lab is always looking for opportunities to test our idea that building reuse should be a key strategy for supporting community health, equity, and resilience. Our ongoing work building the Atlas of ReUrbanism does just that by quantifying the benefits that older buildings and blocks bring to 50 cities (so far) across the country. Not surprisingly, these “high-character” areas feature more jobs; more units of affordable rental housing; more diverse residents; and more density ...
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In the last month there has been some momentum on the Hill with regard to tax reform. Here’s a quick recap of the events and a short guide to showing your support for the federal HTC—including a new opportunity. Credit: Architect of the Capitol In late April Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee participated in a retreat. Sources have confided that the committee members did not “drill down” and talk about specific tax credits but instead sought to find common ...
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By Katie Rispoli Keaotamai Preservation is, by its nature, a diverse field—some preservationists document, while others conserve, restore, educate, advocate, and more. And the next generation of preservation professionals learns by doing, which makes it important to provide hands-on opportunities that will allow youth to discover how historic places fit into their lives. The challenge, then, is to raise awareness of preservation while attracting individuals interested in digital technologies, ...
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On May 5 Congress completed its work on the H.R.244 —the FY17 Consolidated Appropriations Act—known as the “Omnibus.” The Omnibus will fund the government through September 30, 2017, and includes 11 appropriations bills, as well as supplemental funding for defense, disaster relief, border security, Puerto Rico, and veterans. The most important provisions for the preservation community are found within the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations. Credit: Architect of the ...
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Until recently, preservationists may not have known much about urban activist Jane Jacobs or the value she placed on older buildings. But 11 years after her death, there is a renewed interest in cities that work for people, and Jacobs seems to be everywhere you look. From a new documentary, Citizen Jane: The Battle for the City ; to “ A Marvelous Order ,” an upcoming opera pitting Jacobs against her nemesis Robert Moses ; to Jane Jacobs Walks , touring conversations about urban neighborhoods, ...
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