Chain drugstores are expanding rapidly into traditional American downtowns and urban neighborhoods. Research of the National Trust Main Street Center has shown that drugstore chains can play a role in revitalizing older downtowns. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to see these investments by chain drugstores in situations where they are welcomed by the community and do not threaten a town's character or historic integrity.
Unfortunately, chain drugstores have frequently demolished significant structures, replacing them with freestanding suburban-style stores whose design - seas of parking, drive-through windows, blank exteriors, and one-story scale - disrupt the traditional main street. Even when stores use vacant land, their prototypical boxes are inappropriate for pedestrian-oriented downtowns. Generic design, disregard of scale, and the destruction of historic properties greatly damage a community's unique sense of place.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation created the documents listed below to give citizens the knowledge they need to protect their community and to work out win-win solutions with chain drugstore companies.
- The Compatible New Drugstore Design Tipsheet
- Top 10 basic tips on strategy for dealing with drugstore chains
- Getting Modifications to building and site plans