Forum Connect

Examples of Using Eminent Domain to Save Historic Properties

  • 1.  Examples of Using Eminent Domain to Save Historic Properties

    Posted 03-23-2019 15:29
    Hi All,

    I'm a planning and preservation graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania working on my Master's thesis, which analyzes eminent domain as a tool to curtail demolition by neglect (i.e. for positive preservation purposes).  I'm wondering if anyone knows of examples in which governments have condemned privately-owned, vacant and/or abandoned, historic properties.  In particular, I'm focused on examples in which the government never intended to own the property and merely condemned it in order to effectuate a sale to a different private owner so that the historic building could be preserved.  I'm also interested in finding out if any states explicitly allow this authority in their eminent domain state-enabling legislation.  I've already done some research to these ends, but would like to have some additional case studies to round out my research.

    Feel free to reply to this thread or to e-mail me at scottsam@design.upenn.edu with more information.  Any and all leads are appreciated!

    Best,
    Sarah

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Scott
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Examples of Using Eminent Domain to Save Historic Properties

    Ambassador
    Posted 03-25-2019 11:10
    In theory, Milwaukee can do this, but I don't think it has ever pursued this route.
    There have, nonetheless, been instances of a property owner being convinced to sell the property to the city for $1.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Askin
    City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission
    Milwaukee WI
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Examples of Using Eminent Domain to Save Historic Properties

    Posted 03-25-2019 11:31
    Hi Sarah --
    I'm not sure if they use eminent domain at all, but the City of San Antonio Office  of Historic Preservation has a Vacant Buildings program. If you have't come across this yet, it might be worth looking into or inquiring about their methodologies: https://www.sanantonio.gov/Vacant-Building
    Best of luck with your thesis!

    ------------------------------
    Olivia Tarricone, AIA
    Preservation Architect
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Houston, TX Field Office
    otarricone@savingplaces.org
    ------------------------------