Developing a sense of “place” and identity is an important aspect of strengthening, promoting, and establishing a sense of community. Many towns and cities have unique historic architecture and landmarks that help establish the community character and history, so it’s important to preserve these buildings whenever possible.
Preserving old buildings does not necessarily mean they have to remain exactly as they are. Repurposing older buildings can mean saving the facade and reconfiguring the interior to accommodate new uses, like converting an old warehouse into residential or artist lofts. This method has many benefits, such as reducing sprawl, recycling materials, and maintaining the building’s “footprint” (the area defined by the building’s perimeter). The environmental movement has recognized the economy of repurposing, reusing, and recycling these old buildings. Additionally, many old buildings are located close to a city’s core, within close proximity to shops, restaurants, and other attractions that draw many homeowners, renters, and businesses.
Many homeowners are drawn to older homes as well, for their character, location, and maybe even due to a sense of being “part of history.” Preserving older homes takes time, care, and work – sometimes specific knowledge of the area. If you happen to live in a Historic District, you may not be able to make certain changes to your home based on restrictions that are in place to preserve the historic look and feel of the neighborhood. Louisville KY is home to Old Louisville, the largest preservation district in the United States featuring almost entirely Victorian architecture.
For more information about historic preservation, you can visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation, or ask your local city government for information about groups, councils, or trusts in your area.
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