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The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader's Guide Paperback – Unabridged, March 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: National Trust for Historic Preservation; 2 edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891333886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891333883
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donovan D. Rypkema is principal of Place Economics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures. In 2004 Rypkema established Heritage Strategies International to provide similar services to world-wide clients. Rypkema has worked with communities in 49 States, 9 Canadian Provinces and 40 countries. He is the author of numerous articles and publications as well as a book, The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader's Guide which has been translated into Russian and Korean. Rypkema holds a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, served on the Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Boards of Directors of the North Capital Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Washington Council of Agencies and is currently on the Board of Directors of Global Urban Development. He teaches a course on the economics of historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania where he received the 2008 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book helped me and my supporters in framing our arguments over a proposed redevelopment of downtown. A must for anyone who cares about the historic structures, homes, and businesses in their town. Gives real, concrete easy-to-understand arguments for the preservation of historic properties. If your town is facing pressure from developers to "revitalize" an older neighborhood, you need this book to build a case for preserving important properties!
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Format: Paperback
This is still the best book around for any preservationist to have as a handy reference. For those just starting out and for those in the trenches for years, Don Rypkema's The Economics of Historic Preservation, lays out simple responses to all the confounding questions and arguments that preservationists get from the public each day. Organized in a very readable format, the book provides fact filled answers (ok there are some smart retorts too) for those forced to confront rumor, inuendo and fear mongering during public meetings, press interviews or from citizens who just do not understand the benefits of maintaining historic resources. This book is invaluable for local citizens trying to retain and preserve their downtowns, neighborhoods and individual buildings. A must for every preservationists bookshelf.
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I am a grant writer in Georgia and have found some great information in this easy-to-read guide to the economics of historical preservation. It pointed me in the direction of several Georgia-based studies that strengthen my grants and present hard figures that the grant readers are looking for regarding historic preservation and downtown revitalization.
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I was a classmate of Donovan at Columbia University, and while others of us were wowed by bricks and mortar and historic technology, Don was focused on the $$$ of preservation. I worked with him on team projects in NYC and earned a great respect for his ability to articulate a financial argument in favor of restoration and rehab vs. demolition and rebuild.

In this 3rd Edition (2014), Rypkema laments that the studies and data are somewhat dated, but the arguments are sound - and he is correct. To read through his 100 arguments is a bit tedious and seems redundant ... but that is not the best use of this book. Chapter 11 (the last) is probably the most useful chapter for a "community leader". Here Don lays out 24 likely preservation scenarios, provides key action items, and finishes with reference back to the list of 100 arguments which would be most helpful to know in each scenario. This is invaluable.

For those of us who came into historic preservation in it's hay-day of the 1970's and 1980's, the lessons were hard learned and fought; the benefits can be seen 50 years later in the cities and towns that stayed the course. Unfortunately, economic and political forces have changed, and a new generation must step up to the challenge of making economic arguments now, if they want to enjoy the benefits in 30 years. Don's book will help.
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Architects and community leaders in love with new buildings and sustainability should read this book to realize that the energy embodied in existing buildings almost always makes it more sustainability to rehab them for new uses than to build new. The author has spread the word on this very well.
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Sometimes the hardest battle in preservation is convincing "the powers that be" that they won't lose money or that this is a good business idea. Rypkema lists off dozens of great arguments and clearly explains their application. It's wonderful especially for students in the field.
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