The Importance of Historic Preservation

The preservation of historic sites enables a city to reflect on the past while preparing for the future. Historic sites are an integral aspect of any community, providing visitors with an education of how the community was formed. There are many benefits of preserving historic sites, including an abundance of intrinsic value, an appealing aesthetic, cultural sustainability, and community revitalization.

One benefit of preserving historic buildings is the subsequent protection of their intrinsic value. Generally speaking, historic buildings were built with high quality materials that are either rare or no longer exist, such as hardwoods, natural stone, and precious metals.  Many historic buildings also feature original craftsmanship that is unique to the time period in which the building was constructed.  These high-quality materials generally last a great deal longer than modern materials used today.  This makes historical buildings smart long-term investments.

The aesthetic of historic buildings often entices people to restore rather than rebuild. Whether it’s the authentic craftsmanship or a distinguishing façade, historic buildings draw attention and create visual interest. This aesthetic also attracts visitors to the historical site.  Many people see historic sites great photo opportunities, due to the visual appeal of the buildings.  These photos are often shared with friends and family on social media sites, increasing the awareness of the historic site and the businesses around it.

There is also a cultural sustainability aspect in the preservation of historic buildings. Historic buildings provide an insight into the formation of a city, telling tales of struggles and triumphs that shaped the city into what it is today.  By preserving these historic buildings, the culture of the city is also preserved for generations to come.  Current and future generations can learn about the history of the city from the historic sites.  For example, visitors to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, restored by Chris-Tel Construction, can learn about the Edison and Ford families and their direct impact on the growth of the city of Fort Myers, Florida.

Historic preservation can also revitalize a community. If a neighborhood has deteriorated, historic preservation can be utilized to revamp the area, creating a feeling of “rebirth” for the surrounding community.  This feeling has the potential to inspire change, motivating the community to take action in efforts to improve the areas surrounding the historic site. Preserving one historic site can give the community the push it needs to get on board with rejuvenating a deteriorating neighborhood.

The importance of historic preservation is sometimes overlooked, but historic sites are truly an essential part of any community. Not only do historic sites provide insight into the history of a community, but historic preservation also retains the intrinsic value of the building, provides attractive aesthetics, ensures cultural sustainability, and helps promote community revitalization.  Whether preserving one building or an entire site, the importance of historic preservation to the surrounding community should always be recognized.

 

 

N.A, (N.D). Benefits of Historic Preservation. Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved from http://preservewa.org/Benefits-Historic-Preservation.aspx

Rocchi, Julia. (2015, November 10).  Six Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings. National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Retrieved from https://savingplaces.org/stories/six-reasons-save-old-buildings#.WSLgUGgrJPY