Rebekah, I'm currently sitting in a cafe in Tulsa. My daughter and I just drove from Fort Collins with a new (to her) car for her to use while she's here at TU. And your description of what you're facing not only resonates with me because I love!!! the residential architecture of the Tulsa area, but also because we're facing a very similar developer/homeowner scenario in Fort Collins.We do have a buffer between us and the higher density housing that's infilling the area. But we have no protections against homeowners tearing down their historic homes and replacing them with much larger houses that are out of character with the neighborhood. It's a lose-lose because not only do we suffer the loss of the older building, but there's no improvement in density (or affordable housing) either. And an entire house has added to our almost full landfill.Several neighbors and I are currently reading _The_Politics_of_Historic_Districts_ by Bill Schmickle. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet. We started our process several years ago by petitioning the City to help us get a grant for context and survey work. The context was written first, which gave us an opportunity to hold a neighborhood meeting and talk about the history of our neighborhood. We introduced the idea of a historic district, but then stepped back and let that soak in. The surveys were completed last fall and we held a second neighborhood meeting in which everyone received a copy of their survey. (Most were brief architectural surveys, though 34 homeowners had agreed to have an intensive survey done of their property. We had just over 300 houses surveyed.) This was another opportunity to bring up districting. And in the 3 or 4 years we've been getting context and survey written, we've lost several houses, which has helped to catalyze homeowners.We've now formed a steering committee for a historic district and we're just starting to talk with neighbors to get a sense of who would be in favor. This will help us draw a potential boundary. I'd say the key so far is information -- what do you have and what are you losing? Every loss should be an example of why a district is needed. Schmickle's book helps to provide the arguments for a district.
We've got a long road ahead of us yet. And we're just starting to get a sense of our opposition. In the meantime, we're losing two more houses in the next couple of months. But I'm holding out hope that that will only bolster our argument and help more people agree that a district is necessary to protect what we have left.
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Oh good! Glad you're finding the book helpful. I still need to finish reading it.One thing that I'd like to know (from everyone out there with experience advocating for a historic district) is how much of a role did your website play? (Did you even have a website?) And how much of a role did your social media presence make? (Again, if you had one. And was it on Facebook or elsewhere?)I'm just starting to work on a website that we're hoping will provide information for anyone that wants to dig deeper as well as a preservation-minded viewpoint from which to think about environmental sustainability, local economy, property rights, etc. We'll also have block captains that go around and speak directly with neighbors, but we want to be able to refer people to a place with more info.
I also feel like I must be reinventing the wheel on some of the issues that we're facing. If someone elsewhere has already written about some of this stuff (with the general public as the intended audience) it would be nice to pull from what's been done already. And likewise, once our site is written and we've (hopefully) gotten a historic district created, I'd hope people could use our website/articles as a resource to (update specifics to their own neighborhood and) share with their local community.
So, if anyone has links to websites that were used to help educate a neighborhood regarding historic preservation, I'd love to take a look at those. And for anyone that wants to follow along with what we're doing, we'll be at http://www.historicloomisaddition.org/ (which is still in the very, very beginning stages, but I'm hoping to make a big charge into getting content posted this week).
We're busy here in Venice, FL:
· Working on the restoration of an 1896 (which is old for Florida!) four-square to be used as an early settlement museum and information center for tourists.
· Finalizing an ad valorem tax exemption ordinance for properties on the local register.
· Revising the City's current historic preservation ordinance in conjunction with the planning department's rewrite of land development regulations.
· Putting together a resource brochure for those interested in listing their property or to be used in a preservation intervention.
· Planning an association of communities that were planned by the landscape architect and city planner John Nolen (know of any in your neck o' the woods?).
Historical Resources Manager
City of Venice
Venice Museum & Archives
Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably
impossible for vigorous streets and districts to
grow without them....
– Jane Jacobs from The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Our guide is going to focus primarily on the carrots of preservation. In other words tax credits, permit fee waivers, reduced flood insurance, etc. Probably will add resources such as NTHP, and the State SHPO as well as myself and the county. Being a city entity, I don't want to go down that path of listing specific contractors for risk of looking like an endorsement or favoritism, but will have what to look for in a contractor/architect, etc.
I think it's great that you are looking into doing this. For us, the idea came out of a preservation intervention I did to save a building in a historic district. The owners just didn't know what was available to them because they have a building on the National Register.
State Historian and National Register Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | 515.281.3989 | iowaculture.gov
Iowa Arts Council | Produce Iowa | State Historical Society of Iowa
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
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I am working to save Abolition Hall in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. After the Civil War, the family repurposed the Underground Railroad station into an artist's studio. John Brown led the raid on Harper's Ferry. Thomas Hovenden captured the last moments of John Brown's life in this portrait, which was painted in the repurposed Abolition Hall. Hovenden's neighbors served as models for the figures flanking Brown as he makes his way to the gallows. The iconic painting is on view at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
For information on how you can help save this historic landmark, check out my blog post, "#ThisPlaceMatters: Abolition Hall."
A monument that pays homage to Cotton Pickers and Sharecroppers does not exist in the United States of America, nor any place else in the world. Meaning, there is no documented "official" honor, nor historical acknowledgment of the people who literally tilled the path to economic greatness in America, Europe, and many parts of the world. The movement to establish a national park that honors the Cotton Pickers of America with a Monument, Sharecroppers Interpretive Center and Historic Trail acknowledging the Global Cotton Empire is underway in the Mississippi Delta. Led by Mississippi-based Khafre, Inc the international charge offers just a small token of appreciation for tireless work of millions of people in the cotton and textile industries around the world.
In 2010, monument developer Ed Dwight provided the plans; in 2012, Dr. Maya Angelou gave her voice and wrote a poem in tribute to this movement; in 2014, Dr. B.B. King signed on; and, in 2015, blues singer Dr. Bobby Rush followed their lead and became the current Honorary Chair for this project. Their collective voice gives significance to the contributions of the hardest-working people the world has known. These are also the people who ultimately realized the least amount of social and economic return for their investments. Their commitment to work reflects their dignity, pride and distinct vision of hope and promise for future generations.
The work spanned for over four centuries, from kin to kain't (can't see in the morning to can't see at night), in the cotton fields of the American South; ultimately making Cotton the most important manufacturing industry in the world ... yet no official governmental entity has thanked them. Our presentation presents with tools to acknowledge the work and instruction on how to build out a grassroots campaign (movement) that preserves the legacy of "cotton pickers" and other disenfranchised people who did the actual work to build the greatest nations in the world.
Khafre, Inc would like to present on this subject during your upcoming conference.
Our scholarship and presentation shall serve as a reminder to your audience that a monument is a necessary and ever-present signal of respect and appreciation for those whose hope for a brighter day wore thin. But worked anyway making cotton the most important manufacturing industry in the world for over two centuries.
For more information:
KHAFRE, INC, Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed, Executive Director
email@example.com, 662.347.8198 ~ www.cottonpickers.us
2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
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