Rehabilitating historic properties conserves taxpayers’ dollars, conserves our local heritage, and conserves the natural environment. Rehabilitating historic buildings and using the infrastructure that is already in place to serve them is the height of fiscal and environmental responsibility.
A million dollars spent in new construction generates 30.6 jobs. But that same million dollars in the rehabilitation of an historic building? 35.4 jobs.
I’m overly familiar (thank you grad school!) with some of the titles, while others are new to me. I’m particularly interested in checking out From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story after reading a few great reviews of it around blogland recently . But I was also surprised that a few titles were missing (A Field Guide to American Houses, anyone?).
I was really happy to see that Donovan Rypkema’s The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide made it on the list. Successful preservation more often than not starts at the grassroots and more often than not the most persuasive argument for preservation is an economic one. Rypkema’s guide is very clear and easy for even the most financially-challenged (ahem, me) to understand. I had the good fortune to hear Rypkema speak about the economics of preservation at the University of Kentucky’s 5th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium in 2011, which focused on Adaptive Reuse. He was a dynamic speaker and a lively Q&A followed. Hands shot up all over the room the moment he opened the floor. He was just as articulate and effective as his book when fielding questions and responses to his presentation. I think a lot of people walked away from his session with a back pocket filled with new ideas for approaching preservation.*
Are there any essentials you would add?
*In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I must admit to being a part of the 5th Symposium’s planning committee and to having lunched with Mr. Kaufman after his session. He was incredibly gracious with the HP Program students and faculty.
Rypkema addressing the panel of experts and standing-room-only crowd at the 5th Annual HP Symposium, 2011