Rescue a Historic Property
Preservation Erie calls for nominations for Erie County's Endangered Properties list
You don't know what you've got until it's gone. It is Preservation Erie's mission to ensure it's still here.
A place's built environment stands as a tangible record of its human heritage — its sense of shared identity. And yet, all too often, we allow our historic properties to descend into various states of disrepair and neglect, until they're seen as not worth saving. One by one, they're either demolished outright or displaced by new developments without any charm or character.
Founded in 2007, Preservation Erie espouses the many perks of properly rehabilitating and restoring historic properties. Yes, there is implicit value in structures like town halls, libraries, theaters and opera houses, train depots, and schools — we understand how these things are foundational to a place's past and might continue to be used as community assets and showcases.
But there is also explicit value, measurable in real dollars and cents. This especially for properties that secure a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A National Register designation qualifies property owners for tax incentives and credits, grant money, and other subsidies. Beyond that, it can offer a wealth of marketing and promotion opportunities, and draw homebuyers and businesses into the surrounding area. Beauty and authenticity will forever be sought after.
That's without mentioning the cost savings of restoring a historic property versus clearing the way for new construction, both socioeconomically and environmentally. It is for these reasons and more that Preservation Erie is asking Erie County residents for nominations for its fifth annual Endangered Properties list. The organization will seek to secure protection and funding resources for each item on the list.
To be eligible, a property must be located within Erie County, historically or architecturally significant (if not on the National Register), and stand to benefit from preservation efforts. To qualify as "endangered," the property must either:
- Be under threat of demolishment
- Be suffering from physical deterioration
- Face "inappropriate alterations," or developments that might detriment or efface the structure's character
- Reside within a "compromised setting" due to
- Pressures of development
- Vacancy or abandonment
- Depression within local economy
- Owner(s) lack/absence of interest or financial capacity
Nominations will be accepted through Friday, March 26 at preservationerie.org/erie-countys-most-endangered-properties
Matt Swanseger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org