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Archive for the ‘Job Creation’ Category

I just wanted to quickly share this link to a recent National Trust Blog Post on saving the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit,  something that is essential to our Countries historic building stock and economy.

Spread the word and contact your legislators to save the Tax Credit!

The Hayden Building is a rare surviving H.H. Richardson commercial building that is being saved and converted in to mixed-use space thanks to state and federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

 

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Everyone has felt the effects of the recession that we’re mired in.  Add to that the rising costs of everyday necessities, including gasoline, fuel oil, clothing and food, and we have a crisis that is straining small businesses located in our historic downtowns to their limit (and sometimes, beyond their limit to the point that they’re forced to close their doors forever).  What’s more, it isn’t just small businesses feeling the pinch (look at Borders, for one).  But take heart!  There are ways to find that toaster or those tube socks or that snow shovel you’ve needed for so long without turning to the local big box store.  Consider what the townspeople of Saranac Lake, New York, have done to remedy their shopping needs:
Nestled high in the Adirondack Mountains, this town of 5,000 residents turned down the advances of WalMart, opting to establish a community-owned department store instead.  The Saranac Lake Community Store was built on shares sold $100 at a time to the same people who will be walking the aisles to find a new sweater or some aspirin, and since its interests lie exclusively in offering services to Saranac Lake, it won’t be sold up the river when an investor makes an attractive offer, or close down when its parent company gets too deep into debt.  This business model will help to keep money in the community it supports, which will help to preserve Saranac Lake as a vibrant, viable place for generations to come.

I’d like to send out an emphatic, “Great thinking, folks! Keep up the good work!” to Saranac Lake.  Here’s hoping that other small towns around our great nation that have been struggling might look to the model set by the Saranac Lake Community Store as a fresh, new idea that could breathe new life into their downtowns.

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Hey everyone.

This post is a quick PSA.

It seems that funding is being cut everywhere you look in the current economic climate. However, Preservation doesn’t get much funding to begin with, and it seems even more of our funding is now in jeopardy.  The Transportation Enhancements Program may be on the chopping block and we Preservationists and Preservation enthusiasts need to speak up to save it!  This program has helped to preserve historic roads and bridges, to enhance historic downtown streetscapes, to maintain scenic and historic parkways and byways, and to rehabilitate and revitalize historic transportation resources that would have otherwise been abandoned or demolished.  It is the single largest funding source for historic preservation in the country, and has helped to save countless resources, from historic railroad stations and freight sheds, to stone arch bridges, to the acquisition of scenic easements to preserve our historic battlefields.  Examples of the great things that Transportation Enhancement funding has accomplished can be found at the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse

For more information and a handy link to email your Senator, please visit this Preservation Nation Blog.

With so few jobs in our relatively small field, and with museums and historic interest groups reeling from the recent loss of funding to programs like Save America’s Treasures, the Preservation field desperately needs to save what little Federal funding remains, to keep professionals at work.  In a field that has been working over the past 40-plus years to gain the trust and assistance of state and local officials and the general public, working to ensure the preservation of our national, regional and local identity, and striving to be seen as more than the group of crazed anti-progress zealots often referred to as the “hysterical society”, we need all of the professional guidance and funding available.  Don’t get me wrong, volunteers are wonderful people and can often be the difference between a Preservation project succeeding or languishing indefinitely, but Preservation in this country can’t be accomplished by volunteers alone, and the sort of funding that keeps people in our field working is disappearing rapidly!

So, please get in touch with your Senator and let them know that the Transportation Enhancement Program is one that our country needs!

-Etta

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I’ve been reading a lot about the London riots, and as a Preservationist I have to say I’m concerned not only for the social implications but also for the repercussions of the rioting on the UK’s built heritage, and so I got to thinking….

Once upon a time, I went to England to participate in a British National Trust working holiday. On this working holiday, I worked on an island off the coast of Devon (Lundy Island to be exact) rebuilding dry-laid stone walls and digging ditches (seriously) and various other maintenance tasks that needed to be done on Lundy. During this week long holiday, I met some great people and got an interesting prospective on how Preservation works in a country that has what many would consider “ancient” heritage. For example, part of our job was “Rhodie” Bashing (and no I don’t mean making fun of the state of Rhode Island), a task that consisted of eradicating century-old rhododendron bushes that were as big as trees and would be considered historic treasures in this country, but there, all the Rhodies managed to do was choke out an endemic species of plant that was the only food source for a species of beetle, and therefore, they had to go.  Plus, there’s a 13th century castle and the remains of an Iron Age settlement on the island.  Ancient heritage.

Below is a photo from my trip. It’s a view of the local pub and the church can be seen behind it. This is “down-town” Lundy.

I realize I’ve digressed a little, but the point is, I got to know a bit about the British National Trust and some of the great work they do, and that got me thinking… I wonder what the British National Trust is doing in light of the rioting. Then it dawned on me that they could provide a unique solution to part of the problem over there, which, as I understand it, is young people rioting because they are poor. Well, wouldn’t it be great if some of these poor kids could get some skills and then they could work to better their situation? Since they’ve caused all this damage to businesses and homes all over London and other cities, shouldn’t it stand to reason that they should be responsible for cleaning it up and fixing what they’ve damaged? I think so… so here is my big idea. The arrested “hoodies” or “ASBOs” or whatever you want to call them, could be given some sort of probation arrangement, provided that they attend trade classes for technical Preservation and Restoration (put on by the Trust… or an entity similar to the Trust) and then they use those skills to restore and rebuild the damage they caused.  Then, after it’s all done, they have a marketable skill to use to earn some money and improve their place in society.

I know that there are myriad of niggling little details that would need to be worked out for this plan to succeed, but it’s an interesting premise anyway. So, to my reading audience across the pond… What do you think? You’re in my thoughts.

-Etta

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