Historic Preservation Provides Economic Impacts

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a national organization, just released a report showing the economic impact of preservation efforts, looking at factors such as jobs, tourism, downtown revitalization and affordable housing.

Some choice tidbits:

For the first thirty years of the federal historic tax credit on an inflation-adjusted basis  the cost to the federal treasury was $16.6 billion. But that generated 1,800,000  jobs or a cost per job of $9,222. Over the last two years under the Stimulus Package the federal government has spent $260.7 billion on projects claiming the creation of 585,684 jobs — a cost per job of $445,183.
— First Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Credit (2010) www.recovery.gov

In Philadelphia, houses in National Register historic districts command a premium of 14.3% over comparable properties not in historic districts. Houses in local historic districts command a premium of 22.5% over comparable properties not in historic districts.  — The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Philadelphia (2010)

Maryland’s investment in historic commercial properties has “saved” 387,000 tons of material from landfills over the past 12 years. This amount of landfi ll material is the equivalent of fi lling a football stadium to a depth of 50-60 feet. — “Heritage Tax Credits: Maryland’s Own Stimulus to Renovate Buildings for Productive Use and Create Jobs, an $8.53 Return on Every State Dollar Invested”, The Abell Report (March 2009)


Over the last 25 years the Main Street program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been the most cost-effective program of economic development of any kind. Over these years Main Street communities have seen:
$45 Billion Invested in Physical Improvements
83,000 Net New Businesses
370,000 Net New Jobs
199,000 Building Rehabilitation and Construction Projects
$2,394 Cost per Job Created
$26.67 to $1.00 Leverage of Public Funds
— National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

See the report summary here.

Read the complete report here.


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