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The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities Paperback – October 4, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161091709X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610917094
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Historic preservation holds the seeds of renewal. By rehabilitating and restoring buildings that are already imbued with history, character, and a deep sense of place, a community can reinvigorate a flagging economy, create a hub of pedestrian activity, reduce overall energy expenditures, and retain local dollars which in turn creates more jobs, more activity, and more of a sense of ownership throughout the community. Stephanie Meeks drills down into the overwhelmingly positive economic impacts that historic preservation and building reuse can have in American cities. She explains the energy savings that come from reusing an older building rather than scraping it and rebuilding with newly harvested materials. She also cautions preservationists to guard against ignoring cultural sites of value that lie outside the usual focus of rich, powerful, white guys. She encourages communities to involve neighborhoods and property owners at the grassroots level. And she wades headlong into the debate about whether historic preservation leads to gentrification and a loss of affordable housing.

This is a very well rounded book that looks at historic preservation from multiple angles. It's rich with data points, real-world examples from across the United States, and encouragements for how preservationists should move forward. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Informative, timely read. I much prefer visiting places with a "history." And, this book makes a compelling case for the multiple benefits of preservation.
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Format: Paperback
As a preservation professional, I find it difficult to be an expert on all the ways historic preservation benefits our communities. What I love about The Past and Future City is that it contains every one of these ways in a succinct format. By reading, dog-earing and underlining, I now have a single go-to place for this information. The notes and sources are also invaluable!
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Format: Paperback
The Past and Future City not only offers a timely account of a path forward for the historic preservation movement as it celebrates the past 50 years of the National Historic Preservation Act, but also looks forward to new challenges and opportunities for preservationists to consider as the movement enters the next 50 years. The Past and Future City rebuts the perceived reputation as a "movement of no" by offering ways to encourage voluntary preservation of the the built environment and cultural heritage, too, including the use of best traditional legal tools and new creative incentives. It's exciting, at this pivotal juncture, to read this as a "call to arms" for a preservation movement that not only preserves nationally significant architecture, places, and landscapes, but also answers head-on the challenges preservation faces--real or perceived--including those related to social equity, sustainability, elitism, and inflexible nostalgia. Preservation leaders, academics, and students should consider it a "must read" for preservation and cultural heritage preservation in the 21st century.
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