Sponsored by Preserve Rhode Island and The Preservation Society of Newport County, nationally recognized preservation economist Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics has undertaken a statewide survey to document the impact that historic preservation has on the state's economy. Historic Preservation: An Overlooked Economic Driver will analyze the broad range of ways that the preservation of historic buildings benefits Rhode Island – from rehabilitation of historic mills to the preservation of historic sites and significant government buildings.
The study will assess measures such as the Historic Tax Credit program and impacts of heritage tourism. Using facts, figures, and narratives, the report will demonstrate the value that preservation brings to Rhode Island in an economic sense, as well as its critical role in enhancing quality of life.
The lack of quantifiable information on the economic impacts of preservation makes it difficult to sustain successful historic preservation programs across the country. While the costs of Rhode Island programs such as state Historic Tax Credits and State Preservation Grants can easily be quantified, the economic benefits are harder to measure. As a result, decisions about the future of such programs are made on the basis of costs instead of returns.
The study is funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, and the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.
The study will kick-off at the Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Westerly and Charlestown where Rypkema will be the keynote speaker. The report will be released in the fall of 2017.
PlaceEconomics is a private sector firm with over thirty years of experience in the thorough and robust analysis of the economic impacts of historic preservation. PlaceEconomics conducts studies, surveys, and workshops in cities and states across the country that are addressing issues of downtown, neighborhood, and commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic buildings. The firm specializes in quality, defensible research, and presents findings clearly and effectively in formats that can be understood by academics, economists, mayors, city council members, property owners, and local stakeholders alike.
Preserve Rhode Island is the only statewide non-profit working to protect historic places and landscapes across the state through advocacy, stewardship and preservation programs. Preserve Rhode Island owns several historic properties, including the Lippitt House Museum.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area's historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties--seven of them National Historic Landmarks--span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.