Older districts are often marked by high property values and traditional architecture, but it's not just aesthetics and history that define them. Some historic neighborhoods have gone through vast changes, while others don't appear "historic" at all.
"America's historic neighborhoods often keep their value better compared to newer neighborhoods. But this is no universal rule, and not every old neighborhood is immediately identifiable by its charm or architecture.
While Society Hill in Philadelphia has the city's most stable real estate and New Orleans' French Quarter has the city's most expensive homes, San Francisco's Mission District is neither the city's highest value nor most stable, and Pioneer Square in Seattle has undergone extensive changes in the last 30 years.
In New York, the earliest settled neighborhood turned into the Financial District, where no one lived until just recently - challenging the image of historic neighborhoods as quaint and traditional.
Historic neighborhoods that have been cut off from cities by highways are now experiencing some reintegration into the urban fabric. Boston's Big Dig, for example, has reconnected the North End, causing one neighborhood's value to increase by 345 percent compared to 1990."