#LoveYourHD: A Recap!

By Raina ReganPreserve Greater Indy

For May, we asked you to share why you #LoveYourHD. We loved seeing participation from around the Rust Belt and all the great historic districts that protect and preserve our built environment. Instameets were held in Wheeling, Indianapolis, Toledo, and Columbus in local historic districts to celebrate #LoveYourHD during Preservation Month. Here’s a few of our favorite moments from the month of May that celebrate why you #LoveYourHD!

German Village, Columbus, Ohio

In German Village, eighth grade students gave some actual love to the local historic district at a workshop. We love seeing youth involved in hands-on activities in preserving historic places. This asks a good question: For what types of activities could you use student volunteer help in your local historic district?

Indianapolis, Indiana

One of Indy’s finest examples of Art Deco, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, is about to be redeveloped. Thanks to its local designation, the project will have to obtain approvals from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission before altering this one-of-a-kind terracotta façade.

Wheeling, West Virginia

Local designation preserves distinctive places until the right new use and owner comes along. We’re glad to hear this Wheeling gem will be turned into apartments.

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#wyp member @adambedway took this pic from his tour of the Boury Warehouse on Saturday. The Boury Warehouse is apart of the Wheeling Warehouse Historic District. It sat empty for years but is now being turned into apartments by the WODA Group, Inc. Don't miss another historic building tour and join the Friends of Wheeling. You can find them on facebook. Membership is $10 a year. Their monthly news and event letter alone is worth that! #wheelove #thisplacematters #deserve2preserve #wheelingwv #wheelingfeeling #loveyourhd #wyp #wheelingwestvirginia @adambedway's original caption: ・・・ Touring the Boury building in downtown Wheeling this morning. WODA is redeveloping the building into residential units that range from 600-1200 sq. ft. These are the kind of projects we need in this town. #preservation #wheelingwv #wheeling_shooters #thisplacematters #downtownwheeling

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Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Restoration Society featured Cleveland historic districts along with updates from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission. We know that attending your local commission meeting and being a local advocate is important to show our elected officials and appointed boards that preservation is important in our communities!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We’re thankful that the use of local historic districts prevented the unnecessary demolition of so many historic resources in our community. To think this beauty could have been lost…

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Our local historic districts preserve the historic neighborhood fabric so, instead of demolition, our historic resources can wait until someone is able to show them love and invest in their future. This before and after in Fort Wayne shows the potential every historic property has to come back to life.

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#SavingPlaces #FortWayne #ThisPlaceMatters #LoveYourHD

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Toledo, Ohio

Local historic districts protect outstanding architecture in our communities. This house could never be built today. We’re glad to hear it’s being restored by a sympathetic new owner.

Thanks to everyone who tagged photos with #LoveYourHD! We encourage you to continue spreading the good work of your local historic districts and built support for their value to your community. Check out the #LoveYourHD tag on Instagram for even more historic district goodness!

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#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

By Nick Delahanty – Young Urban Preservationists

Many Rochesterians and visitors spend a great deal of their leisure time and dollars in our city’s historic districts.The diversity of retail, quality housing, and picturesque streetscapes draw people in and, whether they know it or not, they are appreciating and supporting the preservation of these areas. You might even call them closet preservationists (see Caitlin Meives’ TEDx Flour City talk below for more about this). The historic buildings, parks, and public spaces that make up the fabric of our city are critical to a healthy neighborhood. For me though, it’s the pedestrian-centric design and the human scale of our historic districts–created before America became infatuated with the automobile–that are the underpinning for the success of our historic districts.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_08I live in one of Rochester’s best preserved and most popular neighborhoods, just south of the East Avenue National Register Historic District (also a locally designated City Preservation District). Park Avenue runs along the southern edge of the East Ave. district and is the commercial and social spine of the neighborhood. Radiating from this street of bars and restaurants overflowing onto the sidewalks with dogs and people is a tightly woven grid of small apartment buildings and turn of the century homes. The sidewalks, lined with mature trees and welcoming front porches, boast a diverse, ever-changing cast of characters–from overindulgent college students, to retirees and their noble dogs, to visitors from the suburbs and an ever-growing armada of strollers.

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Although we’re just a few blocks south of Park Ave., those of us in the heart of the Park Ave. neighborhood (a large swathe of thousands of properties) are left out of the district and therefore left out of the NYS Homeowners Tax Credit program. Our section of the neighborhood has been officially eligible for listing since the 1980s but no one has ever taken the initiative to pursue a district. New census data has revealed that Park Ave. (admittedly one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the city) is now in a census tract that qualifies for the NYS tax credit programs. That was the motivation that we, as homeowners who are spending an inordinate amount of income on old house repairs, needed to begin the daunting task of getting a nearly 2000 property district listed.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_05

With my partner and YUP co-founder, Caitlin, leading the charge, we’ve begun the long process of getting our neighborhood listed as a historic district. We are starting by getting estimates from consultants and reaching out to homeowners (both in the existing East Ave district and the potential Park Ave district) to inform them about tax credits and the National Register listing process. Rochester has so many amazing neighborhoods, and I believe the impetus is on us, the citizens,to be good stewards of the amazing neighborhoods and spaces our city has to offer for future generations.

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#LoveYourHD

#LoveYourHD

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!

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!