The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities

The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities

Title:The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities
ISBN:9781610917087
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages

At its most basic, historic preservation is about keeping old places alive, in active use, and relevant to the needs of communities today. As cities across America experience a remarkable renaissance, and more and more young, diverse families choose to live, work, and play in historic neighborhoods, the promise and potential of using our older and historic buildings to revitalize our cities is stronger than ever.
 
This urban resurgence is a national phenomenon, boosting cities from Cleveland to Buffalo and Portland to Pittsburgh. Experts offer a range of theories on what is driving the return to the city—from the impact of the recent housing crisis to a desire to be socially engaged, live near work, and reduce automobile use. But there’s also more to it. Time and again, when asked why they moved to the city, people talk about the desire to live somewhere distinctive, to be some place rather than no place. Often these distinguishing urban landmarks are exciting neighborhoods—Miami boasts its Art Deco district, New Orleans the French Quarter. Sometimes, as in the case of Baltimore’s historic rowhouses, the most distinguishing feature is the urban fabric itself.

While many aspects of this urban resurgence are a cause for celebration, the changes have also brought to the forefront issues of access, affordable housing, inequality, sustainability, and how we should commemorate difficult history. This book speaks directly to all of these issues.
 
In The Past and Future City, Stephanie Meeks, the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, describes in detail, and with unique empirical research, the many ways that saving and restoring historic fabric can help a city create thriving neighborhoods, good jobs, and a vibrant economy. She explains the critical importance of preservation for all our communities, the ways the historic preservation field has evolved to embrace the challenges of the twenty-first century, and the innovative work being done in the preservation space now.
 
This book is for anyone who cares about cities, places, and saving America’s diverse stories, in a way that will bring us together and help us better understand our past, present, and future. 


    The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America's Communities Reviews

  • Anna

    Review forthcoming in Publishers Weekly. A passionate and well-researched work advocating the economic, environmental, and social value of historic preservation in the United States. Meeks (president ...

  • Mid Century Books

    Can historic preservation save cites, at a time when they are obsolescing from natural disasters, economic cycles, terrorist threats? The author connects data about populations migrating toward histor...

  • Paul

    This book is a fascinating look at city development through the lens of preservation. I don't think I assumed all preservationists were stodgy antiques, but this book helped dispel any notions I may h...

  • Anastassia

    After this book I think differently about historic preservation and about cities and neighborhoods altogether. Lots of references and interesting facts that will stick with you for long time to think ...

  • Carey

    I loved this book! If you're interested in urban planning and the important role historic conservation plays in it, then you will love this book too. Highly recommended....

  • Jessica

    I was a little hesitant to read this because I'm not well-versed in historic preservation and was afraid it would be boring/inaccessible, but this book was neither of those things. She covered enough ...

  • JoAnn Brown

    This book is jam-packed with ideas and information. It seems a bit promotional and attempts to justify the past, present, and future ideology and actions of The National Trust for Historic Preservatio...

  • Du

    I liked the overall review of historic preservation activities in the US and the general flavor of the book. It was on the text book side of things, which worked, but didn't necessarily feel to reader...

  • Alex Abboud

    Highly recommended book for anyone interested in preservation and urban issues. It demystifies some stereotypes about the movement, and shows concrete examples of how preservation efforts have succeed...

  • Miriam Williams

    Changed a few of my views on heritage!! A good read. ...