Historic Preservation and Livability

I just have some random musings about the reading this week and the role that historic preservation plays in making cities more livable. The theme that I pulled out is that historic preservation has the most influence on the local level, and it is the only place that protection can be effectively regulated. It is also the only level that can provide the most economical and environmental benefits to the community. Several sources are beginning to rediscover that historic preservation is important to the local economy, as well as the cultural tourism economy. The new ‘green’ initiative (well new to some but it can be traced back to the 1960s) is beginning to discover historic preservation as part of the key to combat sprawl and save natural resources. Many historic buildings were designed with their environment in mind and took advantage of natural sunlight and heating and cooling techniques, making them as efficient as any other building, minus the new LEED certified buildings. For a resource of ‘green’ historic buildings, go to www.boiseartsandhistory.org, click on History, and then go to Tours and Maps. There is a walking tour brochure about historic buildings downtown that use geothermal heat. 
In addition to this, I just want to comment on the BAP post about buildings in danger here in Boise. BAP’s work plays an important role in garnering local support for historic preservation. It takes almost an entire community to preserve their historic character, and it takes constant education and outreach to build the type of support needed to get required ordinances and partnerships in place that can assist. Education plays such  a crucial role in this mix because you first have to have the community find value in the buildings before they will be passionate enough to fight for preservation. If we can continue to build local support, then the cultural tourism economy in Boise can begin to florish because we will have intact historic districts that are lively and contribute greatly to the local sense of place.

One thought on “Historic Preservation and Livability”

  1. I agree with you, Brandi. As the book suggests, “historic preservation is more than old buildings…it can be described as ‘applied history,’ for it puts history to good purpose through use of historic structures as sources of community revitalization” (15).

    On an unrelated note…the one thing that I struggled with in respect to the BAP was that as a native Washingtonian, I was only familiar with some of the sites they mentioned. I am positive I could google search their location, but it would have been nice to have an address to get the overall location.

    And it’s great to know that you will be an extra body at the Jensen Farmstead if push comes to shove. :)

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