This May, join the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists to celebrate the benefits and assets of our local historic districts with the social media campaign #LoveYourHD. After threats to local historic districts in Michigan and Wisconsin, we want to raise the level of debate and discussion of the value historic districts provide in planning and economic development for our communities. If these threats to historic districts arise in the other states of the Rust Belt, we hope to rally our combined forces to prevent legislatures from making these catastrophic changes!

Need post ideas? Myth-bust those frequent misconceptions of historic districts in your community. Demonstrate local historic districts play an important part in affordable housing, sustainability, economic development, and heritage tourism. Showcase new businesses that opened in a local historic district. The ideas are limitless!

Happy #TudorTuesday! I'm a sucker for a royal blue door 💙#loveyourHD

A post shared by Andrea Kern (@andrea.kern) on

During Preservation Month May 2016, promote your favorite local historic districts on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more! We encourage your captions to highlight specific ways a local historic district has positively impacted your community. Use the #LoveYourHD hashtag in every post. We’ll repost our favorites to the @RustBeltYP instagram and twitter accounts.

Even better, organize an instameet in your favorite district to explore and promote historic districts to a broader audience. In Indianapolis, Preserve Greater Indy is teaming up with the instagram community @archi_ologie to host the #OldNorthsideLove instameet in conjunction with #LoveYourHD. Let us know if you’re planning an instameet, we’ll share it with the rest of the RBCoYP!

Here’s a great sample of a few before and after photographs from a local historic district in Indianapolis. When the Old Northside was locally designated in 1979, the neighborhood was full of vacant lots and houses in need of reinvestment. Almost forty years later, the Old Northside is an extremely stable neighborhood with high property values. This early commitment to preserving an area allowed the neighborhood to be preserved for future generations. We used current photos, contrasted with photos from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission in 1975, to show this amazing transformation of houses on 13th Street in the Old Northside.

We know
 the power of local historic districts in creating sustainable and vibrant communities. Let’s make sure they can continue their work to save our neighborhoods, commercial nodes, and distinctive places!

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