Historic Preservation

Can the past escape the wrecking ball?


The preservation movement, which aims to save buildings and other sites important to the nation's past, is facing stiff challenges. Big-city developers are replacing century-old brick and stone edifices, many that offer rents accessible to people and businesses of modest means, with million-dollar condos and glass-and-steel offices. In small towns and rural areas, old theaters, taverns and mills are in decay, shunned by those who see little merit in saving them. Meanwhile, climate change threatens historic coastal communities and river towns. To meet these challenges, preservationists are seeking investors and developers interested in converting historic buildings into restaurants, marketplaces and shared workspaces. The federal Historic Tax Credit, offered to property owners who preserve a historic structure or repurpose an older building for business use, is ...

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