Jul 09, 2008

All Preservation is Local

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil is famously quoted as saying, “All politics is local.” A few years ago the National Trust did an extensive analysis of attitudes toward historic preservation. What did they discover? That all (or nearly all) preservation is local as ...

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Jul 09, 2008

Historic Preservation and Sustainability – Local Journalist getting it right

Yeah, this is a bit self-serving, and I apologize in advance for that. But a couple of weeks ago I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I wrote about it in this blog on June 13th. Well, on that trip I met a journalist by the ...

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Jul 09, 2008

Want to Be Part of Sustainable Develoment? Go to Biddeford, Maine

Biddeford, Maine. Never heard of it? Well, I guess that’s not surprising, it’s a town of only 22,000, 15 miles south of Portland, Maine. But it is one of the oldest towns in New England, with the first sawmill having been built there over 350 ...

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Jul 09, 2008

Story City Update – or He Who Hesitates…

A couple of days ago (July 1) I wrote about the great risk takers in Story City, Iowa, who leaped into the breach and acquired the Charlson Building in their downtown. As part of that post I mentioned a wonderful business located in the Charlson ...

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Jul 09, 2008

Preservation Leadership Training

In the spirit of full disclosure I’ll begin by acknowledging that the National Trust is a great client of mine, and has been for 25 years. However, I am not now nor have I ever been an employee of the Trust and so I actually ...

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Jul 09, 2008

Small Town Risk Takers

Towns and cities that are willing to take a risk on themselves – those are my favorite places to work. And Story City, Iowa is just such a place. I was there early last year spending a day talking with city officials, business people, preservationists ...

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Jun 09, 2008

College Towns

I love college towns. I’ve often said that if I were a local economic development director and could recruit absolutely any economic activity, it would be a college. Why? 1) Colleges are a basic industry — outside dollars flowing in to purchase services (education) that ...

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Jun 09, 2008

Changing the Terms of the Debate

This one is short. Ideas are wonderful things. Open minds and creative thinkers are where meaningful, positive change comes from. And what an incredible tool the internet is to exchange ideas. But it’s also a powerful tool to change the terms of the debate.And that ...

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Jun 09, 2008

Recession

Last week I had two speaking assignments – the New Jersey Historic Preservation Conferenceon the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick and the Maine Downtown Conference in Biddeford. More about Biddeford in the next post. First to New Jersey. The other opening keynote speaker was Dr. James Hughes, ...

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Jun 09, 2008

Historic Preservation as Economic Development

Hurray for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the US Department of Commerce! They have taken a GIANT leap forward in refuting the long-held belief in some quarters that communities have to choose between historic preservation and economic development. That was always a false choice, of ...

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