From revitalizing historic downtowns and attracting heritage tourism, to tax benefits buildings and cemetery conservation, preservation creates jobs, supports local businesses, generates affordable housing, and increases civic participation and pride in your community.
Dollar for dollar, historic preservation is one of the highest job generating economic development engines available. In Oregon, every $1 million invested in residential historic rehabilitation projects creates 36.1 jobs and adds, on average, $783,000 to local household incomes, compared to only 24.5 jobs generated by $1 million in non-preservation construction projects. The economic benefits of non-residential historic rehabilitation projects are even greater -- $1 million spent on commercial projects creates two jobs more than the same money spent on new construction.
Owners of historic properties in Oregon can take advantage of federal and state tax incentive programs to help rehabilitate historic buildings. In fiscal year 2009, the proposed investment in historic rehabilitation projects was the second highest in the history of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive program, despite the recent downturn in the economy! Oregon that more than doubled their investment dollars with more than $114 million invested in historic rehabilitation projects in FY 2009.
-> Find out if your project qualifies for tax incentives
Preservation Attracts Visitors
Tourism is one of Oregon’s largest industries, employing 90,000 Oregonians and contributing $7 billion to the state’s economy annually. As visitors grow tired of increasing homogenization, authentic experiences have become central in deciding where to go and what to do. A survey of Oregon’s 2006 overnight visitors found that 42% of travelers visit small towns; 28% visit historic sites and 18% visit historic areas. Heritage tourists to Oregon tend to spend more money, are more likely to use a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast, and are more likely to stay longer in one place. These behaviors generate millions of dollars for destination communities in spending.
-> Oregon Cultural Trust
-> Oregon Travel Information Council
-> Travel Oregon
Preservation Builds Strong Communities
Studies consistently show that historic downtowns serve as tourist destinations, attract festivals and events, and can be a tremendous draw in keeping a local labor force. Because our historic downtowns are filled with small businesses and are our economic foundation, Oregon Main Street was created in 2007 to assist historic communities with downtown revitalization. Stats from Main Street.
Historic residential districts tend to appreciate at rates greater than the local market overall and disproportionately house people of modest means, providing critically needed, non-subsidized affordable housing in urban areas. Historic neighborhoods are more pedestrian-friendly, make efficient use of existing infrastructure, and serve as models for planning, creating new mixed-use developments with diverse architecture, walkable steetscapes, and a sense of place.
-> Explore how Oregon Main Street can work for you city
Preservation is Green
Historic preservation is a key component for communities interested in green building practices because it reusing existing building stock is inherently sustainable. Preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings uses existing infrastructure and materials and have already been paid for by previous generations. Historic buildings are generally constructed with less consumptive materials like wood, brick, plaster, and concrete. When we lose historic buildings, they tend to be replaced with buildings constructed with more energy consumptive and toxic to produce materials, such as plastic, steel, vinyl, and aluminum. New construction is costly, too -- a new, energy-efficient 50,000-square-foot commercial building will take about 65 years to save the amount of energy lost in demolishing an existing building.
-> Learn more about preservation and sustainability