Historic Buildings

Arched entrance sign over street to San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter with slogan "historic heart of San Diego."

San Diego to Update Historic Preservation Program

The city wants to identify new areas for preservation while streamlining processes to promote adaptive reuse of historic properties.

January 24, 2024 - Times of San Diego

Close-up of historic building with green facade and curved windows in San Francisco, California.

Op-Ed: A ‘Culture of Preciousness’ Undermines Historic Preservation

A focus on historic materials could foster inequity and obscure the important social and historical meanings of a structure.

January 11, 2024 - Next City

Outdoor public restrooms with two silver doors and icons for men, women, wheelchair accessibility, and baby changing above doors.

Baltimore Considers Public Restroom Project

The city is starting to develop a plan for adding more public restrooms downtown, where available bathrooms are scarce and historic buildings are being damaged by public urination.

December 5, 2023 - The Baltimore Banner

Historic brick sugar refinery building redeveloped with glass office tower inside and yellow Domino Sugar sign

Former Brooklyn Sugar Refinery Reopens as All-Electric Office Tower

A historic building was reimagined as a 15-story office tower powered by renewable energy.

October 2, 2023 - Untapped Cities

Google Maps street view of historic red brick school building in CHicago, Illinois

Historic Chicago School Building to Become Affordable Housing

The adaptive reuse project will create 50 income-restricted housing units and community amenities.

September 19, 2023 - Block Club Chicago

Light blue two-story Victorian home with corner turret in The Heights, Houston, Texas

Houston Leaders Debate Merits of ‘Conservation Districts’ Proposal

A proposal by the city’s mayor would create a new type of preservation district designed to protect historic structures and slow gentrification.

March 14, 2023 - Houston Chronicle

City Hall Philadelphia

Philadelphia Leads the Way in Adaptive Reuse

Philadelphia, a city rife with historic architecture, seeks to incentivize more conversion of historic buildings into housing.

May 2, 2022 - Axios

Old houses with large porch and colorful siding

Opinion: New Construction Is Safer, Better for the Environment

The emotional attachment to old homes can obscure the benefits of new buildings, which consume less energy and provide more amenities for residents.

January 14, 2022 - The Atlantic

William Penn

'Demodelphia' Hiring More Preservationists

To protect more historic properties from rampant demolition, Philadelphia is staffing up its historic preservation department.

December 20, 2021 - WHYY

Washington, D.C. Rowhouses

Transformers Vs. Historical Preservation

A row over two Transformers statues in a D.C. neighborhood lays bare the "absurdities" inherent in historical preservation, one writer argues.

April 12, 2021 - Georgetown Metropolitan

Union Terminal Cincinnati

Preservation and Redevelopment Can Work Hand in Hand

While historic preservation is often perceived to be a hinderance to development efforts, preserving buildings actually helps economic development, say advocates.

April 22, 2019 - Cincinnati Edition

Baltimore Demolition

The Pace of Chicago Demolitions Worries Preservationists

In neighborhoods with lots of new development, buildings cited in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey are coming down fast.

June 1, 2018 - Chicago Magazine

Washington D.C.

What Old Building Isn't Historic?

David Alpert argues for a more rigorous definition for what is not historic. Without one, developers and property owners have no way to know what buildings can't or won't be given the designation.

March 5, 2018 - Greater Greater Washington

Guadalupe Arts Center San Antonio

Preserving the Character of San Antonio's Near West Side

Latino activists look to preserve a 'Chicano epicenter,' recently given the designation of a UNESCO site.

September 13, 2017 - Next City

Historic London

Friday Eye Candy: Historic London Visualized

Historic London collects panoramic views of modern London streets with historic photos transposed over them. Most of the views date from the first two decades of the 20th century.

April 29, 2016 - Historic London

Historic Charleston

Southern Cities Seek Balance Between Preservation and Modernity

In the wake of recent tragedy, cities like Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia still take pride in their architectural heritage. Debate abounds over whether modern architecture should be given freer rein.

June 28, 2015 - Next City

Historic Preservation

Not All Preservationists Are NIMBYs

In the quest for density and infill, preservationists often stand beside those who want static cities. But both preservation and density can be ideologies, and thoughtful land use demands a nuanced middle ground.

April 22, 2015 - MinnPost

Union Station

Los Angeles and the Getty Launch Historic Places Database

Confirmed: Los Angeles really does have a rich history. HistoricPlacesLA, a new online database, provides detailed information on the city's historic sites.

March 11, 2015 - CityLab

How D.C.'s Historic Buildings—Some in Danger—Enrich its Neighborhoods

Historic buildings add character to neighborhoods. When torn down, pieces of history are also stripped from the city; when restored, they can act as catalysts for revitalization.

November 19, 2014 - Elevation DC

Cincinnati Over-the-Rhine

The Charms of Affordable Cities (Not Named San Francisco or New York)

A recent post identifies a sweet spot in the urban market: affordable cities like Cincinnati and others in the Rust Belt that provide an attractive alternative to more expensive, if more famous, cities on the coasts.

November 1, 2014 - New Geography

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