Benefits of Historic Preservation

Benefits of historic preservationPreservation strengthens neighborhoods

Preserved residential and commercial spaces are an asset to their communities. A compilation of studies on historic preservation by the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation has concluded that home values within a historic district rise more quickly than comparable areas and that buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes in preservation zones. Historic residential and commercial areas are often found near one another in the heart of towns and cities and benefit from this proximity. Preserved structures add character and charm, enhance neighborhood pride, and fosters a strong cultural identity among generational residents

Preservation complements place-based economic development

Heritage tourism provides opportunities for place-based economic development, especially in rural areas. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “place-based strategies build on the existing, unique assets [of] areas, including natural and scenic amenities, cultural heritage and traditions, and distinctive historic structures and landscapes. Protecting and enhancing these assets contributes to an improved quality of life that helps retain existing residents and attract new investment.”

Preservation encourages local economic growth

Historic preservation creates positive economic benefits and jobs for Delawareans. According to a study prepared by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in 2010, for every $1 million spent on rehabilitation, 14.6 jobs are created. Rehabilitation offers a higher return on investment in terms of job creation than new construction or manufacturing. Preservation work depends more heavily on the work craftsman than the purchase of raw materials. Therefore, in comparison to new construction, preservation more directly benefits local businesses. Communities that take action to preserve pieces of their heritage also attract visitors, new residents, and investment.

Preservation conserves natural resources

Restoring older commercial and residential buildings is environmentally responsible. Historic preservation, as a form of infill development, provides usable and attractive buildings on land that is already developed. Heritage conservation helps to reduce reliance on new materials, environmentally unfriendly building materials, and energy intensive production of new building materials. In addition, many features of historic structure such as awnings, overhangs, and shutters are designed to take advantage of natural light to enhance energy efficiency.

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