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Seven Key Benefits that Historic Preservation Offers

As detailed in the book by Steven Tiesdell: Revitalizing Historic Urban Quarters, Architectural Press, 1996.

  1. Aesthetic value - "Old buildings and towns are valued because they are intrinsically beautiful, or because the have a scarcity value. In a world of rapid change, visible and tangible evidence of the past may also be valued for the sense of place and continuity it conveys."

  2. Architectural diversity - "The aesthetic appeal of a historic place may result from the combination or juxtaposition of many buildings rather than the individual merits of any particular building."

  3. Environmental diversity - "There is often a stimulating contrast between the human scale environment of a historic quarter or district and the monumental scale of the more modern central business distric."

  4. Functional diversity - "A diverse range of different types of space in buildings of varying ages, enables a mix of uses.

  5. Resource value - "Whether beautiful, historic or just plain practical, buildings may be better used than replaced. The reuse of buildings constitutes the conservation of scarce resources, a reduction in the consumption of energy and materials in construction, and good resource management."

  6. Continuity of cultural memory/heritage value - "Visible evidence of the past can contribute educationally to the cultural identity and memory of a particular people or place, giving meaning to the present by interpreting the past."

  7. Economic and commercial value - "Historic buildings usually possess scarcity, which can present opportunities for tourism." Coupled with tax and other incentives the cost of utilizing them is often lower than for other alternatives.

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 2

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