Author Archive

Housing Bill Enhances the Federal Historic Tax Credit

Posted on: August 19th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern 2 Comments

 

Federal tax policy is a complicated thing - and something that, despite years of being a taxpayer, I don’t even begin to understand. One piece that I am able to grasp, however, is that offering tax credits for the rehabilitation of older and historic buildings helps make real gains in linking historic preservation to community revitalization nationwide.

Thanks to the housing bill passed late last month that included several key enhancements to this incentive, the federal historic tax credit will work even better in the future. Given that, in 2007, it sparked more than $4 billion in private investment and created more than 40,000 new jobs, the fact that it was improved even further is amazing.

What does the tax credit do? It rewards building owners who choose to renovate and rehabilitate historic and older structures for use as rental housing and other commercial purposes. In lower income areas, where the overlap between historic buildings and households in poverty is greatest, this transformation of what is often considered “blight” can help stabilize neighborhoods, reduce displacement, and build vibrant communities.

Follow the links to learn more about the National Trust's work to improve this great preservation tool and to find out more about commercial preservation funding.

-- Patrick J. Lally, Director of Congressional Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, contributed to this story.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

PreservationNation Blog Maintenance

Posted on: July 29th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Today, July 29, the PreservationNation blog is getting a much-needed software upgrade. We expect that, once it is complete, everything will function as it should. However, there are often unexpected surprises with software updates, so please bear with us if things are slightly wonky for a day or two. And, in the event that you stop receiving updates via RSS, please visit the site to re-subscribe.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding -- we really appreciate it!

Update: The upgrade went (mostly) without a hitch. The only thing we seem to have lost is our categories, which means navigation is a bit scarce at the moment and we've had to temporarily eliminate the topic-specific RSS feeds. We're working on getting these back as quickly as possible. Thanks again for your patience.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

J. Jackson Walter, 1940-2008

Posted on: July 24th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Jack Walter, former president of the National Trust for Historic PreservationAs noted on Monday, former National Trust for Historic Preservation President J. Jackson Walter died unexpectedly on July 18, 2008. Today's Washington Post features an article about his career, including his time leading our organization:

In 1984, Mr. Walter was appointed president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, established in 1949 as a congressionally chartered protector of historic properties.

He said he wanted the organization "to be a major central figure in public debates about what our cities should look like, where tall building should go, and try to put historic preservation right in the middle of those debates instead of at the end."

Read the entire article online here.

Jack is already missed by his friends and colleagues here at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Lost in the Flood: The Vavra House, Cedar Rapids

Posted on: July 15th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Last week, staff from our Midwest Office visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was devastated by last month's floods. In the video below, Michael Richards, a homeowner they met -- whose residence is slated for demolition -- talks about his home, and its role in both the history of Cedar Rapids and as a part of his personal history. It is, in Mr. Richards' own words, a reminder that historically important structures are not just grand buildings, but also the, "small homes and traditional neighborhoods" that were lost in the flood.

Information on dealing with flood damage is available on our website.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Sharing Places That Matter

Posted on: June 20th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Back in May, in celebration of Preservation Month, we launched a campaign called This Place Matters, and asked preservationists around the country to share photos and stories of the places that matter to them. We've gotten more than 200 to date, but are still accepting submissions, so if you happen to visit a great place this weekend, make sure to take a picture and post it on the This Place Matters site.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, however, is not the only organization talking about places that matter. In fact, we got the idea for our initiative from two groups in New York: City Lore and the Municipal Art Society. Earlier this month, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Place Matters program by honoring 10 places selected from a list of nearly 650 places nominated by New Yorkers as part of their census.

They've produced a great YouTube video of their honorees. I've visited New York City countless times, and I have to say each of them was new to me -- and each seems to be a special, local gem.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.