Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize by Andrew Hurley

By Andrew Hurley

Around the usa, historical renovation has develop into a catalyst for city regeneration. marketers, city pioneers, and veteran urban dwellers have refurbished millions of dilapidated homes and placed them to efficient use as retailers, eating places, nightclubs, museums, and personal apartments. for this reason, inner-cities, as soon as disparaged as zones of poverty, crime, and rot were re-branded as old districts. even supposing those renovation tasks, usually supported through govt tax incentives and inflexible architectural controls, deserve credits for bringing humans again to the town, elevating estate values, and producing vacationer profit, they've been much less winning in developing reliable and harmonious groups. past protection proposes a framework for stabilizing and strengthening inner-city neighborhoods throughout the public interpretation of ancient landscapes. Its critical argument is that inner-city groups can most sensible flip preserved landscapes into resources by means of subjecting them to public interpretation on the grass-roots. in accordance with an exam of winning tasks in St. Louis, Missouri and different U.S. towns, Andrew Hurley demonstrates how rigorous historic research may also help groups articulate a neighborhood id and plan intelligently at the foundation of latest cultural and social resources.

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Extra info for Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize Inner Cities (Urban Life, Landscape and Policy)

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Within twenty-five years of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act, more than 8,000 districts, most of them in towns or cities, had secured a listing on the national register. Within these districts, the rehabilitation of historic properties proceeded swiftly and extensively once Congress revised the tax code in 1976. 24 The enthusiasm for inner-city preservation should not be ascribed solely to favorable legislation, however. Larger economic, cultural, and demographic factors were at work.

Small-town merchants are reinvigorating their Main Street business districts. 39 Although many older central cities in the Northeast and the industrial heartland continued to bleed population, and plenty of inner-city neighborhoods remained mired in a cycle of poverty, disinvestment, and physical decay, cities seemed to have turned a corner; they were no longer dying. For those who wanted concrete evidence that cities were on their way back, they needed to look no further than the downtown tourist districts and historic inner-city neighborhoods where preservation had produced visible results.

The postwar suburbs were designed for nuclear families. For childless households, however, the allure of suburban living diminished considerably. After 1960, a number of cultural and demographic factors conspired against the nuclear family. Young people were moving away from home at an earlier age but getting married later in life. Also contributing to the nearly twofold increase in single-family households between 1960 and 1980 was the rapid rise in divorce rates. Moreover, even when young people did marry, they were much more likely than members of the previous generations to postpone childbearing.

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