What Are the Advantages of Establishing a Historic District?

Updated

One of the strongest qualities of local historic district designation is that it can be tailored to the specific needs and distinct identity of the community, and helps to protect and preserve local resources, even while the community is changing.  Development that enhances a historic district is important to the city's evolution since it ties past, present and future together.  Change further indicates a healthy and lively community, and reflects the united pride and investment the residents have in their neighborhood.  There are numerous other advantages to establishing a local historic district:

  • Local districts protect the investments of owners and residents.  Buyers know that the aspects that make a particular area attractive will be protected over a period of time.  Real estate agents in many cities use historic district status as a marketing tool to sell properties.
  • Local districts encourage better design.  It has been shown through comparative studies that there is a greater sense of relatedness, more innovative use of materials, and greater public appeal within historic districts than in areas without historic designations.
  • Local districts help the environment.  Historic district revitalization can, and should, be part of a comprehensive environmental policy.
  • The educational benefits of creating local districts are the same as those derived from any historic preservation effort.  Districts can help explain the development of a place, the source of inspiration, and technological advances.  They are a record of ourselves and our communities.
  • A local district can result in a positive economic impact from tourism.  A historic district that is aesthetically cohesive and well promoted can be a community's most important attraction.  The retention of historic areas as a way to attract tourist dollars makes good economic sense.
  • The protection of local historic districts can enhance business recruitment potential.  Companies continually re-locate to communities that offer their workers a higher quality of life, which is greatly enhanced by successful local preservation programs and stable historic districts.
  • Local districts provide social and psychological benefits.  A sense of empowerment and confidence develops when community decisions are made through a structured participatory process rather than behind closed doors or without public comment.