Thursday, March 18, 2010

Can historic preservation lead us out of the recession?

I came across a story in my morning reading that I felt was important enough to share. It's a well-written piece from a SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) blogger, referencing an article published last year in Contract Magazine.

The SCAD blog author states the Contract mag piece is worthy of a re-read, and I could not agree more. Budget cuts in NY State threaten to close state parks and historic sites and the proposed Obama administration 2011 budget eliminates funding for Save America's Treasures, a federal preservation grant program responsible for, among other things, restoring both the original star-spangled banner and the bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Important stuff.

Simply put, America needs to understand the role preservation plays in our daily lives, in our country's recovery, and in our collective future.

Some staggering statistics from the Contract piece:

  • In Michigan, $1 million in building rehabilitation creates 12 more jobs than does manufacturing $1 million worth of cars;
  • In West Virginia, $1 million of rehabilitation creates 20 more jobs than mining $1 million worth of coal;
  • In Oklahoma, $1 million of rehabilitation creates 29 more jobs than pumping $1 million worth of oil;
  • In Oregon, $1 million of rehabilitation creates 22 more jobs than cutting $1 million worth of timber;
  • In Pennsylvania, $1 million of rehabilitation creates 12 more jobs than processing $1 million worth of steel;
  • In California, $1 million of rehabilitation creates five more jobs than manufacturing $1 million worth of electronic equipment;
  • ...and the list goes on.
Read for yourself:
Here's the blog.
Here's the original Contract Magazine piece.
What do you think?

p.s. If this fires you up, please don't let it end here. Forward the information to your friends and colleagues. Call your state and federal elected officials. Or, better yet, join us and add your voice and support to our collective membership as we work diligently to ensure preservation stays a top priority our region, and in this country.

(image by Alisdair McDiarmid, licensed under CC 2.0)

posted by Laura Keeney Zavala, Director of Marketing


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