Historic Preservation

Many communities designate historic districts and then exercise control over development within them. Controls may dictate that new structures be in a style and at a scale consistent with the past. They may dictate that when repairs are done, historic appearance be maintained. For example, if adjacent buildings have old-fashioned, leaded-glass windows with small panes, a picture window would not be permitted. In some cases, community development funds may be used to help property owners maintain the character of their buildings. Often, responsibility for historic preservation will be vested in the planning agency. In other cases, some responsibility will lie with a separate agency, such as New York City's Landmarks Commission. Although there is historic preservation activity in all parts of the United States, it is probably most prominent in New England, where a great deal of colonial-era development remains to be preserved. Historic preservation is unquestionably motivated by a love of the past, but where tourism is important there is an economic motivation too.

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