The City of Cumberland is at a crossroads: it can invest in existing resources to promote a higher quality of life, or it can start from the ground up. Only one option represents a wise use of public funds. This report was commissioned by the City of Cumberland to analyze the contribution of historic preservation to the city’s economic health. This analysis looked at the impact of historic preservation on property value growth, economic development, and the city’s supply of affordable housing. The results of this study make it clear: Cumberland is at a crossroads after years of dwindling fiscal resources. With limited resources, it makes the most sense to invest in existing resources. Among the City’s greatest existing assets are its natural and historic resources. These should serve as the foundation for economic development efforts that move towards quality of life and place-based development.