11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Sites Imperiled by State Actions

Year Listed: 2011
Location: *United States
Threat: Budget Cuts, Poor Public Policy

Significance

Historic preservation projects not only save hundreds of thousands of beloved resources each year, they also serve to transform underused or vacant properties into a hubs of restoration activity, creating high quality jobs, supporting local economies, and putting buildings, and the business that will occupy them, back on the tax rolls.

As a result of the economic downturn, our nation’s 50 statehouses are facing staggering budget deficits, forcing lawmakers to re-examine all state programs for their impact and effectiveness. Unfortunately, this has put the very funding and incentives that stimulate redevelopment in the crosshairs.

While such incentives draw on state resources, their return on investment is manifold. For example: Michigan’s historic tax credit has leveraged $1.46 billion in direct rehabilitation activity and created 36,000 jobs since its enactment in 1999. Each $1.0 of credit issued leverages $11.37 in direct economic impact and these projects have brought $251 million in Federal historic tax credits to benefit Michigan’s economy.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation believes the solutions include getting state level rehabilitation tax credits reinstated, encouraging lawmakers to view heritage resources as assets that can be put to use to drive economic recovery, and supporting state-level advocacy efforts to ensure that preservationists have a voice in their state houses.