National Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities

City leaders from around the country attended an Action Agenda release event this past December in Newark. The new Action Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities lays out a wide-ranging plan to address urban challenges by advancing new development while protecting communities’ cultural heritage. It was developed by a group of preservation professionals, planners, land bank staff, and local, state, and federal officials in June 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio.

The release was accompanied by a public discussion co-hosted by Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N) with over 40 of the nation’s top urban development and historic landmark experts. Guests participated in sneak-peek tours of the ongoing redevelopment of the historic Hahne & Company building, which is being highlighted as a successful, collaborative approach that combined preservation and economic revitalization – a challenge in many legacy cities like Newark, Detroit, and more.

After the jump, watch Nicholas Hamilton, The American Assembly’s Director of Urban Policy, and Cara Bertron, the Chair of the Preservation Rightsizing Network, discuss the importance of historic preservation in the revitalization of America’s legacy cities on New Jersey’s Fios 1.

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Emilie Evans, co-founder of Brick + Beam Detroit, an initiative that connects and supports building rehabbers in Detroit, said: “The Action Agenda provides clear steps legacy cities can take to leverage older buildings and local heritage as powerful assets for revitalization. It bolsters core tenets of Brick + Beam’s mission to support the rehabilitation of Detroit’s incredible older buildings, engage meaningfully with local property owners and tradespeople, and develop practical tools to move reinvestment projects forward.”

Rutgers University – Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor said: “The Action Agenda’s clarion call to carry forward the ‘legacy’ of legacy cities by preserving their stories entails an equally powerful call to amplify the voices of diverse new generations in retelling them. That is a challenge to all of us—in Newark and legacy cities like it everywhere—and it is precisely what we have in mind with our university-community collaboratory we are developing in the Hahne & Company building and precisely why we think the name of our collaboratory, ‘Express Newark,’ is so apt. We are thrilled to be working with the Preservation Rightsizing Network to advance this shared agenda.”

President of the Lucas County Land Bank, David P. Mann, said: “Faced with unprecedented economic challenges and property abandonment, legacy cities must seize new tools and new strategies in order to preserve all that makes them special. This Action Agenda is a smart step in that direction, not just to help save historic assets, but to ensure that the voice of the historic preservation movement is heard in this important and ongoing conversation.”

Cleveland City Councilman Jeffrey Johnson said: “Historic preservation is vital in the revitalization of Cleveland. Our history, as told through the older buildings and neighborhoods, is the foundation on which our community must rebuild.”


To learn more, contact:

Cara Bertron (Preservation Rightsizing Network)
cara.bertron@gmail.com (512) 913-9680

Peter Englot (Rutgers University – Newark)
peter.englot@rutgers.edu (973) 353-5541

Nicholas Hamilton (The American Assembly)
nmh2123@columbia.edu (212) 870-3500

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