When you hear the words “historic preservation,” do you immediately think “snooze fest?” Do you immediately imagine little old ladies living in dusty Victorian homes with lots of lace and doilies everywhere? You probably aren’t alone! However, in the interest of showing how relevant historic preservation is to you and to Carthage, here is a top-ten list of why preservation should and does matter.
WHY HISTORIC PRESERVATION MATTERS TO CARTHAGE
1. Historic preservation means there are real “Places in the Heart” which are shared by a whole community. Its history and historical structures provide a community with memories and a sense of identity and uniqueness. For example, who in Carthage doesn’t identify with the Jasper
2. Historic preservation encourages heritage tourism. Heritage visitors want to visit our kind of town, and they have a big impact on the local economy. They stay longer, spend more money, and will spread the word and return if a community has something to offer.
3. It supports small business. Older, smaller buildings provide ideal locations for small business owners.
4. It contributes to job creation, for example renovation and construction work, tourism, small businesses, the service sector.
5. And as a result, money stays in the community!
County Courthouse? Or have memories of personal events tied to the Route 66 Drive In, Boots Court and Boots Drive or the Carthage Square, to name just a few of our “Places in the Heart”?
6. Historic buildings and districts help to stabilize and support property values. Study after study has shown that residential historic districts increase property values of all residences within the district, not just the historic homes.
7. Historic preservation improves “livability.” Historic districts are an important component of what makes a city attractive to live in. The livability of a city attracts new people, new talent and new businesses.
8. It is the original green movement. All of the materials, labor and energy used to
construct an older building have already been used. And many old buildings because
of how they were designed use less operating energy and/or can take advantage of
passive energy. Preservation saves not just the past but also the future.
9. Old buildings are very often works of art - they bring beauty to a community, in many cases through artisan skills that no longer exist.
10. Historic preservation educates us – historic structures and places tell us about our past. There are lessons to be learned from the geography of a battlefield, the physical location of a building, the building materials and ornate workmanship (or not) of an old home, servants’ quarters (or not), the hitching post out front…they all tell us how our forbearers lived and died.