In writing this series of essays about why old places matter, I have intentionally saved the discussion of how old places support a sustainable and vibrant economy to the last. Why? Because the other fundamental reasons for keeping, using, reusing and preserving old places are given short shrift, and professional preservationists often jump right to the argument that saving old places is economically beneficial, assuming that the economic argument is the only one decision-makers will want to hear. But it seems to me that starting a discussion about the importance of saving an old place with the economic rationale, immediately positions people who care about old places on the defensive, as if old places are only worth keeping for economic reasons or if they can justify themselves economically. And often the economic justification is assessed by narrow and limited economic measurements that don’t fully take the broader economic—and other—values of old places into account.
Why Do Old Places Matter? Economics – Preservation Leadership Forum Blog