Historic Preservation Moving Forward in Tacoma

We've been talking a lot about Bike Month in Tacoma, but bikes aren't the only thing getting celebrated this month. May is also Historic Preservation in Tacoma. The month asks you to reconsider any preconceived ideas you might have about historic preservation - maybe that it's a stuffy, academic subject stuck in the past, best left to stodgy old guys smoking pipes and wearing tweed jackets. 

Events planned to celebrate the month will highlight this year's theme of "Embark, Inspire, and Engage," and challenge you to see things a little differently. As City Historic Preservation officer Reuben McKnight explained to the City Council at a recent study session, historic preservation isn't locked in the past; it actually has a very close connection to current events and conversations. 

Historic preservation is relevant to community and economic development. Although often seen as an impediment to development, it can actually be an integral component of economic development. People want to live and work in cities with a strong sense of place.

Historic preservation brings authenticity. Preserving the history of a place preserves its identity; highlighting the story of a city lends authenticity and meaning. 

Historic preservation is sustainable. Preservation of our historic assets is a sustainable practice - the greenest builing you can build is often the one that's already standing.

Historic preservation is young and hip. We hear that preservation is young and hip. Yeah, we'll buy that - we love Tacoma's history, and the more you learn, the more interesting a place is. Besides, we found this chart on the internet that clearly proves that hipsters and old people are virtually identical... 

Historic Preservation Month kicks off with the Annual Historic Homes of Tacoma Tour this Saturday and Sunday. And be looking for more events and services from the City's Historic Preservation Department as they break out of the regulatory code rut and begin to broaden their audience. And don't write off tweed jackets just yet - the Tweed Ride planned for later this month looks like a great time, and a great way to celebrate both bikes and history in Tacoma. Sounds like Bike Month and Preservation Month go together pretty well - unless you're talking those historic cobblestone blocks of North 9th, 10th, and 11th...

So, who's ready to move beyond regulation and tweed jackets to a young, hip, productive historic development?


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