|Table of Contents|
Letter of transmittal
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. The changing dynamics of preservation
Chapter 2. Preservation programs and activities of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Chapter 3. Local programs in preservation and conservation
Chapter 4. Other Federal preservation activities
Chapter 5. Private sector activities in preservation
Chapter 6. General observations and conclusions
Chapter 7. Alternatives and actions to be considered
Appendix 1. Basic issues in preservation and conservation
Appendix 2. Uses of community development block grants for preservation
n ;') IIe4
PRESERVATION PROGRAMS OF THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE AREA
OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION
BANKING, CURRENCY AND HOUSING
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE&,/""--..
94th Congress, Second Session .1 11..OA
This report has not been officially adopted by the Committee on Banking,
Currency and Housing and may not therefore necessarily reflect the
views of its members
Printed for the use of the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
78-610 WASHINGTON : 1976
COMMITTEE ON BANKING, CURRENCY AND HOUSING
HENRY S. REUSS, Wisconsin, Chairman
LEONOR K. (MRS. JOHN B.) SULLIVAN,
THOMAS L. ASHLEY, Ohio
WILLIAM S. MOORHEAD, Pennsylvania
ROBERT G. STEPHENS, JR., Georgia
FERNAND J. ST GERMAIN, Rhode Island
HENRY B. GONZALEZ, Texas
JOSEPH G. MINISH, New Jersey
FRANK ANNUNZIO, Illinois
THOMAS M. REES, California
JAMES M. HANLEY, New York
WARREN J. MITCHELL, Maryland
WALTER E. FAUNTROY,
District of Columbia
LINDY (MRS. HALE) BOGGS, Louisiana
STEPHEN L. NEAL, North Carolina
JERRY M. PATTERSON, California
JAMES J. BLANCHARD, Mlichigan
CARROLL HUBBARD, JR., Kentucky
JOHN J. LAFALCE, New York
GLADYS NOON SPELLMAN, Maryland
LES AuCOIN. Oregon
PAUL E. TSONGAS, Massachusetts
BUTLER DERRICK, South Carolina
PHILIP H. IIAYES, Indiana
MARK W. HANNAFORD, California
DAVID W. EVANS, Indiana
CLIFFORD ALLEN, Tennessee
NORMAN E. D'AMO U RS, New Hampshire
STANLEY N. LUNDINE, New York
ALBERT W. JOHNSON, Pennsylvania
J. WILLIAM STANTON, Ohio
GARRY BROWN, Michigan
CHALMERS P. WYLIE, Ohio
JOHN H. ROUSSELOT, California
STEWART B. McKINNEY, Connecticut
JOHN B. CONLAN, Arizona
GEORGE HANSEN, Idaho
RICHARD T. SCHULZE, Pennsylvania
WILLIS D. GRADISON, JR., Ohio
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
RICHARD KELLY, Florida
CHARLES B. GRASSLEY, Iowa
MILLICENT FENWICK, New Jersey
RON PAUL, Texas
PAUL NELSON, Clerk and Staff Director
WILLIAM P. DIxoN, General Counsel
MICHAEL P. FLAHERTY, Counsel
GRASTY CREWS II, Counsel
ORMAN S. FINK, Minority Staff Director
GRAHAM T. NORTH1UP, Deputy Minority Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND COINAGE
ROBERT G. STEPHENS, JR., Georgia, Chairman
GLADYS NOON SPELLMAN, Maryland
FRANK ANN UNZIO, Illinois
PHILIP II. HAYES, Indiana
MARK W. IIANNAFORD, California
RICHARD T. SCII ULZE. Pennsylvania
ALBERT W. JOHNSON, Pennsylvania
JAoKSON O'NEAL LAMB, Staff Director
DR. PETER II. SMITH. Professional Staff .Mlember
DR. JANN H. OILMORE, Professional StaA Member
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
To All Mlembers of the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing:
Transmitted herewith for use by the full Banking, Currency and
Housing Committee and the Congress is the staff report to the Sub-
committee on Historic Preservation and Coinage on the Preservation
Programs of the Federal Government in the Area of Housing and
This report has been adopted by the Subcommittee.
ROBERT G. STEPHENS, JR., Chairman.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
Chapter I. The Changing Dynamics of Preservation----------------- 1
A. Background to the Report1----------- 1
B. Methodology ------- ----------------- 2
C. Operating Definitions-------------------------- 2
D. The Role of This Subcommittee in Preservation_- 5
E. The Background for the Current Interest in Con-
Chapter II. Preservation Programs and Activities of the Department
of Housing and Urban Development------------------ 9
A. Introduction---------------------------------- 9
B. Categorical Grants---- ----------- 9
C. Congressional Actions in Developing New Direc-
D. Specific HUD Program Review----------------- 10
1. Housing and Community Development Act.- 10
2. Section 701 Comprehensive Planning Pro-
gram----------------------------- -- 14
3. FHA Title I Home Improvement Loans
for National Register Properties_---- -15
4. Urban Homesteading-------------------- 17
5. Office of Policy Development and Research- 21
Chapter III.T Local Programs in Preservation and Conservation----- 25
A. Introduction ----------------- 25
B. Dayton, Ohio---------------------------- 25
C. Seattle, Washington------------- -- 28
D. Boston, Massachusetts------------------------- 30
E. Norfolk, Virginia------------------ 33
F. Baltimore, Maryland-------------------------- 35
Chapter IV Other Federal Preservation Activities---------- 39
A. Introduction--------------------------------- 39
B. The Council on Environmental Quality----------- 39
C. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation--.... 40
D. The National Endowment for the Arts----------- 41
E. Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation,
National Park Service, Department of the
Interior --------------------- 42
F. Urban Reinvestment Task Force--------- 43
Chapter V. Private Sector Activities in Preservation- --------- 45
A. Introduction ------------------ 45
B. Construction Industry and Rehabilitation------- 45
C. The Conservation Foundation- __ --------- 46
D. National Trust for Historic Preservation----- 46
E. Back to the City, Inc ----------------- 47
F. Urban Land Institute-------------- 48
G. National League of Cities ----------- 49
Chapter VI. General Observations and Conclusions- ---------- 51
A. Introduction ----------------- 51
B. Private Market Rehabilitation------------------ 51
C. HUD Commitment to Conservation and Preserva-
D. HUD Funding for Preservation and Conservation- 55
E. HUD Environmental Assessment of Preservation
Impact of Projects-------------------------- 56
F. Rehabilitation Guidelines---------------------- 61
G. Commercial Area Rehabilitation---------------- 61
H. Displacement Resulting from Preservation------- 62
Chapter VII. Alternatives and Actions To Be Considered------------- 65
A. Introduction------------------- 65
B. Statutory Definition of Preservation/Conservation- 66
C. Criteria for Designation------------- 66
D. Community Development Block Grants--------- 67
E. Revolving Funds------- ----------- --- 68
Single Building Revolving Fund-------------- 68
Neighborhood Revolving Fund- -------- 68
F. Encouraging Middle Income City Housing ------- 68
G. Taxes and Preservation ---- ----- 69
H. Technical Assistance ----------- 69
I. Develop a Specific Federal Mechanism for Urban
Conseration------------- ---- 70
J. Federal Government Use of Old Buildings-------- 71
K. Financing City IHousing---- ---------72
L. General Approach-Overall Emphasis of Federal
Activities in Urban Conservation/Preservation- 73
I. Basic Isques in Preservation and Conservation-------------------- 75
A. Introduction------------------------------------------ 75
B. Political/Administrative ---------------- 75
C. Legal Issues-------.------------------- 76
D. Business/Financial- -----------------77
F. Physical Design-------------------- 80
II. Uses of Community Development Block Grants for Preservation -- S3
PRESERVATION PROGRAMS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERN-
MENT IN THE AREA OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
CHAPTER I-THE CHANGING DYNAMICS OF PRESERVATION
BACKGROUND TO THE REPORT
The Subcommittee on Historic Preservation and Coinage, a sub-
committee of the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing,
was established at the begimiing of the first session of the 94th Con-
gress. Previously, the functions of the Subcommittee had been divided
between the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Develop-
ment which, until the 94th Congress, had been responsible for his-
toric preservation objectives in federal community development
legislation and the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs which had been
responsible for coinage legislation. The establishment of a separate
subcommittee to deal with the area of historic preservation is indica-
tive of the burgeoning interest in the preservation of the physical
heritage of the nation. The primary jurisdiction of the Subcommittee
is the preservation related programs within the Department of Hous-
ing and Urban Development.
As background for future action by the Subcommittee, the staff
was asked to prepare a report on the preservation related activities
of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is the in-
tent of the study to assess the impact of the programs of the Depart-
ment on preservation and to look at actions that the Subcommittee
might pursue in helping to conserve the built environment of the
The staff of the Subcommittee has talked with individuals and
groups interested in preservation both inside and outside the Depart-
ment of Housing and Urban Development. It should be noted at the
outset that the staff of the Subcommittee has taken a rather broad
approach to what is implied by the term historic preservation and did
not feel compelled to limit itself to the traditional concept of historic
preservation in developing this report.
The concept of preservation, of what is worth preserving, has
come a long way since the mid-19th century when the main struggle
was to convince people that the sites and places associated with the
activities of the patriots of the Revolutionary War should be pre-
served as inspiration to future generations. The idea of recycling a
building, using an existing structure in a new way, has been a constant
element of urban life for centuries. Within the last quarter century
these two complementary approaches to old buildings have come
Today, preservation is not necessarily oriented toward inspiring
future generations by displaying the real or imagined life-styles of
our forefathers, but rather, toward using old and valuable buildings
in ways that contribute to today's society and its needs. The uses
to which a building can be put depend on imagination and the needs
of the individual and place. As the idea of preservation has spread,
it has attracted people from many backgrounds. No longer is preserva-
tion the sole prerogative of the history major or the architect. The
activist in preservation is one who cares about the physical fabric
of the nation and is attempting to use it in a creative way; from
protecting the neighborhood to insuring that significant structures
continue to be part of the community.
Whole areas, often specially designated and protected, have been
revitalized through preservation. In Alexandria, Virginia, an 18th-
century port city on the Potomac River, near Washington, D.C., the
waterfront area of the city has been designated a historic district.
Homes have been restored and rehabilitated. Warehouses along the
river fronting streets have been converted into restaurants and shops
and stores have opened in newly refurbished quarters. Today, Alex-
andria is both an important and vital suburb of Washington as well
as an economically viable city in its own right. Preservation is ex-
panding in Alexandria and today is not centered on the need to pre-
serve, but rather on how to conserve the city outside the historic
The emphasis in preservation has shifted. Preservation is today
an extremely broad field of interest. The techniques and expertise
involved in preservation no longer center on history and re-creation
of past styles of living. Preservation as conservation of the environ-
ment encompasses a wide area including tax policy, financing, crime
prevention, zoning, solid waste disposal, school quality and medical
The study was started with few preconceived notions as to actions
that the Subcommittee might pursue to encourage and facilitate
preservation and conservation activities. The staff interviewed over 30
individuals involved in preservation related activities. Staff members
at the Department of Housing and Urban Development with respon-
sibilities in the area of preservation were interviewed. In addition, the
staff made extensive use of literature in the field. Finally, on-site
inspection trips were made to view firsthand the implementation of
various preservation approaches.
Alternatives for Subcommittee actions were formulated on the
basis of past Congressional actions and from suggestions from par-
ticipants involved in current preservation programs who were
A central question that has had to be dealt with in the course
of the study is a wholly serviceable definition of preservation. The
semantics o(if preservation is a very real issue that must be grappled
with. A coinmonality of language could help facilitate coordinated
and intelligent uses of the existing physical environment.
For most people in the United States historic preservation is seen
in a traditionalistic context of buildings that have been accurately
restored, primarily for educational purposes. This concept has been
the central focus of historic preservation since its inception and the
!historic preservation programs of the federal government have gener-
ally served to reinforce this view. There are countless examples
throughout the United States ranging from Mt. Vernon to Williams-
burg to The Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee, the Biltmore Estate
in Asheville, North Carolina, and Decatur House in Washington, D.C.
In the last decade the concept of historic preservation has broadened
considerably. The primary shift has been from using old and historic
buildings as educational tools to one in which old buildings are seen
as potentially useful community assets in such areas as housing,
retailing and manufacturing. This shift has occasioned some important
changes in the overall approach to preservation. For a variety of
reasons, primarily economic, it became clear to many people in
historic preservation that not every historically significant structure
could be turned into an educational tool and fully restored to a gran-
deur that might befit its lineage. The image of the ardent historic
preservation-minded citizen fighting the bulldozer to save a structure
that played a pivotal role in a now generally forgotten battle is still a
Many organizations and individuals still use the term historic
preservation exclusively. However, increasing numbers eschew the
use of this term because (1) they do not feel that the buildings that are
being saved and used are "historic," that is, they are not directly
related to a historic person or event and (2) there is a conscious effort
to disassociate their efforts from the traditional museum related activi-
ties of historic preservation. A large number of terms and phrases have
been used to describe the current activities in using the built environ-
ment. They include conservation of the built environment, new pres-
ervation, neighborhood preservation, protection and enhancement
of the physical environment, adaptive re-use, recycling of existing
resources and urban conservation. What all have in common is a
concern for use of the existing elements of the built environment.
Urban conservation may be used as the general term that covers
all of these aspects. Urban conservation connotes both general con-
centration on the built-up areas of the country and an approach to
carefully using the major elements of the existing environment. This
concern for the physical environment has some roots in the environ-
mental movement which has emphasized careful use and conservation
of the resources of the earth. Accordingly, the term conservation has
been increasingly applied to the preservation of the man-made world.
There can be a distinct difference implied in the treatment of struc-
tures depending upon the term used. Historic preservation generally
connotes that a building is "restored" or at least the period of its
greatest historical importance is emphasized. Conservation, on the
other hand, connotes that a building or structure can be used for a
variety of functions or purposes which may or may not have anything
to do with the historical aspects of the structure. However, these
terms are not mutually exclusive. A consultant to the Department of
Housing and Urban Development recently used the term "historic
conservation" to denote the various kinds of activities that are taking
place. While that phrase may be contradictory, it does point up the
fact that the term conservation is sufficiently broad enough to be able
to include what are generally accepted practices in the field of historic
preservation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development
defines historic preservation as "the restoration and preservation of
properties of special value for historic, architectural or esthetic
reasons," for purposes of defining community projects funded through
allocations from the Housing and Community Development Act.1
A recent report by the National Endowment for the Arts on grants
that have been made for urban conservation projects noted:
Integrated urban conservation includes a wide variety of activities. It is not
merely the restoration of an occasional isolated historic landmark, although it
may include that if the restored old building can provide a physical focus for
community spirit. Nor is it mere nostalgia for the past. The ultimate object of
urban conservation is to enhance the quality of urban life.2
One of the most serviceable definitions of urban conservation is
found in the January, 1976, issue of the Conservation Foundation
Urban neighborhood conservation is as simple in concept-yet as complex in
implementation-as any approach to urban planning or improving environmental
quality. It not only encompasses the preservation of a neighborhood's existing
qualities-be they architecturally significant buildings, street vitality, scenic
vistas, neighborhood businesses, parks, or ethnic solidarity-but it also seeks to
improve neighborhood conditions. In short, it is a concept that attempts to
protect what people value about the place they live, while at the same time
accommodating change-new people, new buildings, new commerce-in a manner
and firm harmonious with what's already there.
Neighborhood conservation comes in many varieties. It is not just the pro-
grams to restore such historic areas as G(eorgetown in Washington, D.C., or
Society Hill in Philadelphia. Nor is it just the efforts of the affluent to create
fashionable enclaves for themselves. Initiatives also are found in neighborhoods
that are poor, and that have varying degrees of social and ethnic diversity. Urban
conservation is becoming, in fact, a way of thinking and a fact of planning life.3
In the past few years the concept of re-using an existing building
for new and different purposes has become a central element of
preservation. Called by a variety of terms including adaptive use,
re-use and recycling, the central element of the concept is that an
existing building c(an often enjoy renewed economic life and con-
tribute to its neighborhood, if a new use is found for it. In Boston,
Massaclhuisetts, for example, the old City Hall was adapted for a new
Use. Instead of being the site of municipal offices, the building has
become the home of a restaurant, a brokerage house and a state
agency'. The building has been completely renovated inside and out-
sid(e and is an important attraction in downtown. In the same city, a
former block-long piano factory has been turned into an apartment
bulil(ing for artists with studio, gallery and rehearsal space. Simi-
larly, an old bank in Louisville, Kentucky, has been turned into a
theater. 'I'hroughout the country countless other buildings have be-
come something other than what they were originally built for-
hoses have become restaurants and st ores; train stations, banks and
stores; anld school, apartment buildings and shoppl)ing centers.
'J'herre are a number of ancillary terms in urban conservation. For
example, renovation, remodeling, rehabilitation, restoration, ada )tive
re-use ail refer to methods of treatinent that aIn existing building
receives in developing a new lease on life. "I'lie primary distinction
I 1' .. 1. i )rt rIt, rnt of Tnoii.aig and Triban DT)evlopmont, aomrmnmtily hfefelopmrnft Block Grant Program,
FirT A.l w itaIl R' porI. (; P0, 11)751., p. '23. 1 .-rlaftir, c( l)H I porut.
2 Arhititcuri. 4 Enviroumni ald ArtLs, National Eiidowmniit (or the Arts, Shdctcd Granta: Urban Con-
ferratian. (n '1.). p. 11.
S(;ordoii Mrindpr, "Neighborhoods Ar. Back In Style," Cuonrvuatirn Foundaton Letter, January 1076,
between them has to do with the amount of work that is performed
on a building. When thinking in terms of areas rather than specific
individual structures, the terms restoration area, revitalization,
preservation, redevelopment and others are used. These basically
connote the amount of work that is carried on in the area. The quan-
tity of work as well as the general type of work is implied.
THE ROLE OF THIS SUBCOMMITTEE IN PRESERVATION
In the past few years, both Congress and the federal government
have evidenced increasing concern for the physical environment.
As Gladys Noon Spellman, a member of the Subcommittee, has noted,
"The record of the Congress as to legislation, both introduced and
enacted, during the past years reflects an increasing awareness of the
need to conserve America's historic resources."4
The 94th Congress has shown a strong interest in the conservation
of urban areas. A number of bills have been introduced which are
aimed at neighborhood preservation and urban conservation. For
example, H.R. 9233, the "Neighborhood Preservation and Rehabili-
tation Amendments of 1975," introduced by Congressman LaFalce
of New York calls for designation of specific neighborhoods which
have a reasonable prospect of being restored or maintained as a
suitable and stable living environment and amendments to the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to allow grants
to be made to local governments to allow them to restore and maintain
The bill further proposes establishment of federal mortgage
insurance programs to facilitate sale and refinancing of housing in
designated neighborhood preservation areas. S. 492 introduced by
Senator Javits of New York, the "Neighborhood Conservation
Act," proposes a similar program of grants to local governments to
facilitate neighborhood conservation and preservation. H.R. 6225,
"The Historic Structures Tax Act of 1975," introduced by Congress-
man Conable of New York is aimed at revising the code of the
Internal Revenue Service to allow for more equitable treatment of
properties which have been designated as historically important.
H.R. 9187, "The Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act" introduced
by Representative Abzug of New York is aimed at fostering preserva-
tion of buildings of historic and architectural value and enhancing
the environment of federal office buildings. H.R. 12627, "The Surplus
School Conservation Act," introduced by Representative Heinz of
Pennsylvania provides for a grant program for recycling unused
school buildings. H.R. 12234 proposes amendments to the Land and
Water Conservation Fund Act by allowing money derived from outer
continental shelf receipts, to finance continuation and enlargement
of the grants-in-aid program of the National Park Service for the
restoration of historic buildings.
A recent report by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,
entitled "Historic Preservation Activities of the 94th Congress,"
provides further evidence of the activities of the Congress in the area
of preservation of the existing fabric of the nation.
4Letter, Gladys Noon SpeUlman to Robert G. Stephens, Ir., Chairman, Subcommittee on Historto
Preservation and Coinage, May 12,1975, p. 1.
Historic preservation on the national level is most closely identified
with the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Their
programs are seen as the primary commitment of the federal govern-
ment to the preservation of the historic fabric of the country. Aside
from physically administering historical properties, the National
Park Service through the Office of Archeology and Historic Preserva-
tion is charged with administering a number of programs and the basic
implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
The Act expanded the National Register of Historic Places, the
official schedule of the nation's historic property worthy of preserva-
tion. The National Register lists sites, buildings, structures, districts
and objects significant in American history, culture, architecture and
archeology. The list is compiled through a joint federal state partner-
ship arrangement in which each state government nominates to the
federal government what it has determined to be of significant his-
torical value within its own borders. Today, the National Register
of Historic Places lists approximately 12,000 properties and perhaps
as many as 150,000 or more structures. The National Park Service
operates a grants-in-aid program to fund restoration work on these
properties. Through the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,
the federal government can assure the states that the historic properties
within their boundaries will receive an opportunity for a hearing in an
attempt to mitigate any adverse effects on a historic property that
might be caused by a federally funded or licensed project.
Despite the indelible identification of federal historic preservation
concerns with the Department of the Interior, many other federal
agencies have programs aimed at preserving historic structures. The
Federal Guide, A Guide to Programs and Actii)ties in Historic Preserva-
tion published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in
1975 lists 229 programs of the federal government which are or can be
used for historic preservation purposes. An updating of this volume
in 1976 will list approximately 50 additional programs.
In the Congress, the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
has been the one committee most closely identified with historic
preservation concerns because of its jurisdiction over the programs of
the Department of the Interior. With the large number of other federal
programs in the realm of preservation, many other committees have
indicated interest in preservation.
As part of the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, the
Subcommittee on Historic Preservation and Coinage has not been part
of the traditional areas of historic preservation concerns and interest.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee is primarily confined to the
p reservation related activities of the Department of Housing and
urban Development. With the passage of the Housing and Community
Development Act of 1974 and the program of Community Develop-
ment Block Grants (CDBG), the potential range and magnitude of
preservation related activities funded through the Department of
Housing and Urban Development has mushroomed. The first annual
report of the Department on the Housing and Community Develop-
ment Act of 1974 (IICDA) pointed out that about 1% of the CDBG
funds were being spent on what are defined as historic preservation
projects.5 This 1% equalled an expenditure of approximately $15
5 CDBG Report, p. 29.
million, fully three-fourths of the total amount of the grants-in-aid
program of the National Park Service for restoration of historic
property. Nevertheless, historic preservation per se ranks as the
lowest priority of the seven eligible activities under HCDA. It should
also be noted that the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment uses a rather traditionalistic definition of historic preservation
in which the primary emphasis is placed on the historic value of a
structure. If the definition of urban conservation is used, and historic
preservation activities are included, the amount of activity under the
HCDA is greatly expanded.
In large measure the polemic battle that historic preservationists
have waged to convince the general public that certain buildings must
be saved has been won. At the present time there does appear to be a
dichotomy of approaches to the question of what the uses of old
buildings ought to be. Traditional historic preservationists are often
very concerned that the use of a building be compatible with its his-
torical integrity. On the other hand, many urban conservationists
view a structure as part of the physical environment and evaluate it
for what it can potentially contribute to a community or neighborhood.
The historical aspects of a structure are not as important, although
they may be added bonuses accruing to a structure and to the
THE BACKGROUND FOR THE CURRENT INTEREST IN CONSERVATION
Since the beginning of the 1970s there has been a tremendous
explosion of interest and experience in utilizing existing urban resources
to meet current needs. The key words of the urban redevelopment
vocabulary of the 1950s and 1960s have been given new meanings.
No longer does revitalization mean total clearance and entirely new
development; rather existing buildings and areas are being preserved
and given new life. Total clearance is not necessarily now seen as the
primary ingredient of a redevelopment project. Cities and towns
around the country have realized that they can capitalize on their
existing assets, keeping those that are good and structurally sound,
and adding to them as a basis for a sound economy.
A number of factors appear to have contributed to this upsurge in
conservation and preservation activity. By the early 1970s it was ob-
vious that total clearance and redevelopment projects had not achieved
many of their intended results. Instead of central cities being revital-
ized with new development, much of the land that had been cleared
was still laying fallow awaiting new development years after it had
With the realization that the nation was largely dependent upon
imported crude oil and the Arab embargo in the winter of 1973-1974
and the resulting increase in oil and gasoline prices, many individuals
opted for locations that had proximity to their place of work and
where they were not totally dependent upon the automobile for even
the simplest errand. Living in the city came to be viewed as an avail-
able option, like suburbs or rural areas. No longer was the city viewed
as only an alternative of last resort, but became a choice that had ad-
vantages and disadvantages like any other place. Racial tensions in
many major cities have lessened and the dire predictions about the
fate of large cities that had been put forth following the summer riots
of the late 1960s have not materialized. City living coupled with
rehabilitating a structure is seen as part of a frontier that presents
challenges to be overcome. Increasingly, people are becoming tied to
place. Statistics would seem to indicate that Americans are not as
mobile as they had been during the 1950s and 1960s. While the demo-
graphic statistics are not totally supportive, they do indicate some
signs that cities are experiencing a mild rejuvenation. While most cities
are still experiencing population outmigration in absolute terms, the
demographics of immigration have changed and there are, in some
cities, definite signs of a middle class resurgence.6
In large measure, the current interest in urban conservation appears
to result from a multitude of individual decisions to live in a city and
to be part of it. There have not as yet been any large scale govern-
mental commitments to urban conservation. Many governmental
policies are still primarily oriented toward new development outside
of the center city. In a recent publication devoted to neighborhood
conservation, it was pointed out that there was a "virtual absence of
comprehensive, realistic, forceful statutes" to translate concern for
urban conservation into action.7 The interstate highway system is
still being built, facilitating movements out of the city. It was only
in 1973 t&iat money from the highway trust fund was made available
for transfer to mass transit projects in urban areas if not used for high-
Most lending policies favor new development over rehabilitation
and renovation. At Forum Two, a symposium sponsored by the
Federal National Mortgage Association in June of 1975, participants
who lived in cities discussed what they regarded as the pros and cons
of city living. The report of the symposium noted that "Rehabilitation
and restoration were repeatedly described as being, whenever feasible,
the most desirable means for bringing new life to the cities."
The participants expressed their feelings that the best solution is
to maintain and rehabilitate older buildings that preserve the spirit
of the city, and then to supplement these with new construction." 9
Attitudes such as those expressed by the participants coupled with
individual decisions to live in a city are the beginning of an important
trend in urban revitalization. The move back into the city appears
to be primarily a middle class movement. It lias been suggested that
the middle class has the skills necessary to carry out restoration/
rehabilitation work on structures. To some extent, these skills are
the result of the do-it,-yotirself a tmospliere that lhas been a part of
the suburban cxexp,'riencl,. The middle cl ass is an important component
of the economicic vitality of a city. The taxes they pay and the work
they perform can be relied upon to inake a substantial contribution
to a city's life. (C'itie, 111mst adopt positive prognirams to attract the
ni(,ldleV class Ibac.k to the city. Governmiient policy must help to rein-
force, tllhese actions a(nd to continue silupport for other vital on-going
programs aimed at other city problems.
I SeeHP, Paul R. Mailhan awl Rilhiarrd G. MarcIs. "lThi, )yaniaics of Demographics." Forum Two, The
ChanginO .Market fP'or Aliidl-Icir',,r (Ctiy Ilouiiing. (FNMA. 1'i75. pp. 31r. HJervaftfr. ForMm II.
I St'phrn A. Klin-Piit. AIA, ,il.. Neighborhoodi Consrriation. .4 Snmrcr Boiok. (New York. 1U75), p. 1/8.
Th 'irt h A.1 n l al PJ iirt of tihr ( in itil on i fr'iiiigrniir al Quality, (( I'O. 1J76). p. 174.
*Oakley Hunter, "The Pluplke Talked," Forumn II, p. S.
CHAPTER II-PRESERVATION PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
This chapter deals with the preservation related programs of the
Department of Housing and Urban Development. Urban conservation
and historic preservation have been only moderate components in
housing and community development programs of HUD. The chapter
discusses the categorical grant programs previously administered by
HUD and the transfer to community development block grants.
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 is discussed
as well as other HUD programs which include conservation activities.
Several HUD categorical grant programs included historic preser-
vation as eligible activities. Historic perservation was an integral
component of the Open Space grant program and during the late 1960s
and early 1970s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development
made annual grants of approximately $5 million for historic preserva-
tion purposes through this program. The Model Cities program also
included preservation and beginning in 1966, preservation and restora-
tion of historic structures became an eligible activity of urban renewal
projects. Preservation activities carried out under the categorical
grant programs tended to take a largely traditional approach to
The criticisms of the categorical grants program such as Urban
Renewal, Model Cities and Open Space were many. They required a
great deal of redtape for application, review and approval for federal
assistance. The project grant was usually a "one-shot" appropriation
which did not permit long range planning. Many of the programs were
characterized by long delays before a project could actually be imple-
mented. Certain of the categorical grant programs required specific
agencies within a city in order to administer a project, the most
notable being Urban Renewal. In this process, the local participants-
the mayor, the council and the citizens-were often ignored because
the federal program received its direction from Washington and im-
plemented the program independently. Congress enacted the Housing
and Community Development Act in an attempt to remedy some
of the problems encountered in the categorical grant programs.
CONGRESSIONAL ACTIONS IN DEVELOPING NEW DIRECTIONS
As the weakness in the categorical grant programs became apparent,
Congress began to shift its views toward preservation. A review of
preservation legislation, particularly in the 1960s and early 1970s,
reveals evidence of Congress's growing awareness of the importance of
preservation and the need for preservation to be more prominently
incorporated into national planning policies.
Congress realized the potential of preservation in two major areas.
Initially Congress held the traditional view of preservation of national
monumental buildings and significant historic sites. The Antiquities
Act of 1906, the establishment of the National Park Service in 1919,
the Historic Sites Act of 1935, and the establishment of the National
Trust for Historic Preservation in 1949 all represent this view taken
by Congress. The landmark year for American preservation was 1966. In
that year the National Historic Preservation Act was passed which
strengthened the national preservation program by extending the
survey of historic resources and creating the Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation. Congress also mandated that historic sites
had to be considered in transportation projects in the Department of
Transportation Act of 1966. In the 1960's, Congress established the
National Endowment for the Arts, which supports and fosters preser-
vation. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires
federal agencies to evaluate project impact on historic sites.
In the early 1970's Congress showed growing awareness of preser-
vation potential in another area: housing and community develop-
ment. A program of revenue-sharing and block grants to local com-
munities was established in an attempt to insure communities an
equitable share of federal funds and to initiate program development
and implementation at the local level. Congress became aware that
the many separate needs of urban centers could be dealt with most
effectively when local priorities were locally determined. Preservation
could be a tool for meeting national economic and social goals. Nu-
merous examples are cited in this report which illustrate the economic
potential of preservation through employment, investment and energy
conservation as well as the social potential of preservation by giving
neighborhoods and commercial areas renewed vitality.
Because of a variety of factors such as the energy crisis, preservation
has moved away from the traditional attitude of saving for the
purpose of enshrining the past. Preservation can be a positive solution
to problems of national housing, urban blight and out-migration from
America's cities. Recent Congressional action supports urban con-
servation. Most significantly, the Housing and Community Develop-
ment Act of 1974 clearly emphasizes preservation as one of the
activities for which cities can use their share of community develop-
ment block grant funds. Congress continues to emphasize rehabilita-
tion and re-use of historic resources in housing and community
SPECIFIC HUD PROGRAM REVIEW
Housing and Community Development Act
Tlie Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (HCDA)
was signed by President Ford on August 22, 1974. The Act shifted the
piiPcomeal approac(:les to community needs under the categorical
grants program to a broader response through block grants. It shifted
program responsibility from the federal government to elected officials
in local government and allowed cities to better incorporate all their
programs into a (compn)rehenlsive planning and development process.
I'The Act is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban
In Title I of the Act Congress declared that the nation's cities were
suffering from problems of overpopulation of the poor and inadequate
reinvestment in housing and other facilities. The goal of Title I was
to create a healthy urban community by providing adequate housing,
a good environment and economic opportunities primarily for low and
moderate income persons. The Act defines "low and moderate income"
as those families whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the
income of the area.1 Federal assistance is directed to communities
through seven broad national objectives:
1. Elimination of slums and blight and the prevention of blighting influences.
2. Elimination of conditions detrimental to health, safety and public welfare.
3. Conservation and expansion of the nation's housing stock in order to provide
decent housing and a decent environment.
4. Expansion and improvement of the quantity and quality of community
5. More rational utilization of land and other natural resources.
0. Reduction of the isolation of income groups within communities, promotion
of diversity and vitality of neighborhoods for low income people, and the re-
vitalization of deteriorating neighborhoods to attract higher income people.
7. Restoration and preservation of properties of special value for historic,
architectural or esthetic reasons.2
Cities are provided funds on an annual basis with minimum delay.
The federal aid encourages community development activities con-
sistent with comprehensive local development planning and achieve-
ment of a national housing goal of a decent home and suitable en-
vironment for every American family in a coordinated and mutual
The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment is directed to require all applicants to submit a three year
community development plan which identifies community develop-
ment needs and demonstrates a strategy for meeting those needs in
accordance with national objectives. It must include a housing assist-
ance plan which surveys the conditions of the housing stock, specifies
a goal of providing lower-income people with adequate housing and
indicates the location of proposed lower-income housing. Among the
objectives of the housing plan is to revitalize communities to the
maximum extent. The law requires that citizens' voices be heard
before the application of the complete plan is submitted through
adequate dissemination of information, public hearings and citizen
participation in development of the application. After a community
plan is approved, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development requires that each grantee submit a performance
report and the Secretary make annual reviews and audits to deter-
mine if the grantee is carrying out the program described in the
Congress authorized $8.4 billion to be distributed under the Act
over a period of three fiscal years-1975, 1976, 1977. The first fiscal
year of the program spanned only six months (January 1 to June 30,
1975) during which time $2.5 billion was appropriated. Five hundred
and eighty-one metropolitan cities and urban counties qualified for
funds based on a formula rating which took into consideration four
factors: population, the extent of poverty (to be counted twice) and
142 U.S.C. 530, Section 201(a) (8)(f)(1).
2 bid., Section 101(c).
s Ibid., Section l01(dL.
the extent of overcrowding in the city.4 The Housing and Community
Development Act entitled urban counties with populations of over
200,000 which possessed abilities to carry out comprehensive planning
programs to apply for funds. Seventy-three such urban counties
received block grant money.5 In addition to the formula entitlement
cities and counties, the Act allocated funds for "Hold Harmless"
communities within SMSAs (Standard Metropolitan Statistical
Areas) and non-metropolitan communities. Hold Harmless designa-
tion provides money to entitlement cities and non-metropolitan cities
exceeding their formula share based on their past program experience
A third area of fund distribution in the Housing and Community
Development Act is called discretionary. Three types of discretionary
funds are available: SMSA and non-metropolitan, urgent needs and
the Secretary's fund. The SMSA and non-metropolitan funds were
suspended the first year because of an unexpectedly large number of
urban counties which qualified for block grants. The urgent needs
funding went to cities for completion of unfinished projects such as
urban renewal. The Secretary's fund amounted to 2% of the total
Housing and Community Block Grant appropriation. Four programs
were funded with this allocation: New Communities; Inequities;
Trusts, Territories and Possessions; and Innovative Projects. The
Act authorized the Secretary of HUD to make grants for innovative
community demonstration projects in three areas: public service pro-
ductivity, community development energy conservation and neigh-
Traditional historic preservation has not received high priority by
communities using block grant funds. Despite this, the funding level
for historic preservation increased significantly as compared to the
categorical grant funding levels. Recipients gave the historic preserva-
tion objective the lowest funding priority among the seven national
goals. Sixty-nine percent of the cities identified historic preservation as
its lowest priority while seven percent identified historic preservation
as an area of high priority.8
Among the urban conservation activities eligible for block grant
funding are: acquisition, restoration or rehabilitation of historic
property as well as financing programs such as loans or grants for
rehabilitation of private or publicly owned properties. Although
no hard data has been compiled on exact expenditures for preservation
activities within block grant funding, some statistics exist after
anrialysis of the first, year of the program. As previously noted, about
1%c or $15 million of the total HCDA funding went to preservation
activities. Communities in the state of New York designated approxi-
mitely $7,500,000 in block grants for historic preservation projects
in 1975 or 3% of the total state allocation.9
It is (difficult to determine exact amounts of block grant money
spent on preservation since preservation is often an integral aspect
of overall program objectives and therefore cannot be segregated. For
4 U.S. Departmeint of TIousiii and U'rhan D-v.lopnient. Com7nunity Devdopmcnt Block Grant Program;
FiTr ,i 11n a1l IRtepiort, (( iPO, 1.975 1)p. 5. 1 Ieretafltr, CDI)(f Report.
* Ipd., p. 10.
* IAid. p. 5.
1 ljdn., p. tI>.
* ill.. p. '14.
* .\f,'f.lIfttr, Preservation Li.-gu' of New York State, Vol. 2, No. 1, February, 1976, p. 1.
example, rehabilitation received 9% of the total block grant funding
during the first year. Preservation is closely linked with rehabilitation,
code enforcement, abandoned housing and other programs which are
legitimate activities under block grant funding. Thus the $15 million
specified as having gone into historic preservation is restricted by the
narrow definition of historic preservation used by the HUD Office of
Evaluation. The broad evaluation and oversight of the Block Grant
Program makes it impossible to determine exact preservation funding.
Another element of the block grant program which has changed
preservation activity in this country is the shift in immediate respon-
sibility to local persons for local priorities. Under the Open SpaIce
grant program historic preservation objectives could be funded which:
were not necessarily an integral part of local community development
objectives. Mayors and city council members now hold full responsi-
bility for uses of block grant funds and problems and failures which
once could be blamed on federal agencies such as urban renewal are
no longer possible. Because of their responsibility, elected city officials
are reluctant to undertake massive long-term projects such as clear-
ance and redevelopment and are inclined to favor short term projects
such as improvement of infrastructure, housing rehabilitation and
preservation. These highly visible activities can be translated into
One of the problems which has arisen due to the funding shift
from the federal level to the local level is the lack of expertise and
technical assistance to effectively plan and administer funds under
HCDA. Some municipalities have had problems in developing and
administering preservation related programs as well as other pro-
grams and have had to solve the problems without the aid and benefit
of what could be a potential source of technical assistance within the
Department of Housing and Urban Development. Many officials
agree that the HUD policy of "handsoff" is not successful and that,
some provision for HUD to provide technical assistance to local
communities would be a desirable addition to the Department's role
in administering the Housing and Community Development Act..
Specifically, non-mandatory guidelines or suggested alternatives could
The Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) is
assisting local block grant communities with their environmentalI
review responsibilities under the Housing and Community Develop-
ment Act. Each block grant recipient must comply with regulations.
in the National Historic Preservation Act, Executive Order 11593 and
those of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The block
grant community, which in essence functions as a federal agency for-
environmental purposes, is required by law to identify and protect
historic resources in the area of its jurisdiction and to develop its.
planning program to include historic sites.
The Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation has communi-
cated with block grant recipients urging them to identify and protect
the historic resources within their communities. The OAHIP informa-
tion sent out to block grant recipients stresses the value of initial
historic sites surveys and suggests fund sources to conduct these
surveys. A ten percent advance of block grant funds or any amount
of the approved block grant for a program year can fund such a.
survey. Cumberland, Maryland, has been the only recipient to date
whose funds have been held up by the Department of Housing and
Urban Development until the city complied with historic preservation
regulations and certified to the Department that it had complied with
its environmental review responsibilities.
The first year of the block grant program was characterized pri-
marily by a continuation of programs previously begun under the
categorical grant programs. This was a natural transitional process.
Undoubtedly, many more imaginative and innovative programs will
be undertaken by cities in subsequent years of the program. With
'the popularity of preservation, rehabilitation and related activities,
it is predictable that greater amounts of money will be spent on them.
Stcf;on 701 comprehensive planning program
The 701 Comprehensive Planning Assistance Program was estab-
lished in the Housing Act of 1954 (40 U.S.C. 461). The Act was passed
in order to provide assistance to state and local governments in solving
planning problems, including those resulting from increasing popula-
tion in metropolitan areas and out migration from and lack of develop-
ment services in rural areas; to facilitate comprehensive planning for
urban and rural development; and to encourage governments to
establish and improve planning staffs and techniques.10
701 grants have been utilized for many years for historic preserva-
tion planning purposes. Regulations governing the 701 program were
changed in response to the Housing and Community Development Act
of 1974 to specify that cities must comply with the National Historic
Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Under the amended changes to the 701 program, planning and manage-
ment assistance can be provided to applicants having special needs
including the surveys of structures, districts and sites of historic or
architectural value through identification and development of informa-
tion needed for a historic preservation program.11
The goal of the regulations promulgated by HUD is to require
planning activities funded under Section 701 to comply with estab-
limied preservation and environmental laws and to place preservation
s4q-llarely in the comprehensive planning process. The Section 106
compliance amendments require that each applicant consult with the
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in an effort to mitigate
auny adverse impact on a property or district on or eligible for inclusion
on the National Register of Historic Places. They also direct the
applicant to work closely with the State Historic Preservation Office
to avoid planning activities which will have an adverse impact on
NNational Register properties. The amendments mandate that the
re'ipient of a 701 planning grant prepare a historic preservation
1, Isscsment when planning activities may impact historic properties.
al',is -,ssessment should include a summary of proposed plans-either
lberleficial or adverse. Any adverse impact should have an alternate
plin. The assessment must contain the impact of the plan on the long-
termr maintenance and enhancement of National Register properties
11d a statement setting forth programs for conserving historic prop-
,lrtiv%. "his assessment is a part of the local planning process and
11ho11ld be 1) ivilable for public comment.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 701 Comprehensive Planning Assitance, Sep-
tril," r 1975, p. 1.
SIb'dP., p. 12.
The amendments also pertain to housing rehabilitation. They require
that the comprehensive plan take into account through preservation,
rehabilitation, tax incentives, building codes, housing management
and community services, the existing housing stock and existing
For several years the Office of Community Planning and Develop-
ment of HUD did not encourage 701 funding for preservation related
activities. The Office relied on the Department of the Interior to
encourage and fund these activities. More recently, however, HUD
has begun to deal with preservation activities within its funded
planning program and for two years, from FY75 to FY76, has concen-
trated 701 monies on highly visible demonstration projects which
focus on preservation. Recent examples of 701 planning activities
include projects in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Hoboken, near New York City, is a multi-ethnic community with a
solid and substantial 19th-century housing stock. Many of the
neighborhoods were deteriorating when 701 funds enabled the city
to launch a program to inform and educate citizens to the value of
their architectural resources. A slide show was prepared utilizing 701
funds which highlights the architectural assets of the city. Positive
results of the program can be observed in several neighborhoods where
revitalization is taking place.
Boston, Massachusetts, used 701 funds for planning in the North
End, a predominantly Italian community near the downtown area.
Funds were awarded the city in order to look for alternatives to the
planner's common dilemma in dealing with historic neighborhoods:
How can the city improve its community services without unduly
increasing incentives for higher income people to move into the area
and thus displace the present residents? The housing stock in the
North End is modest, some have structural flaws and there are prob-
lems with parking. Middle income professionals are being attracted to
the area. The 701 project is not completed. Few solutions have been
developed to solve the dilemma of displacement of existing residents
by higher income groups.
The Department is stressing cooperation of all levels of govern-
ment-local, state and federal in the planning process. The Depart-
ment believes that the National Register of Historic Places can be an
effective planning tool within the comprehensive plan of a community.
The attempt to include various levels of government encourages a
broader approach to problems, fosters model ordinances and innova-
tive statutory authorization, and can be used for exploring preserva-
tion issues and theories such as the less-than-fee approach to
FHA title I home improvement loans for national register properties
The Emergency Home Assistance Purchase Act of 1974 was signed
into law by President Ford on October 18, 1974. Its aim was to help
stimulate the economy by increasing available credit for housing.
Title II of the Act contained an amendment to the National Housing
Act whichli authorizes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to
make home improvement loans up to $15,000 for residential properties
listed on the National Register of Historic Places or which are declared
eligible for listing on the Register by the Secretary of the Interior.
biLd., p. 16;
The effect of the amendment was to raise the limit on FHA Title
-1 home improvement loans by $5,000, from $10,000 to $15,000, for
ihese properties. Under the new program the maximum loan repay-
ment period is extended to 15 years and 32 days. Traditionally, many
lenders have been reluctant to make loans on older properties. Partly
as a result, owners of older dwellings have had difficulty in securing
credit to make needed repairs. To help remedy this situation, specific
authorization for FHA to insure home improvement loans on older
historic properties had first been proposed by the Administration as
early as 1971. This amendment to FHA Title I programs was seen as
a means of helping to encourage revitalization of older areas and to
stimulate the economy.
HUD has been extremely slow to develop regulations to implement
Title II of the Emergency Home Assistance Purchase Act. HUD did
not publish proposed implementing regulations until May of 1976.
Under the proposed regulations for the program, insurance for the
loans is paid by the borrower and amounts to slightly over ,2% of the
net loan proceeds. The interest rate on the loan is tied to the market
rate and the proposed regulations limit interest rates to a maximum
-of 12%. Although the legislation sets no maximum amount that may
be borrowed and insured by the FHA by any one borrower for a
Register property, the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment has proposed a ceiling of $30,000 per properk. Reasons for this
ceiling are: (1) underwriting risks if loan amounts are greater than
$30,000; (2) the fact that under other Title I home improvement loan
programs the maximum amount that can be borrowed to improve any
*one property is $25,000; (3) insured loans of large amounts would
complicate the program with reviews, approvals and the need for the
government to take a mortgage position; and (4) FHA Title I pro-
grains are generally not considered to be for multi-family properties.
Thus, a property such as the Long Wharf and Customhouse Block
in Boston, Massachusetts, dating from the 1830s which is being
converted into apartment use and which is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places, and a National Historic Landmark, could
not practically benefit from the new program, although it is theoret-
ically eligible under the legislation.
No estimate of the number of properties which could potentially
benefit from the program has been developed. There is no firm grasp
of the total number of structures listed on the National Register, let
alone, residential structures or structures which could be converted to
residential iise. Any residential property listed on the National
Register or in a registered historic district can participate in the
program whether or not it contributes to the significance of the district.
I t t5 I
Applications for FJIA Title I Home Improvement Loans for
Register properties, will be processed by local lending institutions and
then reviewedl byv the State IHistoric Preservation Officer (SHPO) to
ldeterlline whetbe'r the work will adversely affect the historic and cul-
tiiral merit of tlhe property. After completion of the review by the
SI' f P() the a )plicant's formn will )e sent to the lending institution,
with a copy to the applicant indicating approval, disapproval or
re(coineida(ltions. -Ille SIIPlO c.n (charge a maximum fee of $25.00
to )be J)lid by tlhe applicant for application review. The SHPO must
respondl to tie appp)li(ction within thirty days of the date of the
applica it's letter; if 1)o rIespolse i, received( in that time period, the
lending institution is free to make the loan. If the SHPO disapproves
the application, the applicant may adjust the proposed improvement
work. After work has begun, the State Historic Preservation Officer
is not required to make inspections of the work, although an inspection
may be made if the SHPO chooses.
The Title I amendment appears to have an important potential
impact. The Federal National Mortgage Association in its report on
the results of a conference, Forum Two, The Ctanging Market for
Middle Income City Housing, has pointed out "Using the new Act
[The Emergency Home Assistance Purchase Act] as a base, com-
munities can substantially increase the availability of loan financing
in Historic Districts. . It seems clear that designation inspires
rehabilitation activity and can improve the marketability of all
properties within the district as well as in the surrounding areas." 13
There appear to be many potential problems with this new FHA
Title I program. Some question the number of loans likely to be
made under the program. For many lending institutions, loan amounts
between $10,000 and $15,000 are too small for mortgage departments
and too large for consumer loan departments. An educational effort
is needed to inform the public of the availability and usefulness of
the program. The loan program cannot be used for properties in
which over 10% of the floor space is devoted to commercial use. A
change in the legislation could stimulate rehabilitation efforts for
As part of the plans for implementing the new FHA program, a
pamphlet, Basic Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Historic Property,
has been prepared by the Interagency Historic Architectural Services
Program of the National Park Service. The guidelines are aimed, in
part, at suggesting to loan applicants approaches to the rehabilitation
of their property. Too, the guidelines will serve as a checklist for the
State Historic Preservation Officer in evaluating the loan application
for the appropriateness of the proposed work. It is planned that
IHUD will publish and distribute the Basic Guidelines to all FHA
approved lending institutions and to other interested parties. Po-
tentially, the HUD publication of this pamphlet could have an impact
on suggesting directions for other residential rehabilitation programs,
especially locally-funded programs.
Homesteading is a program in which a person or family is given
or purchases a property at a minimal fee, agrees to reside in the house
and rehabilitate it within a certain time, and then receives title to
the property. Urban homesteading is a new approach to solving some
of the problems of our cities and is based on historical precedent.
Cities plagued by urban blight are applying the program in the hope
of attracting stable residents back to the city and at the same time,
directing efforts to cure the ills of inner city housing abandonment.
The Rutgers University's Center for Urban Policy Research has
observed that homesteading has as its main objective "to make
previously unattractive units available to qualified owners for little
or no initial cost, with the result that parcels which have been eco-
nomically nonviable can come back on the market simply for the cost
13 Forum Two, The Changing Markdet for Middle Income City Housing, (FNMA, 1975), pp. 49-50.
Homesteading is directed toward young, upwardly mobile, pro-
fessional people who are willing to invest money as well as sweat
equity in houses. In return, the city puts properties back on the tax
rolls and often previously non-viable neighborhoods are revitalized.14
Urban homesteading is the recycling of abandoned residential
properties which result from foreclosure of federally insured mortgages
or from foreclosures because of tax delinquencies. As a result of fore-
closures of federally insured mortgages, the Department of Housing
and Urban Development owns many abandoned properties in cities
around the country. Abandonment usually occurs in neighborhoods
which have aged and begun to decay. Abandonment may also occur
in good neighborhoods and act as a catalytic force triggering decline.
With abandonment comes crime and those who can afford to, move
out of the neighborhood. A neighborhood containing many abandoned
structures is characterized by vacancies, reduced rental fees and
loss of services.15
Homesteading in the United States is not a new concept. During
the 19th-century, homesteading played a substantial role in settling
the western United States. In 1862, under the Homesteading Act,
a citizen could receive 160 acres for a nominal fee if he agreed to live
on and cultivate the land for a period of five years. The federal
government used the homesteading program to attract settlers to
previously unsettled areas of the country. During the Depression of
the 1930s, Subsistence Homesteads were established near employment
centers or based on agriculture. These programs used a cooperative
approach and were aimed at the middle income segment of society.
This program resulted in the building of several greenbelt towns on
the periphery of larger cities. Today homesteading is neither agri-
cultural, rural or oriented toward employment opportunities. It is
both individualistic and cooperative and is aimed simply at urban
Urban homesteading appeal originated in the back to the city
movement. Urban homesteading is a reverse from previous home-
steading programs. It represents a commitment to go back to the
city whereas past programs were characterized by a shift away from
urban centers. Because urban homesteading is directed to those who
can monetarily afford it, there is little opportunity for low income
persons to participate.
Urban homesteading is not without its problems, however. Usually
abandoned structures are in a high state of decay and must be sub-
stantially rehabilitated to meet code standards. Assistance is needed
to bring a house up to these standards including hiring licensed crafts-
men to do much of the work unless the homesteader is unusually
adept at do-it-yourself techniques. The greatest problem of home-
steading is the time period from the moment a structure is abandoned
until it is released. This process can take as long as two years."
The result of this long period of time is usually manifested in physical
decay of a structure, accompanied by vandalism and crime, and
sometimes total loss of the property.
1 Jamr.s W. I[lughes and Kennetth D. Bleakly, Jr., Urban Ilomesteading (New Brunswick: The Center
for r'rhtan ]Policy R.search, 1975), p. 4.
1I Ibid., p. 1.
14 IAid., p. 61.
To a city, however, the contributions of urban homesteading can
be substantial. Specific benefits of homesteading are outlined in a
booklet prepared for a homesteading program in Baltimore, Maryland:
1. It recycles a neglected segment of the available housing in a community and
puts abandoned dwellings back into use and on the tax rolls.
2. It contributes to the revitalization of declining neighborhoods by encouraging
improvements to both the immediate residential area and the surrounding
3. It increases the opportunity for homeownership to families and individuals
who otherwise might not be eligible.
4. It provides residential neighborhoods convenient to downtown cultural
facilities and places to work.
5. It makes available older houses with varied architectural details and lower
square foot costs than many new houses.17
Properties are selected for homesteading by a city housing agency
from among those acquired by the city or the Department of Housing
and Urban Development through abandonment and foreclosure.
The public is notified of availability of properties through this agency.
In some programs a house is awarded an applicant by committee
selection and in others through a lottery. After the agency receives
title to the property it determines whether the structure is suitable
for homesteading. An estimate is made of the cost of returning the
property to habitable status and bringing it up to code standards.
If at this point it is determined that the cost of meeting such standards
is prohibitive, the structure is usually demolished. However, if it is
found that code standards can feasibly be met, the structure is placed
in the homesteading program. In most cities the homesteader can
borrow money for rehabilitation from the city at less than the market
interest rate. The homesteader must promptly satisfy basic fire and
safety requirements in the structure and agree to live in if for a certain
period of time. Usually, the house must be certified within approxi-
mately two years that it meets all code requirements. At that point
title to the property is handed over to the homesteader and he is
free to do with the structure as he chooses.
The homesteading program has had a slow beginning. Programs
are currently in operation in Newark, New Jersey; Baltimore, Mary-
land; St. Louis, Missouri; Wilmington, Delaware; New York, New
York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as several other cities.
In the three cities where urban homesteading programs have existed
longest-Wilmington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia-only 200 families
have homesteaded."8 This small number of active homesteaders is
attributable to both the length of time it takes to process a structure
and the relatively recent implementation of urban homesteading
programs. Urban homesteading programs only began in the early
Wilmington, Delaware, began its program in 1973. Properties in
Wilmington are selected on the basis of rehabilitation feasibility and
viability of neighborhoods. Fourteen percent of the city's residential
units are abandoned and the main goal of the program is to lessen
the inventory of vacant units in the city. Applications for properties
are awarded on a homesteader's willingness to rehabilitate and his
17 Otterbein Homestead Area; Guidelines for Exterior Restoration, (Columbia, Maryland, Land Design/
Research, Inc.), p. 6.
Is Urban Homesteading, p. 2.
ability to meet financial costs. In cases where more than one appli-
cant qualifies, a drawing is held. Homesteaders receive title to the
property at no cost, agreeing to bring the property up to code stand-
ards within eighteen months and reside in the property for three years.
A property tax abatement program allowing homesteaders to subtract
50% of the value of improvements made from the original assessed
value lasts for five years. Eight cooperating local banks have made
available 90% loans for 10 to 15 years and the city of Wilmington has
agreed to insure 40% of any loan default. A Homesteading Board of
Directors, composed of six city agencies, is charged with program
policymaking. As of August, 1974, 27 homesteading units have been
awarded, 22 remain in the program and 8 are occupied.19
Baltimore, Maryland, has a similar homesteading program which
also began in 1973. City-owned housing units must be found to be able
to be feasibly rehabilitated for less than $15,000. There is no specific
income limit for homesteaders. The purchase price of the property
is $1.00 and the house must be brought up to code standards within
two years. A program which adds to the strength of the Baltimore
homesteading program is REAL, Residential Environmental Assist-
ance Loan, which is the city's low interest rehabilitation loan program.
Established in 1972, REAL provides a low cost pool of capital which
resulted initially from a $2 million municipal bond issue. REAL can
make loans at 6% up to $17,400 for 20 years.20
Washington, D.C., also has an urban homesteading program.
Approximately twenty properties have been awarded under the pro-
gram which makes use of properties owned by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development. Two thousand five hundred
applications were received for the twenty houses. One homesteading
family received a property, invested $16,000 in its rehabilitation and
within six months completely renovated the home. Hospitality House,
a community service center, administers the program and provides
guidance to homesteaders. D.C. Development Corporation, a quasi-
governmental agency, provides technical assistance and manages a
revolving fund for rehabilitation loans. Permanent financing is pro-
vided by SAFE, Inc., an association of sixteen city saving and loan
associations. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be able
to qualify for conventional financing. Most D.C. homesteaders earn
between $15,000 and $22,000 annually.21
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 recognized
the potential of urban homesteading. Section 810 specifically au-
thorized the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban
Development to transfer without payment to a unit of general local
government or a state, or a public agency designated by a local
government, any real property which is a one to four family unoc-
cupied residence to which the Secretary of Housing and Urban De-
velopnient hliolds title, which is requested by a unit of the state or an
agency to use in an urban homesteading program and which the
Secretary determines is suitable for use in a homesteading program.
The Secretary of JIUD makes a determination of suitability by
considering difficulties and delays in selling the property, the value
10 Real Estate Research Corporation, rNdghborhoud lrserration: A4 Catalog of Local Programs, (GPO,
1975). p. 155.
2t 'rban Ifomristradiiqj, p. 96.
21 Tina Laver, "I'm Black and I Want to Buy A house." W'ashingtonfan Magazine, May, 1976, pp. 202-203.
of repairs required by the program, benefits to the community and
reduced administrative cost to the federal government as a result of
the transfer of property without payment. Further, the Secretary
approves a homesteading program if the selection process is equitable
and gives preference to those needing housing most and can show a
capacity for rehabilitating the structure. The homesteader must
agree to live in the property three years, bring the house to minimum
safety and code standards and permit periodic inspections during
rehabilitation. The Secretary of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development may also approve technical assistance for-
homesteading programs, conduct a continuing evaluation program,
provide a listing of all unoccupied one to four family residences within
a unit's jurisdiction, and reimburse the Housing Loan Funds for
properties transferred from HUD to local units of government.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has not fully
promoted urban homesteading. Massive mortgage foreclosure and
abandonment of residential housing in urban areas is a great problem
for the Department. The situation in the city of Detroit is illustrative.
HUD owns over 10,000 residential properties in the city as a result of
mortgage foreclosures. Since 1970, 25,000 homes or 13% of the housing
stock of Detroit has been taken over by HUD. HUD presently owns
8,400 homes boarded up or abandoned in every section of the city and
it has taken the Department from 21 to 48 months to dispose of a
property. HUD estimates that it has paid $82 million in property
taxes over the years on 166,000 foreclosed homes it has owned. This,
figure translates to $7.21 a day for each house held by HUD in 1975.22
The case of Detroit is widely known and represents perhaps the
worst housing situation in which the Department has been involved.
Yet, it points out many weaknesses within the Department which
could be improved if a national homesteading program was fully
implemented. HUD officials have admitted that there is little co-
operation between the Department and community development
policies of many city governments. Obviously urban homesteading,
if it is to succeed on a national scale, must have greater impetus from
HUD through a more cooperative effort of working with city agencies
to make properties available for the program. Past experiences in
urban homesteading indicate that middle income families are willing
to go back to the city and support the program. This represents a
positive direction for inner city neighborhood revitalization. HIUD
should foster and encourage the program because both the Depart-
ment and cities could benefit from relief of the tremendous problems of
Office of policy development and research
Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974
authorized discretionary funds as part of the total block grant pro-
gram. Within these discretionary funds is a Secretary's Fund which
includes grant money to be allocated for innovative projects. Awards
for innovative projects are made in three areas: public service pro-
ductivity, community development energy conservation and neighbor-
22 "H UD Is Blamed as Detroit Houses Rot." The Washington Post, pp. Al, A3. See also. HIouse Report
No. 94-968, HUD's Responsi en(ss to Previous R(commn'ndations for Correctice A4ction, Nitdtenth Report by
the Committee on Government Operations, (GPO, 1976), pp. 20ff.
In 1976 HUD announced that $4 million would be allocated for
neighborhood preservation through innovative project grants. The
purpose of the grant program, according to HUD, is "to strengthen
the capability of local governments by developing, through individual
demonstration projects, innovative approaches to the solution of
longstanding or widespread urban area problems." Specific goals
of the innovative grants program include providing a national focus
for individual urban problem solutions, encouraging units of govern-
ment to experiment with new techniques which will provide improve-
ment of government programs and administration, and compiling,
evaluating and disseminating information useful to local governments
in strengthening urban program management.3
Project grunts will be awarded by HUD in 1976 centering on
holi.inim and neighborhood preservation. Priority will be given to
projects "which maximize the use of existing housing stock and the
investment of public and private resources for neighborhood preserva-
tion and regeneration." 24 In order to be considered for a grant, a
project, must center on one or more of the eligible activities set forth
in the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Examples
of eligible activities include:
1. Development and demonstration of governmental incentives such as building
codes and zoning laws.
2. Development and demonstration of public-private interactions such as
cu'perative preservation financing or neighborhood improvement.
3. Acquisition and disposition of abandoned property.
4. Development of training and manpower programs such as self-help training
for neighborhood residents.
Development and demonstration of approaches to problems of neighborhood
Con mercial revitalization.
6i. Development and demonstration of ways in which historic preservation can
have a catalytic effect on private rehabilitation.
7. Any ininov\ative approach which addresses the basic goals of the elimination
of light and prc.erv:ttioni or rehabilitation of neighborhoods.25
These projects, while focusing on innovative techniques, should be
ei.,ily replicable for a wide range of local communities throughout the
country which seek to solve problems of urban blight. For example, in
1975, a grant of $355,000 was awarded to Paterson, New Jersey,
"To develop, implement and evaluate a series of innovative mecha-
ni-m. to improve the structure and performance of the private market
for housing and neighborhood preservation." 26 Applications for assist-
aince in the current neighborhood preservation grant program repre-
sent a wide spectrum of approaches to neighborhood preservation.
For example, applications include such things as developing a course
of basic home cure for high school students to provide them with the
nc;.--ary knowledge to maintain a home; development of a joint
venture between public and private resources in an effort to keep
rehabilitation costs as low as possible; development of a loan subsidy
progr ini tht could atttrmet private capital from local lending in-
stitlutions; slbsidization of tlhe rent of a city shopping center to allow
p)riv;Ite enterprise to operate the facility; development of general
rell.bilitation strategy for conservation and utilization of structures
U T.S. D1 i'trt rl,'it of I riii'z i iiin I'rlian T),v
R' Itid., p. 2.
: I4id.. pp. :-4.
S( Ihif; trporlt, p. 70.
25 years old or more; and development of a program to put court-
referred youths to work on neighborhood preservation projects.
Besides programs originating from the Housing and Community
Development Act of 1974, the Office of Policy Development and Re-
search has given substantial support to preservation related research
projects and programs. It contracted with Real Estate Research Cor-
poration (RERC) to prepare the Neighborhood Preser'ation Catalg
which lists 100 locally-initiated neighborhood programs as a guide
for local decision makers and community leaders. RERC developed,
during research for this catalog, a ranking classification for neighbor-
hoods which rates neighborhoods on a scale of 1 to 5 from healthy to
disintegrated. There are many advocates for adoption of this clas-iii-
cation system on a formal basis but others argue that such a rating
system would legitimize redlining, the practice of lending institutions
to cut off credit flow to certain neighborhoods.
In the early 1970s the Office of Policy Development and Research
recognized a need for more cooperation among landmark and historic
district commissions throughout the country. As a result, it awarded
a two year grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a
service program for historic district and landmark commissions. The
grant was made as a means of involving the commissions in general
community development programs. It was felt that such organizations
had not supported urban revitalization. The service program is
currently working with approximately 35 cities throughout the
The Office of Policy Development and Research is currently involved
in such preservation related projects as: a study on neighborhood
change and development of a methodology for dealing with neighbor-
hood evolution, a study of real estate/lending institutions operations
in declining neighborhoods, a study on rehabilitation and codes, and
an evaluation of the urban homesteading program.
CHAPTER III-LocAL PROGRAMS IN PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION
Many cities throughout the country are experimenting with pro-
grams designed to promote urban conservation and neighborhood
preservation. This chapter looks at a number of cities and their
programs. Many of the techniques used by cities are patterned on
programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
almost all now use Community Development Block Grant funding to
finance their programs. Although the approaches to urban conserva-
tion vary widely, they all have a common aim to make the urban
environment more livable.
Dayton, Ohio, is an example of a city plagued with urban problems.
The city government of Dayton has responded in recent years to the
problems of urban decline. The city organized a new kind of local
government-the commission-mayor-manager form of government.
Under this system the commissioners, the mayor and the manager are
all accountable to each other. Dayton was one of the first cities to
use such a form which subsequently became very popular in other
Reorganization has recently taken place in the city manager's office.
Task forces were formed five years ago to provide interdisciplinary
approaches to policy-making. This system incorporates a program of
management by objectives in which contracts are signed with depart-
ment heads which define annual objectives and goals. As a result of
Dayton's willingness to experiment with governmental management
programs, it was frequently awarded federal discretionary and cate-
gorical grants such as Model Cities.
Not only has Dayton shown innovation in local government ad-
ministration, but citizens have made contributions for improvement
of their city. In 1970 Dayton established six neighborhood planning
councils for each of its natural communities and a seventh area, the
downtown, represented by its own organization. This body of citizens
meets the requirements for citizen participation in federal community
development block grant funding.
Under this system, citizens serve in an advisory capacity to the city
commission. Twenty-five to thirty-five persons are elected from each
neighborhood and a chairman from each area meets monthly with the
Dayton City Manager. Communication flows in both directions.
Citizens use this system to inform their local government of priorities
and needs; city government informs citizens of policies and actions.
A result of these priority boards was the formation in 1970 of a Neigh-
borhood Assistance Officers Program (NAO) to improve police service
in neighborhoods. NAO has provided an estimated $1 million in
services.1 Anothler organization, MIinority Enterprises Small Business
Investment Corporation (MIESBIC) provides counseling and as-
sistance to small minority businesses. In 1975, the city commissioners
decentralized city services administration and placed responsibility
in local neighborhoods.
In the 1970s, decline had become evident in Dayton. Much of the
existing housing stock was below code standards and many structures
were vacant. Leading institutions were unwilling to invest in these
areas. Some major corporations in and around Dayton moved their
plants elsewhere. A Dayton city official noted: ". it began
scaring people when they saw the city was deteriorating. The attitude
in the suburbs turned around." 2 The suburbs of Dayton began to
realize that their existence depended on the city.
A report in January, 1976, stated that Dayton "has an extremely
valuable asset in the form of 48,204 good structures which are selling
far below their true replacement value," and another recent report
urged the city to capitalize "on a unique city resource, its historically
interesting housing." a Many officials and citizens of Dayton have
realized that a high vacancy rate and out-migration of population can
be a plus for Dayton if wisely used. With a large number of vacant
houses, the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Affairs can
select the houses to be recycled. A Middle Income Task Force in
the city manager's office concluded that "the prospect of renewed
consumer interest in existing city neighborhoods, housing in special
districts, and new housing units in the downtown, will be great." *
These concepts indicate that Dayton approaches its urban problems
on a comprehensive basis which includes urban preservation or con.
servation. A number of programs in Dayton are concerned specifically
with the conservation of the city's built environment through a
healthy business/government relationship. Such an approach is that
of City-Wide Development Corporation.
City-Wide Development Corporation is a quasi-public developer
established by the city of Dayton in 1972 to promote commercial and
residential projects to benefit the community. Real estate develop-
ment is City-Wide's major interest. It specializes in high risk ventures,
expecting a lower rate of return on its investments than would a private
investor. The Corporation is primarily concerned about how its
investments will improve the quality of life in Dayton throughli
neighborhood revitalization. City-Wide annually invests several
million dollars in its projects and in 1974 more than $5 of private
J11on(,y was invested for each dollar invested by City-Wide.6
The policy-imiakiIlg board of City-Wide consists of a Board of
Truste(ps of 2S members of which 22 are appointed by the City Conm-
inissioli. Each of the neighborhood priority councils appoints an
Idd(lition tal member. City-Wide completed its first year of operation
in 1974. It rtiruns Dayton's Housing Strategy Program and is financed
b% federal block grant funding under the housing and Community
)evelopniment Act of 1974.
I Rmal Estate Res iarch ('orporatlon, N
2 R. L,.o ',Pin anl Shlaron Ryan. "Managing Urban Docllne: An Urban Conservation Report [row
Dayton," Nation's Citii s. March, 1'76, p. 18.
SIbid., p. 19.
O City-. ide Derelopmnint Corporation: Annual Report, 1974.
City-Wide's Housing Strategy Program approved in 1975 by the
City Commission, divides the city into three types of neighborhoods:
(1) stable areas where housing is good with few vacancies and little
overcrowding, (2) strategic areas where there are 15% vacancies and
houses can be rehabilitated and (3) transitional areas where most
of the housing is deteriorated and the vacancy rate is 18% or above.
These latter areas receive the most attention.6 City-Wide Develop-
ment Corporation has a project called "Urban Living, Inc." The
coordinator of the project explains the purpose of the project and the
goal of City-Wide: "The Urban Living strategy is to tout the ad-
vantages of living in the city of Dayton-economic and otherwise-
and to facilitate decisions to live there." 7
Four programs relating to specific aspects of housing are carried
out in Dayton. The most widely known program is Oregon Village
Historic District, formerly known as Burns/Jackson. This neighbor-
hood dates from the 1820s to the Civil War. It had been in slow decline
for many years and most of its residents were transient whites. Many
of these people were elderly and lived in subdivided homes. When the
city of Dayton declared the area a historic district, City-Wide began
its first loan program for the residents of Oregon Village for purchase
or rehabilitation of both residential and commercial structures.
City-Wide initially tried to organize a group of saving and loan
associations to provide money for the loan program in order to share
the risk, but this attempt was unsuccessful. Finally, Winters Bank, a
local financial institution, singly took the initiative to provide low-
interest, low down-payment, short-term loans. City-Wide funds this
revolving loan program and Winters Bank services the loans. Appli-
cants must prepare restoration plans and receive bids from contrac-
tors. The City Plan Board reviews the plans to insure that they meet
Dayton's historic district requirements. After the restoration is com-
pleted, the purchaser must seek long-term financing from a local
lender. An official of City-Wide has stated that the Corporation has
accomplished $1.9 million in restoration of Oregon Village to date.8
. Homesteading is another housing program implemented by the
city of Dayton and begun by City-Wide Development Corporation.
City-,Wide purchased four houses foreclosed by the Federal Housing
Administration in 1974. Seventy-eight properties were purchased in
1975 and 20 were sold. Deviating somewhat from the standard home-
steading process, City-Wide sells the structures on a first come, first
serve basis at 75% of the appraised market value after the Corpora-
tion has done rehabilitation work such as wiring and repair of struc-
tural damage. The average homesteaded property in Dayton sells for
$15,000 and most have gone to middle income families. The buyer
agrees to live in the house for five years and maintain the structure at
code standards. A local savings and loan association has made most of
the loans to homesteaders.9
The central business district of Dayton has not been overlooked.
Opening of a new convention hotel will take place in 1976. An affiliate
corporation of City-Wide purchased and leased urban renewal land on
which the hotel has been built and agreed to pay some of the start up
* "Managing Urban Decline," p. 23
I ibid., p. 19.
SIbid., p. 12.
expenses so construction could begin. The hotel is located near Dayton
Convention and Exhibition Center.
The geographic housing program is one of Dayton's most innovative
housing programs. The program is directed away from the traditional
approach of inspecting all structures on a street. Instead, the neigh-
borhood priority councils have housing inspectors assigned to them
and three criteria are used to inspect a house: (1) the worst house on
the worst street, (2) a citizen's complaint, and (3) for cosmetic reasons
because a house looks dilapidated from the outside. Houses which
cannot be easily rehabilitated are demolished. Others, which are
vacant and might be saved, are boarded up by the city, painted to
blend with the neighboring structures and debris cleaned from the
premises. The city then works with City-Wide to recycle these houses.
According to the director of the inspection program it is "concerned
with conserving and improving the city's housing stock through
inspection . and is concerned with how a house affects a
The city of Dayton has emphasized the economic and physical
benefits of urban conservation through its housing programs. However,
programs emphasizing social services and concern for relocated persons
and those displaced by higher income people are priorities for the
city. Also in most of its housing programs the city has emphasized
private reinvestment in housing areas rather than subsidies and
grants. The Mayor of Dayton illustrated this when speaking of City-
Wide Development Corporation's investment of dollars with the
expectation that "the dollars will return and be able to be used again
and again to create additional benefits for the city." n
Dayton's approaches to solving its urban problems are innovative
in many ways. The city's recognition of its problems coupled with
active citizen and city government participation have contributed
to the city's success in solving these problems. Cooperation has been
the key to Dayton's success so far and even before the passage of the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Dayton was
actively identifying its problems and aggressively seeking solutions.
With block grant funding such as the money used to finance City-Wide
Development Corporation, Dayton is continuing to attack its
In the last decade, the city of Seattle experienced general economic
decline and a large number of housing vacancies due to changing
economic opportunities. Centered in neighborhoods and downtown,
conservation in Seattle has embraced both innovative and traditional
solutions to saving the city's built environment.
The Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Program in Seattle
is similar to the Neighborhood Housing Services approach. Its objec-
tive is to reduce neighborhood deterioration through concentrated
code enforcement, financial rehabilitation assistance and public
imrprovemrnents. Irn)plementation of the program began in two neighbor-
hoods in 1975. Seattle's program offers more financial assistance than
most neighborhood housing services programs. Homeowners who
" Ibid., p. 23.
cannot qualify for conventional loans can receive assistance from three
sources based on their financial position.
(1) Applicants who do not qualify for conventional loans but who
are capable of assuming loans with moderate interest rates may
receive loans at interest rates of 6 to 7% for up to 20 years. Funds are
obtained through loans granted to the Seattle Housing Authority by
local lending institutions. A $4.5 million rehabilitation trust fund was
established by the city for the program from general revenue sharing
funds and serves as collateral to guarantee repayment. These loans
are available to both owner-occupants and owners of low-income
(2) Owner-occupants who cannot afford payments required for low-
interest loans, can receive interest-subsidized loans. The Seattle
Housing Authority lends to these occupants at interest rates and terms
based on needs and capabilities of the individual applicant. The
interest subsidy or reduction is financed by the rehabilitation trust
(3) Homeowners who are the highest credit risks and the least
able to afford rehabilitation can obtain loans at flexible interest rates
and terms from a high-risk revolving fund administered by a private
Prior to putting the program into effect, the city of Seattle reviewed
its housing and building codes and modified them to facilitate rehabili-
tation. Neighborhood selection is made by the City Council after
screening by the Mayor and the Office of Housing Policy, and after
public hearings have been held.12
The downtown area of Seattle has also been a focus of preservation
efforts. Pioneer Square was the first area to receive attention. Built
at the turn of the century, its architecture is predominantly Victorian,
and it became the city's first historic district. The preservation
efforts in Pioneer Square are aimed at restoring vitality to the area
and promoting private investment. Pioneer Square is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places. A city ordinance provides
protection as does a mayor-appointed preservation board empowered
to review and approve all exterior changes and demolition. The city
has provided new street lighting and foundations for the area as well
as selective code enforcement3
As a result of revitalization efforts, the overall tax base in Pioneer
Square has increased 450% since 1970. Employment has risen from
1,500 in 1971 to 6,000 and when restoration is completed, there will
be 30,000 workers in this area of retail stores, converted warehouses,
parks, shops and night clubs.4 An investment of $807,870 of municipal
funds in Pioneer Square has attracted $200,000 in private donations
and over $1 million in federal funds. Property values in Pioneer
Square are up as much as 1,000% in key restored areas.15
A second downtown area of Seattle which is being preserved is
Pike Place Market. Dating from 1907 it has been run largely for and
by low-income people as a subsidized farmer-to-consumer center.
When conservation efforts began the market was located in an urban
I Neighborhood Preserration Catalog, p. 50.
1 Stephen A. Kliment, ed., Neighborhood Conservation: A Source Book, New York, 1975. p. IV/18. Here-
aftpr, Neighborhood Conseroation.
14 Environmental Quality: The Sixth Annual Report of the Council of Enrorinmental Quality, (Washington,
1975), p. 169.
'L Neighborhood Conservation, p. IV/21.
renewal area and it took strong citizen efforts in 1972 to block a high-
rise renewal plan in the area. The area was designated a seven acre
historic district and placed on the National Register. A city ordinance
provides protection of the area and a citizens' commission approves
new activities in the area and architectural alterations.
The wooden structures which comprise the market were badly
deteriorated and much rehabilitation has been required to bring them
up to code standards. There has been a problem of rising property
values in the Pike Place Market area and consequently, displacement
of low-income residents and merchants who work there. The urban
renewal plan has been revised to emphasize rehabilitation and preser-
vation. Because private money was reluctant to invest in the area, a
public development authority was established to acquire properties
and supervise revitalization. In 1975, the authority requested $8
million of Seattle's total three year community development block
grant of $31.5 million for Pike Place Market and it received $3
million. Preservation efforts in Pike Place Market include restoration
of a corner market, sanitary upgrading of the main market and
construction of a pedestrian incline from the waterfront to the market,
In 1975, two Seattle lending institutions made the first mortgage
commitments to Pike Place Market.16
Seattle's urban conservation projects have been largely the work
of a few persons who realized the potential of preserving the city's
past. An architect organized the successful development team which
proved the potential of Pioneer Square. Seattle Mayor Wesley G.
Uhlman has actively supported preservation and has made it a politi-
cal issue. The former manager of Pioneer Square Historic District,
Arthur Skolnik, is a noted urban conservationist who implemented
techniques such as leveraging and adaptive re-use and coordinated the
conservation process of many of the city's agencies.
Seattle has supported its conservation efforts through strong public
financing. In 1973, the city allocated $600,000 of its general revenue
sharing funds to a historic preservation authority for a revolving fund.
The authority's activities have been limited by a state law which
prohibits the city from guaranteeing loans and providing loans to in-
dividuals or corporations. This limits the city's ability to administer
innovative fiscal programs with federal block grant funds. There has
been indecision as to whether to use the fund on specific properties
or to find a way to create a revolving fund.17
The city's community development plan stresses rehabilitation and
conservation as an overall theme. The Mayor has designated three
"action neighborhoods" for preservation efforts during the next few
years. Although the new federal block grant program offers more
flexibility in allocating funds, Seattle officials are faced with reduced
finding for conservation when compared with the high funding levels
they received under the categorical grants program.
Thei city of Boston, MNassachusetts, has used federal funds for
ei(iglbJorhood improvements over the past fifteen years. The early
1960s were chiracttrized by massive urban renewal projects but by
141 Aid., pp. lVf18 Ei'.
7 Aied., p. rV/123.
the end of the decade, emphasis had shifted in Boston away from ex-
tensive clearance to residential rehabilitation. Like federally sponsored
programs, the city's improvement programs initially focused on the
downtown but after 1968, the city of Boston began to commit funds to
its neighborhoods. In 1968 the Little City Hall program was begun
which brought decentralization of the municipal administration into
neighborhoods resulting in greater citizen participation and a higher
quality of city services. The Boston Redevelopment Authority's
District Planning Program also decentralized in the early 1970s by
placing professional planners in every district of the city. In the past
five years municipal capital improvements have increased significantly
Boston is a city made up of a number of neighborhoods each with
its own commercial center. Boston has begun to rehabilitate its housing
stock and revitalize its communities. Urban conservation efforts are
occurring in many of these neighborhoods such as South Boston and
North End. Many of these neighborhoods contain significant struc-
tures which reflect the architectural styles of the 19th-century.
Distributed by public agencies under Section 312, loans have been
available for home repair of one to four family homes in urban renewal
or code enforcement areas in order to bring properties up to local code
requirements. As a result of impoundment of funds and uncertainty
regarding the program's future, many cities have begun loan programs
similar to the 312 program. Other cities, while not copying the 312
program specifically, are using leveraging, guarantees and philan-
thropic foundation money to promote rehabilitation and hold down
interest rates for low and moderate income families. The Mayor's
Housing Improvement Program in Boston was such a program.
The Mayor's Housing Improvement Program was established in
1973 to maintain and upgrade the city's existing housing stock. The
previous loan programs for the city of Boston such as the Community
Improvement Program could not adequately provide funds for reha-
bilitation following the federal moratorium on loan programs. The
Mayor's Housing Improvement Program (MHIP) was an outgrowth of
the Community Improvement Program. Funded by general city
revenues and grants, it provided a property tax credit of 10% of the
cost of all repairs required to bring a structure up to code standards,
to a maximum of $300 per unit. The program guaranteed that there
would be no increase in assessment as a result of participation. The
homeowner requested a survey from MHIP rehabilitation specialists
who prepared a report on the repairs needed to bring the house up to
code standards. MHIP certified that the repairs had been made and
documented the value of the work. The homeowner then applied for
a tax credit. 18
Exterior "cosmetic" repairs such as painting and siding qualified
as incentives for the MHIP because they were highly visible, helped
the appearance of the neighborhood and triggered greater participa-
tion in the program.19 The program also assisted homeowners in ob-
taining conventional home improvement loans, rehabilitation coun-
seling, contractor selection and participation in home improvement
'8 Neighborhood Preservation Catalog, p. 227a
I Neighborhood Conservation, p. III/22.
courses. During its first year of operation, MHIP processed approxi-
mately 900 tax abatement cases.20
During 1975, a total of $10 million in community development block
grant funds for Boston was committed to housing programs, two of
which focused on rehabilitation. The Housing Improvement Program
(HIP) provides incentives for rehabilitation of existing houses through
moderate private investment. During the first year of the block grant
program, 1974, an experimental HIP program successfully aided over
1,200 homeowners in bringing their homes up to code standards. Using
rebates, the program attracted over $3 million in private investment.
Because of its success, the HIP was expanded in 1975. The program
enables a homeowner to receive a cash rebate of up to 20%/ of the
repair value to his structure as estimated by a city rehabilitation
specialist. The rebate can be received either as a direct rebate to the
owner within a few weeks of the satisfactory completion of the repairs,
or as a means of improving the availability of loan funds from local
banks. The homeowner will not be reassessed due to any eligible im-
provements made under the program. The homeowner can receive in-
formal counseling relating to financing and construction of improve-
ments. Assistance is also available on consumer protection, burglary
protection and energy conservation.
The HIP encourages the homeowner to make his own repairs but
when necessary, advice is given on selection of a contractor. The pro-
gram relies on the FHA Title I or conventional home improvement
loans. Eleven site officers administer the program in various neighbor-
hoods and a share of the total grant fund has been set aside for each
A survey must be conducted by a rehabilitation specialist before
the work begins in order to qualify for the 20% rebate. Applicants
must meet the following requirements: (1) the property to be improved
must be a 1 to 6 family building. (2) the property must be owner-
occupied, and (3) the owner must have an annual income of less than
$16,000. Eligibility of all repair work is determined by the rehabili-
tation specialist. Eligible repairs include water, heating, electrical
and plumbing systems as well as rodent eradication; interior repairs
to walls, floors and ceilings; and exterior wall repairs including paint-
ing or siding, insulation, windows, chimneys and foundations.
In 1975, $3.8 million was committed to the Housing Improvement
Program. $3.05 million was available as direct grants to homeowners
which it has been estimated has resulted in $15 million in direct
reinvestment by homeowners. The result has been the rehabilitation
ind( upgrading of 3,000 buildings.
Two Boston neighborhoods in which the city's Neighborhood Im-
provement Program is operating are Roslindale and Mission Hill.
Roslindale's program focuses on rehabilitation of the area's housing
and business district. During the next three years, emphasis will
be plinced on saving the existing public housing stock, rehabilitation
of the private housing stock and street and lighting improvements.22
The NMission Iill program concentrates on rehabilitation of the
existing public housing project as well as rehabilitation of the existing
2 Nrighborhood Peasrrafiton Caialoq, p. 227.
I The Neighborhoodt Improvrmeiil' Program 1976, Roslindale, Boston: Office of Community Development,
housing stock through HIP and NHS (Neighborhood Housing Serv-
ices). In subsequent years, attention will be focused on vacant land
development, commercial area changes, and housing rehabilitation of
Another rehabilitation program is to begin in July, 1976, in Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts. Thirty to thirty-five thousand dollars of
community development block grant funds are being made available
for grants of up to $900 for exterior improvements. The Cambridge
Historical Commission will supervise the rehabilitation work and
there will be a sign-off of the rehabilitation work when it is com-
pleted. The city of Cambridge is publishing guidelines for rehabilita-
tion to be made available to homeowners. The Cambridge program
represents close cooperation between city government and a local
preservation agency which has resulted in preservation concerns being
included in block grant funding.
The city of Norfolk's urban conservation efforts began in the 1960s
as a result of deterioration of an older, once elegant neighborhood
known as Ghent. Since that time, this neighborhood has undergone
revitalization and restoration efforts have spread to the downtown and
other residential neighborhoods.
The Ghent area was one of the first suburban areas of Norfolk and
dates from the late 1890s. The area was a suburban development proj-
ect by a subcorporation of a Dutch banking house which converted
farmland into a community. Ghent's popularity spread rapidly be-
cause it provided such conveniences as sidewalks, paved streets, sewage
disposal, water, gas, and the trolley. Its brick structures represent
many architectural styles ranging from castle-like townhouses to
Tudor manor houses with Victorian gardens. At the turn of the cen-
tury an elaborately designed garden was created in Ghent. The area
itself is crescent-shaped and fronts a water basin.
Ghent's popularity lasted until the Depression when owners were
forced to subdivide their properties for economic reasons and later,
during World War II, when there was a high demand for housing units
in Norfolk for wartime personnel. Because of this influx, much of
the character and amenities of Ghent were lost. During the 1950s,
Ghent suffered from redlining when lending institutions refused to
make loans in the area because of accelerating deterioration.
Many residents of Ghent remained in their neighborhood through
this difficult period and in the early 1960s they came together to save
their community. In 1962, the Ghent citizens formed the Ghent
Neighborhood League to monitor activities in the area and to sponsor
community events. The citizens petitioned the city of Norfolk to help
them prevent further deterioration of their neighborhood. The city
responded by making Ghent a locally-assisted project. Low interest
FHA loans were made available to residents who wanted to rehabili-
tate their homes. This project had its limitations in that there was no
legal authority to clear sites or to enforce rehabilitation standards.
In 1967, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA)
S The Neighborhood Improvement Program 1975, Missiona Hill, Boston: Office of Community Development
with the endorsement of the city of Norfolk and the Ghent Neighbor-
hood League, submitted an application to HUD to make Ghent a
federally-assisted neighborhood conservation project. The aims of this
project were to eliminate blight, to revive the residential area, to
remove structures which could not meet code standards and to make
public improvements. The project was accepted by HUD in 1969 and
since that time has achieved many of its objectives.24
The Ghent Neighborhood Conservation project enforces special
housing codes developed by NRHA which were authorized by special
state legislation in 1964. These codes enable NRHA to condemn
properties if not in compliance with the new ordinance. This power
has been an effective tool in prompting homeowners to comply with
the housing codes. To enable residents to comply with code enforce-
ment, the city of Norfolk makes available below market interest
rehabilitation loans to residents. The program also provides guidelines
for restoration of structures, parks and gardens.25
When Ghent was approved for federal funding, there were 700
structures in the area. Of these, a few were demolished and others
were cleared to make way for school expansion. The remaining prop-
erties were required to comply with code standards. To facilitate
enforcement of property standards and to act as an advisor, NRHA,
the agency administering the program, set up a site office in the area.
NRHA made an inspection of each structure and owners were given
a list of violations along with a time limit in which to correct them.
June, 1974 statistics showed that 40% of the owners were in compli-
ance and another 50.4% were working to comply. Only 3% of the
total structures were acquired because of infeasibility of rehabilitation
and only 2% of the residents had refused to work with NRHA.26
The avid response to rehabilitate in Ghent is attributed to the
availability of low interest home improvement loans made available
to residents. From 1969 to 1974, over $1.7 million in federal and local
NRIIA loans and grants have been made to Ghent residents. Also an
additional $596,425 has been invested in the area through conven-
The Norfolk Private Loan Program was established in 1972 for use
in Ghent and other conservation areas of the city. This program closely
parallels the Section 312 Federal Home Improvement Program and
uses HUD criteria and forms for establishing eligibility. The city of
Norfolk and a consortium of local banks provide rehabilitation loans
to homeowners in the form of a second mortgage. The city borrows
funds from four local lenders at rates approximately half of the market
rate. N RIIA p)rocees loan applications, takes action against dciin-
quencies andl CO-signs borrowers' bank notes to provide additional
security for the bank notes. After two years of operation, $900,000
has been loaned to homeowners in these conservation areas.27
The overall cost of tllhe Ghent Neighborhood Conservation Program
has been shared federally and locally. 'Thle initial impetus for the
project cainc from IlUD through model cities and urban renewal
grants. Local banks have contributed $2 million to tlhe loan program
I JhMnrt. Norfolk" Norfolk R,'lovlopinpnt and Tousing Authority, 1'.75, p. 4.
2S Neighborhood lrrsPitiotln Ca'talog. p. 2>53.
2 Ohient. p. 12.
V Neighborhfod Presert'atlon Catalog, p. 1UI7.
focused mainly in Ghent and the City of Norfolk has contributed
$20 million to conservation programs for housing, lighting and streets.28
While conservation efforts have received the most attention in
Ghent, other areas of the city have also received attention. These
efforts have either been stimulated by the Ghent project or occurred
simultaneously. An area adjacent to Ghent on the southwest has
undergone renovation as has East Ghent, which was largely cleared
in the early 1970s during urban renewal. The plan for East Ghent
calls for erection of new houses patterened about Old Ghent. TL,
downtown was revitalized through new construction, development
of the waterfront, conservation of the city's landmarks, facelifting
and creation of a downtown mall, and rehabilitation of homes on a
historic downtown street.
The ingredients which have contributed to the success of urban
conservation projects in Norfolk are due to spirited citizens who
chose to save their city, local lending institutions who shifted their
policies of no loans to substantial confidence in the ability of conserva-
tion efforts to revitalize neighborhoods, and the city government and
N RHA which have supported the program and administered it. No
better statistic points out this widespread cooperation and success
than the fact that as of November, 1974, no default on a loan had
occurred either with the NRHA loan program or the federal Section
312 loan program.29
Baltimore, Maryland, is made up of many diverse ethnic neighbor-
hoods. The shipping industry has always been an important part of
the city's history and many areas reflect this. Architecturally the city
is famous for its marble stooped row houses. The city is actively
attempting to preserve this environment and began preservation
programs in the late 1960s which have made it a leader in urban
conservation. The mayor and the city government have actively
supported preservation efforts in many areas of the city.
Baltimore's homesteading program was briefly discussed in Chapter
II. The city's homesteading program is administered by the Home
Ownership Development Program of the Department of Housing and
Community Development. Two homesteading areas have received
the most attention: Stirling Street and Otterbein. The Stirling Street
area became the focus of homesteading efforts after the city acquired
the properties and realized that private developers were recycling
residential structures and the city decided to follow suit. The city
owned 48 houses on the street which have been combined and con-
verted into 24 single family residences. The housing units were so
small that two units were combined into one residence. The city
received 400 applications for the houses. Nearing completion, Stirling
Street is adjacent to Old Town Mall, a commercial area which has
also been revitalized.
The merchants of Old Town Mall have been able to revitalize this
block-long corridor of retail stores through federal housing money,
low-interest city loans up to $17,000 and Small Business Administra-
tion loans. The merchants have renovated their storefronts and a
2 Ibid., p. 253.
, Ghent, p. 12.
pedestrian mall has been built. The proximity of the Old Town Mall
and Stirling Street makes the area vital and it has been much
Otterbein is a second homesteading area in Baltimore. Located
near the inner harbor the area derived its name from an 18th-century
church which still stands nearby. The city acquired 109 row houses in
the 4y blocks of Otterbein. Nine hundred applications for homestead-
ing were received and the houses were awarded through a lottery. The
project has had a slow start because of a lack of an overall plan at the
beginning. Only minor work has commenced thus far. However, exten-
sive renovation in Otterbein is expected to begin soon. The Department
of Housing and Community Development has published guidelines
for exterior restoration in Otterbein. The potential success of this
urban homesteading program as well as others in the city is illustrated
by the fact that many Baltimore city officials applied to homestead
in Otterbein. They were the same officials who had initially supported
demolition of the Otterbein buildings.
Preservation activities within city government are carried out by
the Commission on Historic and Architectural Preservation. This
Commission is small and serves as a commenting body for designated
landmarks and historic districts. It reviews all exterior changes in
historic districts and processes requests for designation. Aside from
these traditional functions, the commission operates the Salvage
Depot. With a staff of four, the Depot salvages recyclable parts of
structures which are scheduled for demolition by the city. It then
resells these parts (shutters, flooring, plumbing fixtures, mantles,
doors, fences, etc.) to residents of the city who are rehabilitating
structures. The cost of these items is very low. The Depot was opened
by Mayor William Schaefer in April 1975, and has operated as a
public service program since that time. The crew salvages from
structures during the week and the Depot or warehouse where the
salvaged items are stored is open on Saturday for sale of salvaged
items. The project has cost the city approximately $40,000 since
implementation, but resale of items has brought it approximately
$15,000 which otherwise would have been lost through demolition.
Initially, the project was seen as a threat by antique dealers and
demolition contractors. However, these criticisms diminished and the
Salvage Depot has become very popular. It recently won an award
from Environmental Monthly magazine and has attracted much interest
throughout the country.
Much downtown revitalization has taken place in Baltimore in
recent years. The City Hall currently is undergoing complete renova-
tion. Roland Park, one of the first shopping centers in the country
built in 1896, was recently acquired by the city in an older neighbor-
hood and designated a landmark. The city is re-establishing retail
businesses in this Tudor-style shopping center. There are future plans
for the city to renovate the numerous neighbll)orhood markets located
throughout the city and HCDA monies will be used to build a park
near the waterfront in Fell's Point.
Many private preservation programs are scattered throughout the
city. One preservation project centers on Fell's Point, a diverse ethnic
community made up of residences and retail stores on the waterfront.
Fell's Point has been the center of the Inar11itiiie ldu.try in the city
for centuries and today it is threatened by heavy truck traffic and
proposed construction of an interstate highway through the area.
Residents and others oppose construction of the highway. Many
alternatives have been proposed since highway planning began approx-
imately ten years ago, but no compromise has been reached. Highway
plans will be finalized in the near future. Federal Hill, located near
the inner harbor of the city, is also a focus of preservation efforts.
The Washington Street area in the western section of the city is
experiencing revitalization and the city recently restored its neighbor-
The city of Baltimore is endowed with a rich historical and archi-
tectural past and fortunate in that much of its heritage remains. With
the support of City Hall, involved preservationists and citizens who
care about their environment, conservation efforts in Baltimore will
succeed and the city will continue to be a model for urban conservation
CHAPTER IV---OTHER FEDERAL PRESERVATION ACTIVITI"s
This chapter attempts to outline the activities of some of the major
federal agencies, other than the Department of Housing and Urban
Development, involved in urban conservation and preservation. Urban
conservation and preservation concerns and responsibilities are divided
among many federal agencies. Because of the broad nature of the
subject matter of urban conservation which encompasses concerns
ranging from financing, to building codes to sewage treatment prob-
lems, there has been no coherent national program for the preserva-
tion and enhancement of the physical environment. Depending upon
the specific aspect of preservation being dealt with, one or a number
of federal agencies with differing mandates could be involved. The
result has been, at times, contradictory and sometimes overlapping
action for urban conservation and preservation. Many of the federal
agencies working in urban conservation are working in similar places
on similar projects. There is no centralized clearinghouse for informa-
tion and experience derived from federal activities in urban
THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was created by the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and is part of the Execu-
tive Office of the President. The Council developed policy proposals
through legislation, special reports, task forces and other means and
assists in the coordination of federal environmental policy. It is
responsible for review and interpretation of the National Environ-
mental Policy Act.
As part of its overall responsibilities the Council has for some time
been concerned with a number of matters related to the built, en-
vironment. In the Fourth Annual Report issued in 1973, the first
chapter, "The Urban Environment-Toward Livable Cities" de-
scribed current efforts underway to make cities better places to
live. It focused on efforts that have been made to use the existing
building resources of cities. The chapter noted the ways in which urban
neighborhoods have been made better places to live and work and
described four kinds of city neighborhoods-the historic neighbor-
hood, the neighborhood with special charm, the stable neighborhood
and the renewal neighborhood. The report emphasized and encouraged
re-use of existing resources and the integration of good new design in
older areas and the advantages of human scale in new projects.
CEQ has continued its efforts to encourage intelligent re-use of the
existing resources of the urban fabric. The Sixth Annual Report. the
latest available, continues to report encouraging developments in
city revival and renewal and reviews current efforts of the federal
government in this area. Studies currently underway by CEQ will
provide needed background data in this area.
With the passage of the Housing and Community Development
Act, and the environmental regulations governing activities under the
Act, CEQ has taken on new responsibilities. Since local communities
participating in the program are treated as if they were a federal
agency for purposes of compliance with the National Environmental
Policy Act, they must prepare environmental impact statements for
their programs that significantly affect the human environment. CEQ
has been dealing with a multitude of localities in the preparation and
review of environmental impact statements.
As a central clearinghouse and policy organization for federal
environmental activities, the Council on Environmental Quality is
in a position to facilitate federal activities in the area of urban con-
servation and preservation. The Council has been able, for example,
to identify contradictory policies of the federal government. The
Sixth Annual Report notes, for instance, that the building of sewer
and water systems into vacant land areas creates significant develop-
ment pressure. Opening vacant land to new development can drain
population and resources from center city areas and contribute to
environmental degeneration and unsightly new development.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation was created by
Title II, Section 201 of the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966. Under the provisions of Section 106 of the Act the Advisory
Council must be afforded an opportunity to comment on federal
undertakings that will affect a property listed on the National Register
of Ilitoric Places. The Advisory Council has further duties to advise
the President and the Congress on matters relating to historic pres-
ervation. In this latter capacity, the Advisory Council recently
prepared, at the request of the Senate Committee on Interior and
Insular Affairs, a report entitled The National Historic Preservation
Program Today. The report outlines the operations of the current
historic preservation programs within the Department of the Interior
iand related agencies and lists some suggestions for possible discussion
regarding improvements in the national historic preservation program.
'Ihi-; report was followed by a specific set of recommendations for
Congre'-4ional action. Also, as part of its duties, the Advisory Council
li- p)repilre(1 a number of technical documents and studies dealing
with various u1)ects of historic preservation. In 1972, the Advisory
(Coincil published Gu;delines for State Historic Preservation Legis-
lait;on. Tii-; booklet provides suggested statutory language and
unaslysis for enact ent of state historic pre-ervation legislation. The
Advis-orN Council al-o p)repilred a booklet on Federal Programs for
Neighborhood (Conseriation whiclih iists a number of federal programs
lint eiin be i-,4ed to findl various neighborhood preservation programs.
Tli e power of the Advisory Comuncil is limited primarily to that of
an 1dvlisor. It Inis no pVower to l)rev'ent a fedrnl(rl project from adversely
tfif.tfiing a property lii-ted on the Nationul Register of Historic
Pi''ce: once it Ias )een iffor(led(l oI)portunity to comment on the
undertaking. Hloweve(,r, the( Advisory Council lhas worked closely
with a number of federal agencies to heighten their awareness of
preservation issues during project planning stages. The resources
and staff of the Advisory Council are limited and it is not physically
able to monitor every federal agency action which affects historic
properties. Since it has no injunctive power, it is largely dependent
upon the voluntary compliance of federal agencies to insure that its
comments are considered.
Executive Order 11593 has been the basis for expanding the review and com-
mentary role of the Advisory Council to include federal actions that affect prop-
erties eligible for the National Register. Section 2b of the executive order re-
quires federal agencies to seek the comments of the Advisory Council when they
propose to transfer, sell, demolish, or substantially alter federally owned prop-
erties that the Secretary of the Interior has determined are eligible for the
National Register. While Section 2b is limited to federally owned property,
Section 1(3) of the executive order requires federal agencies to consult with the
Advisory Council to develop procedures for the protection of nonfederally owned
historic properties when carrying out agency projects.
In consultation with federal agencies, and based on the authorities of sections
1(3) and 2b of the executive order, the Advisory Council issued procedures which
established the same Advisory Council review process for federal action affecting
properties determined eligible for the National Register as the National Historic
Preservation Act requires for properties listed on the National Register. The
result has been a single administrative review process that provides federally
licensed activity that affects a property whether it is already on the National
Register or eligible for it. This expanded jurisdiction last year brought an addi-
tional 200 cases before the Advisory Council spanning a range of federal actions
similar to those under Section 106.1
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent
agency was created by the National Foundation on the Arts and
Humanities Act of 1965. Primarily through its Architecture +
Environmental Arts Program, NEA has been a leading advocate of
urban conservation and the re-use of existing resources as well as a
spokesman for good design standards in new construction. For several
years the Architecture + Environmental Arts program has made
grants in the field of urban conservation. Grants have been channeled
through both the regular grant program of the division as well as
through special theme programs-1973 City Edges, 1974 City Options
and 1975 City Scale. Each theme program is designed to focus on a
special subject in urban conservation. Under the 1974 program, City
Options, projects had to be related to the conservation and enhance-
ment of a local community's special settings, places and areas that
give it unique character and distinguish it from other communities.
In 1975 the Program published a listing of many of its grants in
Selected Grants: Urban Conservation. The listing provides a good
overview of the kinds of activities that are taking place in the area
of urban conservation and the variety of approaches that are being
tested and tried as a means of revitalizing cities. For example, grants
have helped plan attempts to control uncoordinated speculative
development in a local historic district; analyze changes in a major
metropolitan downtown area and the reasons for these changes; plan
a park on the site of a demolished building and develop a plan to
make the rivers of a metropolitan area once again a focal point.
SAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation, The National Historic Preservation Program Today, (OPO,
1978), p. 39.
In September, 1975, the National Endowment for the Arts was the
organizer and one of the principal sponsors for a major national
conference on neighborhood conservation. The conference brought
together many of the leading experts in the field of neighborhood
conservation and covered a wide spectrum of subject matter in the
field. Tihe conference served as a graphic demonstration of the
many and varied approaches to urban conservation that are taking
place and has also acted as a catalytic agent in focusing attention
on the whole area of urban conservation. Urban conservation will
continue to be a major focal point for programs of the NEA.
OFFICE OF ARCHEOLOGY AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION, NATIONAL PARK
SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
As has been mentioned previously, the programs and activities of
the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation of the National
Park Service are traditionally considered to be the major federal
effort in the area of historic preservation. The National Park Service
is more closely identified with historic preservation programs than
any other federal agency. A review of major federal legislation in
the area of historic preservation is contained in Chapter I of The
National Historic Preservation Program Today, a report prepared by
the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for the Senate Com-
mittee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 94th Congress, 2nd Session.
The major program for historic preservation within the National
Park Service is the National Register of Historic Places, a listing
of sites, buildings, districts and objects significant in American
history, culture and archeology. Through publications and con-
ferences the National Register program has done much to increase
the level of awareness of the historic and cultural resources of the
nation. The grants-in-aid program for the National Register, ap-
proximately $20 million annually for the last two fiscal years, has
been the major federal program aimed exclusively at restoration of
historic property. The grant money is apportioned among the states
which are responsible for administering the funding of specific projects.
The maximum dollar amount received by any one state or territory
during FY76 and FY75 was $800,000. In addition to the states and
territories, grant money is also apportioned to the National Trust for
Historic Preservation, a private non-profit, Congressionally chartered
The National Register has worked with other federal agencies to
encourage them to inventory historic properties under their juris-
diction and to nominate them to the National Register. Executive
Order 11593, issued May 13, 1971, requires all federal agencies to
inventory their properties and to nominate those that appear to meet
the criteria of the National Register. For purposes of implementation
of the Executive Order, each federal agency with property holding
responsibilities has appointed a liaison officer to work with the National
The National Register (loes have several limitations. Because the
Register relies on a state-fed leral partnership arrangement for nomi-
nations, it is heavily dependent upon the states for input. Because
of this, there is great disparity among the types and quantity of
nominations depending upon the historic preservation program within
that state. The criteria which have been developed by the National
Register are quite broad to allow for flexibility within each state.
However, because the definition of what is considered "historic"
varies widely, the kinds of properties that are nominated are dif-
ferent from state to state.
The grants-in-aid program has been widely regarded as insufficient
to meet all but the most minimal needs for the restoration of his-
torically significant properties. Matching capabilities for the grants
program has been estimated to be as high as $200 million. Several
bills have been introduced in Congress to increase the funding amount
for the program and are currently under consideration. One proposed
bill, S. 327, would raise the funding for the grant program as high as
$150 million by FY79.
URBAN REINVESTMENT TASK FORCE
The Urban Reinvestment Task Force, initially created in 1973, is
co-sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the De-
partment of Housing and Urban Development. The program, which
has recently become a permanent component of the Federal Home
Loan Bank Board, is aimed at helping to encourage neighborhood
revitalization. The Task Force has two major programs: Neighborhood
Housing Services (NHS) and Neighborhood Preservation Projects
(NPP). The NHS program is the major thrust of the Task Force and
is designed to revitalize neighborhoods which are showing signs of
disinvestment and deterioration. Working with local institutions,
including banks, city government and neighborhood residents, the
Task Force seeks to restore credit for neighborhood homeowners.
The Task Force provides technical assistance and initial expertise in
the establishment of NHS and usually makes a grant to help begin a
high risk revolving loan fund designed to offer credit to neighborhood
homeowners who are unable to secure credit from commercial sources.
The Neighborhood Preservation Projects program is designed to
concentrate on specific neighborhood problems. Through technical
assistance and a grant program, the Task Force attempts to focus on
developing solutions to neighborhood problems. For example, neighbor-
hood preservation projects funded by the Task Force have dealt
with such areas as crime, lead paint removal and rehabilitation. One
of the aims of the NPP program of the Task Force is to develop a
body of information and experience in dealing with neighborhood
problems that can be transferred from one city to another and repli-
cated for similar problems. The Tasks Force hopes to formulate in-
formation on causes of and techniques for dealing with neighborhood
decline. Through the experience that the Task Force gains in working
with neighborhoods it hopes to be able to develop effective methods
for improving neighborhoods.
CHAPTER V-PRIVATE SECTOR ACTIVITIES IN PRESERVATION
This chapter looks at some of the major national private organiza-
tions and groups that are actively engaged in preservation and con-
servation programs and policy development. The wide range of
organizational types indicates both the breadth of conservation and
preservation activities and their increasing popularity. The chapter
does not attempt to deal with the multitude of local and regional
activities, organizations and programs in this area. Virtually every
community has several organizations that are involved in conservation
and preservation. They range from neighborhood groups to city-wide
organizations concentrating on specific issues to coalitions formed to
deal with broad policies. In many respects it is the local groups around
the country that are responsible for some of the most farsighted,
innovative and successful approaches to conservation issues. Much
can be learned from their efforts.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND REHABILITATION
Most construction firms are oriented toward new construction. This
results from a number of factors including skills and techniques
developed for and oriented primarily toward new construction,
familiarity with new construction and a general lack of knowledge
concerning techniques for rehabilitating old structures. Rehabilitation
projects often tend to be smaller than new construction projects and
are therefore generally not considered as profitable. With the upsurge
in activity in preservation and conservation and its reliance on re-using
existing structures, the construction industry has shown a marked
increase in both interest and activity in the area of rehabilitation.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), an organization
representing contractors and developers of residential structures, has
shown interest in the area. A Section for Rehabilitation and Re-
modeling has been established and conferences and workshops
sponsored by NAHB have been held to promote rehabilitation. A
recent conference dealt with "restoring economic life to your com-
munity through recycling older residential and commercial buidings."
Of substantial interest is the proposed development by the NAHB
of a bonding program to protect consumers who have structures re-
modeled and rehabilitated. The concept of the proposed program is
similar to the Home Owners Warranty Program (HOW) which is
designed to protect purchasers of new homes.
An agreement reached by seven AFL-CIO building and construction
trade unions and the National Housing Rehabilitation Association in
early 1976 provided for labor standards for housing rehabilitation
work. The agreement was encouraged by Secretary Hills of HUD who
helped to work out the agreement. The plan is aimed at federally
assisted or insured rehabilitation of housing for low and moderate
income groups. The agreement is designed to assist minority con-
tractors in entering the field and to aid in establishing wage scales for
rehabilitation work. The agreement represents formal recognition of
the economics and differences between rehabilitation of existing
structures and new construction. There is still much remaining to be
learned regarding approaches and techniques for rehabilitation work.
It is clear, however, that the potential profitability of rehabilitation
work is being recognized.
THE CONSERVATION FOUNDATION
In the last few years the Conservation Foundation has developed a
program capability and staff in the area of the built environment.
This program capability is designed to complement and expand on
the traditional area. of expertise of the Conservation Foundation, the
protection of the natural environment. The Conservation Foundation
was one of the prime co-sponsors of the Neighborhood Conservation
Conference in New York in 1975. For the conference, the Conservation
Foundation prepared a number of case studies of neighborhood preser-
vation efforts in various cities around the country. Synopses of the
study were printed in the pre-conference publication. The Conserva-
tion Foundation has also actively promoted neighborhood preservation
and urban conservation in a number of its publications and other
activities. It is working closely with a variety of groups and organi-
zations, both public and private to promote conservation of the
The President of the Conservation Foundation delivered the keynote
address at the National League of Cities meeting in the fall of 1975.
The address entitled "Conservation, Community and Personal Re-
sponsibility" presented a summary of the opportunities, activities
and dilemmas in efforts to conserve the built environment. It con-
cluded, in part,
A new sorting out of functions among levels of government and between
governmental and the private sector, long desirable, is more conceivable now
than it was five years ago. And the discovery that many of the things we wish
for our cities we must begin to do for ourselves, a discovery being made in many
American neighborhoods experiencing conservation activities, is conducive to
self-reliance, personal responsibility, and greater cooperation. The result could
just be stronger, more lively communities.1
The approach and emphasis of the Conservation Foundation illus-
trates the broad spectrum of issues and causes that are evident in
urban conservation and preservation.
NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private nonprofit
organization which was chartered by Congress in 1949. The National
Trust acts as a spokesman for private historic preservation interests
in the United States. The membership of the National Trust today
stands in excess of 100,000 and it owns roughly 30 properties, many
IWillihiu K. Really. C'Tosrfrvalin. Crtnniiiily and Pernonal Responsibilily," Address before the
Annual Couigriss of lhe Natiotial Leaguew of ('iti.s, Miami, Florida, November 30, 1975, M1lneo, p. 84.
of which are operated as historic house museums. The National Trust
also has an active program of publications. Preservation News is a
monthly newspaper listing activities of interest to historic preserva-
tion and Historic Preservation, a quarterly magazine. The Trust offers
local historic preservation groups technical assistance and information.
In its over 25 year hi-story, the National Trust has been a leading
advocate and articulate spokesman for the preservation of the his-
torical heritage of the nation and has contributed significantly to the
current interest in and awareness of the need to preserve the tangible
aspects of the nation's heritage.
The Trust operates several financial assistance programs which have
increasingly been used to support conservation activities. One pro-
gram, the Consultant Services Grant Program, provides small match-
ing grants to organizations to allow them to retain consultants. The
program has funded such things as an analysis of the economic im-
pacts of preservation activities in a large city as well as a number of
feasibility studies for converting old buildings to new uses. Through a
loan program, the National Historic Preservation Fund, the Trust
has made money available to groups to undertake residential and
commercial rehabilitation projects. For example, a loan to a group in
St. Louis, Missouri, the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee,
was instrumental in promoting a resurgence of activity in the area
and is revitalizing it as an in-town residential neighborhood. The
Trust has also worked with local groups and committed resources in
efforts to preserve and re-use several important urban structures.
The Trust has attempted to address many important issues in preser-
vation through conferences and publications. In the last few years,
conferences have focused on such topics as building codes, the economic
benefits of preservation and the effects of public tax policies on
The Trust operates a series of regional offices around the country
which provide specific on-site technical assistance and information to
local historic preservation groups. They also focus on specific regional
preservation activities and problems. For example, the Chicago Office
recently staged a conference and prepared a book dealing with the
problem of preservation of county courthouses.
BACK TO THE CITY, INC.
In the fall of 1974, the Brownstone Revival Committee of New
York sponsored a conference called "Back to the City." The con-
ference brought together groups "dedicated to the preservation of
older houses and communities in American cities." 2 The Brownstone
Revival Committee is one of the oldest and best known organiza-
tions promoting urban living in old fixed-up homes. The conference
sought to share some of the experiences that the Committee had had
and to help promote the concept of what is popularly known in New
York as "brownstoning." This conference, the first of its kind, revealed
the depth and broad scale interest in rehabilitating old homes and
revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the country.
2 Back to ihe Ci4y. A Guide to Urban Preservation, Proceedingi of the Back to the City Conference, New York
City, September 13-16,1974, (New York, 1975), p. 1.
The participants in the conference came from throughout the
country and discovered, in amazement, that there were other people
and other groups who had faced the same hurtles-financing, city sup-
port, under-tanding-that they had. Some had solved their problems
and some had not. As a result of the conference a new organization
came about-Back to the City, Inc. It is an amalgam of organiza-
tions with similar purposes-promoting urban living in old houses.
The proceedings of the 1974 conference were published and a second
conference on the same general topic was held in Saint. Paul, Min-
nesota, in 1975 and scheduled for 1976 in Washington, D.C.
Back to the City, Inc. is working to help promote private rehabili-
tation effort- throughout the country. Unlike the more public oriented
programs of the Neighborhood Conservation Conference sponsored
by the National Endowment for the Arts, the conferences of Back
to the City, Inc. are primarily directed toward extolling the advantages
and satisfactions of living in rehabilitated housing.
URBAN LAND INSTITUTE
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a non-profit membership
organization involved in improving the quality of land use planning
and development. For the past several years, ULT has become in-
tensely interested in historic preservation and the adaptive re-use of
old buildings. In the summer of 1975 an entire issue of their monthly
magazine, Urban Land, was devoted to historic preservation. The
introduction to the issue noted, "Today, developers, public agencies
and consumers-concerned with the needs of providing new living and
working quarters and faced with rising construction costs, increased
prices of housing, and new building constraints-are looking to the
restoration and rehabilitation of older buildings as an alternative to
new construction. In an increasing number of projects, this has re-
sulted not only in conserving energy supplies and materials, but has
proved to be a better economic venture for the people involved." 3
The staff of ULI has served as consultants for Forum II sponsored
by the Federal National Mortgage Association on "The Changing
Market for Middle Income City Housing." A series of case studies of
approaches to housing rehabilitation have been prepared. Recently
ULI published New Opportunities for Residential Development in
(Cntral Cities: Case Stld;es of Private New Construction and Rehabilita-
tion. ULI is also developing a series of workshops to acquaint financial
institutions with the current activity in rehabilitation and the profit
potential in financing center city rehabilitation projects.
ULI also publishes a quarterly series called the Project Reference
File (PRF) which is case studies with facts and figures describing
various development projects, such as Trolley Square in Salt Lake
City, Utah, a series of old trolley barns which have been adaptively
llused as a shopping center. In recent years a number of the PRF case
studies have described large scale adaptive use projects. ULI is also
preparing a series of these case studies of adaptive use projects based
on tle PRF format inder contract to the National Trust for Historic
SUrb in Land, v. 34, No. 7, Juily'Aulgist, l'j75, p. 3.
ULI also carries out independent research projects on various areas
of development activity. This has included an analysis of private
efforts in housing rehabilitation. Working with its membership, ULI
is providing the information and backup data for private develop-
ment activities in preservation and conservation.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES
The National League of Cities (NLC) based in Washington, D.C.,
represents city governments throughout the nation. In 1974 the
National League of Cities adopted a major policy platform of urban
conservation. The Board of Directors of the NLC has proposed
the goal of a national urban policy should be the improvement of the quality
of urban life through the better use of existing investments in urban areas-
Urban Conservation. . This goal can be accomplished through policies that
encourage the concentration of development and the rehabilitation of existing
resources, as opposed to policies which motivate the dispersal of growth, the
abandonment of built-up areas, and the consumption and spoilage of natural
The National League of Cities has been aggressively pursuing a
policy of urban conservation throughout its programs. A number of
issue papers and analyses of approaches to urban conservation have
been published, including Urban Conservation: The Theme, Its Begin-
ning and Its Directions and The Tax System: Consequences for Urban
Policy. Experiences and programs in various cities are documented
in the monthly magazine of the League, Nation's Cities. The NLC is
also actively working with government agencies and the Congress to
fashion a national urban policy that stresses urban conservation. The
NLC provides a source of experience and information on a wide array
of public and private actions and programs that affect the activities
of city governments.
4 "Toward A National Urban Policy of Urban Conservation," 1976 National 31u nicipal Policy, National
League of Cities, Mimeo, (1976), n.p.
CHAPTER VI-GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
One of the best hopes for the revitalization of cities is to capitalize
on and enhance one of their most important assets-the physical past.
We no longer have the luxury nor the resources to be able to abandon
what we have already built and to move on to new spaces. We can,
however, through a concerted and thoughtful effort, make what we
already possess better serve us. Recycling is one of the most effortless
ways to revitalize our cities. Cities of all sizes can gain new life through
preservation, from New York to Los Angeles, and from York, Penn-
sylvania, to Portland, Oregon. Places which have been important
parts of the life of the city, can once again be vital with some thought-
Without a doubt, there is a tremendous interest in preservation
throughout the country. The upsurge in interest can be directly tied
to economics. Old buildings are being given new life because it is
often cheaper to rehabilitate them than to construct comparable new
space. Old houses in old neighborhoods once fixed up are often cheaper
than new houses in the suburbs.1 Old buildings can be more energy
efficient than new construction; an old row house costs less to heat
than a new detached house. Preservation and upgrading of old
neighborhoods do not require the investment needed to develop a
complete new infrastructure-schools and roads and hospitals and
stores and sewers and parks-they already exist. Generally rehabilita-
tion, renovation or conversion of an existing structure can be accom-
plished in less time than it takes to construct a comparable new
PRIVATE MARKET REHABILITATION
Private residential renovation or rehabilitation has experienced a
great upsurge in recent years. Many factors such as the energy crisis
and the cost of new houses has contributed to this upsurge. The Sec-
retary of Housing and Urban Development has urged rehabilitation
as have organizations such as the Federal National Mortgage Asso-
ciation (FNMA). In 1975, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) par-
ticipated with FNMA in an analysis of central city housing revitaliza-
tion. ULI developed case studies of three cities with substantial
rehab programs and conducted a survey of 260 cities with over 50,000
population in an attempt to determine the extent of renovation
The findings of the survey indicated that a great deal of private
rehabiltiation is taking place across the country. Based on the survey,
it is estimated that 124 (or 48% of 260) central cities with a popula-
1 An average row house in Baltimore, Maryland, sells for $12,000 v. $40,000 for an average new home in the
Baltimore suburbs. See, Bob Kuttner, "Ethnic Renewal," New York Times Magazine, May 9, 1976, pp.
2 See, T. Thomas Black, "Private Market Housing Renovation in Central Cities: A ULI Survey," Urban
Land, v. 34, no. 10, November 1975, pp. 3-9.
tion over 50,000 are experiencing private market, non-subsidized reno-
vation. The extent of rehabilitation activity varies by city size.
The amount of activity drops with the size of the city and there is
variation in rehabilitation activity by region. The South is experi-
encing the most central city rehabilitation. The Northeast has the
next highest concentration, while the North Central and West re-
gions have the lowest concentrations.
While the rate of renovation activity was not clearly attainable
because actual counts of renovation projects were not always available,
it was computed that an average of 441 units per city or 54,600 units
had been privately renovated since 1968. Compared to new construc-
tion in metro areas of over 7 million units since 1968 or 2 million units
in central cities, this rehabilitation number seems minor. Significantly,
however, this level is about the same as rehabilitation activity federally
sponsored through the 312-subsidized loan program which has funded
approximately 48,000 rehabilitation units since 1968.
The factors contributing to this upsurge are several and most have
been discussed elsewhere in this report. However, review of these
factors should be emphasized. A concentration of activity is taking
place in areas of designated local or national historical importance.
The survey revealed that 65% of the renovation activity is taking
place in historic areas, 42% of the activity is taking place only in
historic areas, 23% indicate activity in both historic and nonhistoric
areas and 35% of the activity is taking place only in nonhistoric
areas. Detailed analysis of rehabilitation activity areas indicate they
were small, consisting of predominantly single-family dwellings.
The survey indicated that the majority of private renovation ac-
tivity (75%) was being undertaken by owner-occupants. The remain-
der was evenly split between speculative and investor-renovators.
Predominant households are generally small, singles or young marrieds,
middle-to-upper income ranges, white-collar professionals and business
occupations. There is an exception, however, because the survey indi-
cateN that. about 10% of the cities indicated that new households were
blue-collar families with moderate to middle income ranges. Another
10% indicated that the new occupants were a mix of blue and white-
In regard to financing, the respondents indicated that persons
undertaking rehabilitation were relying on local savings institutions
and commercial banks for financing, purchase and renovation. Eighty
percent indicated that obtaining rehab financing was a problem.
Despite the affluence of the renovators, conventional lending institu-
tions are very reluctant to finance renovation activities in older
The potential for further expansion of rehabilitation activity is
substantial. According to ULI, current trends in metropolitan housing
market conditions suggest that more and more middle to upper
income persons will be attracted to central cities in the future. Among
these howinig market conditions are increases in childless households
and households made up of single and unrelated individuals as well as
people who are seeking housing solely for adult needs.
The cultural and intellectual activities of the city appeal to the
increasing affluence and education of young adults. Another important
factor contributing to the upsl)urge in central city housing rehabilita-
tion is the recent increase in office building in downtown. Along
with this expansion has come increases in the number of persons work-
ing at professional, managerial and technical levels who desire prox-
imity to their work.
HUD COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has many of
the means to assist in the efforts to revitalize our cities; it must make
the best of them now. HUD has been severely criticized by many for
contributing to the decline of the cities. A commitment to working in
a constructive manner for the benefit of cities could reverse this
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has perhaps
the broadest mandate of any federal agency to preserve and enhance
the built environment. The Housing and Community Development
Act of 1974, administered by the Department, incorporates as main
objectives, "Conservation and expansion of the nation's housing stock
in order to provide decent housing and a decent environment,"
"restoration and preservation of properties of special value for historic,
architectural or esthetic reasons" and "revitalization of deteriorating
neighborhoods." While the words in legislation allow HUD to
actively encourage conservation activities, the actions of the Depart-
ment have not been as explicit. HUD does not have a reputation as an
agency that is leading the way in the conservation and preservation
of the built environment. However, since her appointment in 1974,
Secretary of HUD, Carla A. Hills, has actively promoted the concept
of urban conservation and recycling of existing building stock. Hope-
fully, Secretary Hills' example will encourage the Department to
take a more aggressive stance in urban conservation.
Many federal programs have either directly or indirectly encouraged
new development, especially detached single family dwellings, at
the expense of the core city. The highway system has served to move
people out of the center city and into developments on the fringes.
The Costs of Sprawl study sponsored by the Council on Environmental
Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department
of Housing and Urban Development in 1974 develops figures which
show how costly low density sprawl, common in many suburban
developments, can be when compared to higher density land use.
Higher density development when compared to other forms of devel-
opment, the study notes, "results in lower economic costs, environ-
mental costs, natural resource consumption, and some personal
costs." 4 In a July, 1975 speech, Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development Hills noted, "Government policies encouraged suburban
sprawl and the outward dispersion of public and private investment." 5
Federal programs and goals should be re-evaluated to eliminate this
imbalance. HUD programs especially, should be realistically oriented
toward revitalization of cities to the maximum extent possible.
HUD should take an aggressive stance in fostering and promoting
preservation and conservation. The intelligent re-use of existing
S42 U.S.C. 5301, Section 101(c)(3), (7) and (6).
4 Real Estate Research Corporation, The Costs of Sprawl. Executive Summary, (GPO, 1974), p. 6.
6 Remarks before the 43rd Annual Conference of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Boston, Massachusetts,
July 8,1975, HUD Mimeo, p. 1.
resources should be a keystone of departmental policy toward urban
areas. By using existing mechanisms the Department could have
a strong and immediate impact on encouraging preservation. The
regulations for the FHA Title I program for National Register prop-
erties are a good example of how HUD has not taken a leadership
position in preservation. The Emergency Home Assistance Purchase
Act of 1974 which authorized the program was signed into law in
October of 1974, however, it was not until May of 1976 that draft
regulations to implement the program were published and it is not
possible for the final implementing regulations to be put into effect
until June of 1976. There was a 19 month time lag between the
authorization of the new program and the publication of any regula-
tions. However, in the intervening months a number of organizations
were active in promoting the potential of the program to provide
needed credit in areas undergoing renovation. Such organizations
as the Urban Land Institute, the Federal National Mortgage Associa-
tion, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National
Register of Historic Place- all took note of the program and suggested
to their constituencies the possible implications of the program.
Yet, HUD was some time behind in developing the mechanisms
for the program.
When HUD did publish the regulations a rather narrow approach
to the legislation was taken. Many feel that the regulations should be
broader, allowing for more flexible and creative uses of the program
for preservation and conservation purposes. For example, loans that
can be insured under the program are limited to $30,000 per structure
under the proposed regulations. The legislation provides for loans
to be insured up to $15,000 per dwelling unit, but places no maximum
on the amount per structure. Theoretically, a structure containing
3 or even 100 dwelling units would be eligible under the legislation
for loans insured up to $15,000 each. Specific instances could be
cited where this program could be used for structures listed on the
National Register with large numbers of dwelling units. However,
under the proposed HUD regulations this is not possible.
The urban homesteading program described in Chapter II, initially
begun by the Department in 1972 and elaborated on further in Sec-
tion 810 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974,
appears to hold potential for revitalizing center city residential
neighborhoods which have experienced deterioration and abandon-
ment. Several cities have developed moderately successful home-
strading prograins, however, the program has not been fully promoted
by IIUD. A greater coinmitment on the part of tlhe Department to
work with cities and to release foreclosed properties for homesteading
is needed. T'lie hont- leading program van be an important component,
of an overall revitalization strategy for cities. The Department of
Housing and Urban Development nust begin to make a greater
commitment to the program if it is going to have a positive effect in
What is fnee(ded i< a ithorough, tlioughttfil and concerned commit-
ment on the part of the D')part ient, of llotiinc and Urban Develop-
nent to supj)port urlba, conl-rvation. In tie past few years, there have
been several encouraging signs that HUD is beginning to recognize
the,, idea of urban conservation. ExamIples such as IIUD's commit-
ment to the Urban Reinvestment Task Force co-sponsored with the
FHLBB, the idea of the urban homesteading program and the recently
announced neighborhood preservation grant program can be cited.
But these programs are only a modest beginning. HUD should assess
what it has learned about urban conservation through its involvement
in these and other programs and develop strategies that actively en-
courage and promote neighborhood preservation and urban conser-
vation. If new legislative mandates are needed, the Department should
make this known to the Congress.
JHUD FUNDING FOR PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION
There are many contradictions in federal programs toward con-
servation and preservation. Many federal programs can be utilized
to fund and encourage neighborhood conservation and preservation
projects. However, in all too many instances, the existence of legis-
lation and/or programs does not insure that they will be used for
conservation and preservation purposes. The debate over the use of
Section 8 monies is a good example. The program created by the Hous-
ing and Community Development Act of 1974 provides rent subsidies
for low and moderate income housing for new or substantially reha-
bilitated units. Many preservationists argue that three or four units
of housing can be renovated for every unit of new housing construction
utilizing Section 8 funds. Developers, the construction industry and
labor unions strongly advocate using Section 8 funds to subsidize new
construction. Especially in high cost areas, this can account for the
bulk of Section 8 funds available being spent on a few projects.6
However, the fact is that very few low and moderate income units
have been developed under Section 8 to date.7
In the late 1960s and early 1970s FHA made a massive commitment
to assist homeownership in central cities. This commitment was
designed to help redress the previous imbalance of its programs in
promoting housing outside of the center city. With the rush by FHA
to move into urban core areas, many who would not have otherwise
entertained the idea of actually owning a home found themselves
qualified for federal guarantees on their mortgages and financial
institutions which were willing to loan them the money. Government
insurance insulated the financial institutions from loss. Many did
take advantage of these government programs and purchased houses.
For many, the result was a sorry experience; they found themselves
moving into houses that had been given the most cursory sort of
cosmetic treatment by speculators and then marketed at greatly
increased prices. The flashiness of the new paint soon wore thin and
many of the houses began to display the problems of their age and
insufficient work to remedy deficiencies. Because many of the newly
qualified homebuyers had neither the knowledge nor the skills to
maintain the homes, they soon moved right back out again. The loss
of a down payment, often a low figure, and equity was considered to
be less costly than living in an uninhabitable space. Lenders lost little
6 Stephen A. Kliment, AIA, ed., Neighborhood Conservation, A Source Book (New York, 1975), pp. IT/6-7.
See also, the Housing Authorization Act of 1976, Hearings Bofore the Subcommittee on Hou sing an d Commau nity
Development of the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, on fHi.R. 1176G, 94th Congress, 2nd Session.
March 2 and 3, 1976, (GPO, 1976), pp. 15ff.
? See, Congressional Record, v. 122, no. 79, May 26, 1976, p. H4940. Remarks of Congressman Thomas L.
Ashley, on Section 2 of Housing Authorization Act of 1976.
because they could collect their loans from the government; the
speculators made a lot because they sold the house and the federal
government lost a great deal because they had to pay out on the
defaulted loans and were saddled with a large inventory of houses that
were in bad condition. We are now reaping the legacy of this cycle.
Detroit is perhaps the classic case of this syndrome. At the present
time, the Department of Housing and Urban Development owns a
large segment of the total housing stock of the city of Detroit, most
acquired through defaults on FHA insured mortgages.8
Obviously a number of lessons have been learned from the entire
experience. One of the most important is that purchasers of homes
need to have a large enough stake in the building so that it is not
necessarily cheaper to walk away from a property than to continue
to try to maintain it. Second, a recurrent theme in much of the criticism
of the FHA programs has been that buyers of insured properties did
not have the knowledge and skills necessary to adequately maintain a
house. HUD should encourage a program of skill education in basic
home maintenance and management that would be available to FHA
purchasers. By working with local groups that could provide this
information and knowledge HUD could presumably lessen abandon-
ment caused by inability to maintain a structure in a livable condition.
The work of Housing Counseling Services in Washington, D.C., is
such an example. A small grant from the Department of Housing and
Urban Development enabled the organization to establish a counseling
program for people who were threatened with foreclosure of houses
purchased under the Section 235 program. Several of the cities which
have begun homesteading projects have also developed such programs.
Finally, HUD must pay close attention to the structures on which
they are guaranteeing loans to guard against continuation of this
Programs such as this can help prevent repetition of program failures
as experienced in Detroit and lead toward viable urban communities.
"The ultimate benefits of neighborhood conservation are in essence
social-people with a sense of community, living in decent surround-
ings, at a cost they can afford." 9
HUD ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF PRESERVATION IMPACT OF
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) required
all federal agencies to consider the effect of their actions on the human
environment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development
has been slow to respond to this mandate. Environmental assessments
that have been performed by the Department have not been effective
in analyzing the effects of projects in which the Department partici-
pated. In fact, in some instances HUD did not review the environ-
menial effects of their projects when they were required to do so
resulting in adverse impacts on neighborhoods and historic resources
which tlhe Department should have been seeking to enhance and
protect. In 1975 the Government Accounting Office (GAO) conducted
an audit of the Department's environmentaJ compliance with NEPA.
SEp', 0 Minut.R, "Ifell Up on Dpirii," Vol. VIII, No. 18, CBS Nv*ws, Typescript, pp. 2-9. See also,
If I 'D's RfsponfAi'n.f tfri I'Trr'ioui Recommrnidationis for CorrT'rtire Arction, Ninfit th Rfport by the Committee
on (o'enrnmen' O rlnriamn. 94th Congress, 2nd Se,'.ii, THousi Rr'p rt No. 94-968, (OGPO, 1976), pp. 12-14.
B V'eighborhood Cunsfrration. p. 1/6.
The GAO study, Environmental Assessment Efforts for Proposed Proj-
ects Have Been Ineffective, Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment, was published in 1975.
The report reviews the HUD environmental assessment of a num-
ber of projects. For example, between 1971 and 1975 HUD approved
application for six sections (518 lots) of a subdivision development
near Dayton, Ohio. The approval qualified houses built within the
subdivision to be insured under HUD's mortgage insurance program.
GAO examined the project as part of its investigation of HUD com-
pliance with the environmental review procedures required by NEPA.
GAO noted in its report on the project that, "officials of four agen-
cies . concluded that the impacts required an environmental im-
pact statement." In the area of preservation of historic and cultural
properties, GAO discussed the project with a state agency, the Ohio
An Ohio Historical Center official told us [GAO] that the project could poten-
tially affect unlisted historical or archeological sites in the area. She said it was
of major concern that projects such as this could be approved by a Federal agency
without the Center having an opportunity to comment on such actions or survey
the areas. She said that HUD generally does not consult the Center on such
projects and, as a result, many historical and archeological sites could potentially
be lost. After our discussions with Center personnel, they surveyed the project
areas and observed some sites in the area where preservation would be sought.10
Another of the HUD approved projects examined was the Potomac
River Water Supply project to be located in Leesburg, Virginia.
According to GAO, "The project's objectives were to provide a re-
liable municipal water supply and enable the town to serve antici-
pated growth." n11 In analyzing the project which had been approved
for a $975,000 grant under the Water and Sewer Facilities Grant
Program by the Washington, D.C. Area Office of HUD, GAO dis-
cussed the project with several federal agencies and was told "that
the project's potential for environmental impacts was significant
enough to require an environmental impact statement." Officials from
the Council on Environmental Quality said,
that the growth to be served by the project could have a major affect on a broad
range of environmental areas-such as sanitary sewage, solid waste disposal,
roads, schools, water and air quality, and aesthetic environment-that would
require consideration in a clearance. Also, according to these officials, growth
has been controversial and debated in Loudoun County-of which Leesburg is
a part-for several years. Therefore, they said that HUD should have insured
that all interested parties were aware of the project and had the opportunity to
comment on it.12
Portions of the town of Leesburg had been listed as an historic
district on the National Register of Historic Places since February,
1971. Because of this, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
should have been afforded the opportunity to comment on the pro-
osed federally funded project under Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act of 1966. According to the GAO findings,
HUD had not considered the water project's impact on the district because
personnel responsible for preparing the (environmental) clearance told us [GAO]
that they were not aware of the district's existence. [Advisory] Council officials
10 Comptroller General of the United States, Report to the Congress,. Environmental Assessment Efforts for
Proposed Projects Have Been Ineffective, Department of Housing and Urban Development, July 22, 1975, pp.
Ibid., p. 16.
Is Ibid., p. 17.
told us HUD should have considered the impact of the town's anticipated growth
on the historic district.3
In its overall comments on HUD environmental assessments, GAO
concluded, in part,
HUD's view on the use of an environmental impact statement is not consistent
with the spirit and intent of NEPA and is one of the factors contributing to the
weaknesses noted in HUD's environmental clearance process. HUD's position
strongly implies that it believes-even before it knows all the facts which NEPA
requires it to obtain-that the projects it has determined should receive an en-
vironmental impact statement are environmentally sound. It implies that if
critics raise questions or suggestions that the project be rejected or modified, that
these questions or criticisms can be discounted because the HUD decisions are
superior to these critics. This philosophy was clearly evident on the environmental
impact statements we reviewed. As we point out, agencies reviewing HUD's
impact statements believed the statements were not objective and were prepared
to justify a decision that had already been made.14
Finally, GAO suggested consideration by Congress of the effective-
ness of environmental review of HUD funded projects.
Under regulations for implementing the Housing and Community Development
Act of 1974, HUD has made localities responsible for assessing the environmental
impacts of projects to be funded with community development block grants.
HUD offices, however, retain responsibility for the function for housing assistance
or insurance projects which accounted for most of HUD's actions before passage
of the 1974 act.
Considering HUD's lack of priority and emphasis on assessing the environ-
mental impacts of projects which it approves, the Congress may wish to question
H U D during future hearings on how effectively the localities are carrying out their
responsibilities for the environmental review of proposed projects.1"
It is evident from this brief review of HUD actions affecting historic
preservation and urban conservation areas, that the Department
should make a more concerted effort to insure that the programs and
projects that it funds and carries out are (1) consistent with the na-
tional policy of preserving the historical and cultural foundations of
the Nation as a living part of our community life and development
and (2) more carefully examine the potential environmental impacts of
In the early 1970s a developer proposed to build a 10 story elevator
apartment building in the DuPont Circle area of Washington, D.C.,
to be known as the Maisal Building or the Seasons. The apartment
building was to be developed with federal insurance under Section 221
(d)(4) of the National Housing Act. The application of the developer
was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The high-rise apartment building was to be built at 1775 Que
Street, N.W., approximately four blocks from DuPont Circle. While
the DuPont Circle area has several mid- to high-rise apartment
buildings, the area is composed largely of row houses. It is an inte-
grated area, not only in terms of racial make-up, but also in economic
termnis as well as age groups and living styles. The immediate block
of the apartment building project was designated a historic landmark
by the local landmarks commission. The block was fully intact except
for the parcel that was proposed for construction. All the buildings are
tlireo to four story residential structures, of stone and built in the last
decade of tdie 19th-century.'
SAIbid., p. 18.
14 Itid., p. 42.
16 Ibid., pp. 48-49.
14 See, North Dul'ont Community Association, DuPont Circle Profile, (Author, 1976)j
On March 20, 1974, the Washington Area Office of the HUD, in its
environmental review of the project, determined "A Finding of In-
applicability is made and processing may proceed. There is no signifi-
cant environmental impact." 17 Many in the immediate neighborhood
of the proposed apartment building did not agree with the HUD
One of the primary fears of the residents of the immediately im-
pacted block and adjacent surrounding blocks was the effect of the
apartment building on the sociological and ethnic mix of the neighbor-
hood. It was feared that the apartment building would lead to an
erosion of the stability of the neighborhood. It was also felt that the
design motif of the proposed apartment building would be inhar-
monious with the existing Victorian townhouse character of the
block. The apartment building was to have a "nautical motif" with
porthole-like windows. One of the residents likened the project to a
ship sailing down the block.
SOn May 21, 1974, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission
rezoned the parcel for the proposed apartment building along with
several other parcels in the surrounding DuPont Circle area from
commercial and special purpose use to residential use thereby placing
a height restriction on new buildings and lowering the density. The
proposed apartment building was to be 97 feet high, 30 to 50 feet
higher than the surrounding buildings. (It should be noted that the
developer maintains that construction of the building was begun
prior to the issuance of the opinion of the Zoning Commission.) The
action of the Zoning Commission was taken because the commercial
and special purpose zoning was "inimical to the public welfare and
poses substantial threats to the preservation of the character of the
neighborhood and of property values therein." 18 The primary effect
of the Zoning Commission's ruling was to maintain the area as a
close-in residential neighborhood.
The citizens of the area and other interested groups met with or
attempted to meet with HUD representatives on a number of oc-
casions to discuss the project and possible alternatives. John 0. Fox,
Counsel for the North DuPont Community Association, noted in
a letter to HUD, "For several years, residents of the community
wrote to and telephoned your office [the HUD Washington Area
Office] on numerous occasions seeking information about the project.
Their legitimate requests were ignored entirely or in substance." 19
On June 11, 1974, a draft environmental impact statement was
issued by HUD, less than two months after the Department had
declared that the project would have "no significant environmental
impact." The reasons for this shift from stating that there would be
no significant environmental impact to acknowledging one are
unclear. It may be that citizen pressure was responsible for the shift,
for they had made a concerted effort to establish the fact that there
would be a significant environmental impact if the project were
17 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Finding Resulting From
Special Clearance. March 20, 1974. p. 1.
IS Zoning Commission. Government of the District of Columbia, Case 73-23, DuPont Circle Rezonlng,
Statement of Reasons, p. 2.
1 John 0. Fox to Harry W. Staller. Acting Area Director, Department cf Housing and Urban Develop-
ment, Washington, D.C., dated July 17,1974, p. 3.
The Draft EIS closely parallels the Finding of Inapplicability and
-admits that the proposed apartment building could have certain
detrimental effects on the neighborhood. The draft admits that "There
is a possibility that new apartment development could lead to the
demolition of the old historical structures which give the area its
urban grace and heritage if not properly channeled and controlled." 20
The draft notes that the apartment building "possibly represents
an element of transition of the community from its increasing family
The Final Environmental Impact Statement issued on December 9,
1974, states under the Summary of Environmental Impacts:
a. The proposed Seasons is not consistent with the comprehensive plan for the
District since the residential density per net acre for the surrounding neighborhood
-is exceeded. Also the project would appear to have a potential adverse aesthetic
effect on the urban design setting and historic significance of 1700 Que Street with
its Victorian townhouses. Finally, there is evidence that the project's high-rise
construction would shield the sunlight from many buildings. This potentially
could result in depressed value of these buildings and generally a less viable
b. The proposed project could heighten the already severe parking situation in
the surrounding neighborhood especially with parking demands from two other
H UD rehabilitated housing projects. However, the degree of this problem depends
on such factors as a public policy banning commuter parking. Also, the proposed
project could aggravate a dangerous through alley situation behind the site unless
the District Government takes appropriate actions.
e. The proposed project could potentially alter the substantial family mix of
the neighborhood . .
f. The project could have an adverse impact on the neighborhood's limited
community facilities (e.g. shopping and open space) especially when viewed in
light of the two rehabilitation housing projects in the neighborhood. . .
A number of citizens groups and national organizations as well as
several federal agencies commented on the draft environmental impact
statement. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, for example,
stated in its comments, "Actions such as proposed in the draft state-
ment create a climate which can lead to deterioration of the qualities
of the physical environment of neighborhoods which make them
desirable areas in which to live." 23
To date, the apartment building has not been constructed and
today the site is surrounded by a plywood board fence.
It is precisely the type of action represented by the controversy
surrounding the construction of this HUD insured apartment building
that has caused the Department to be viewed in a less than favorable
light in promoting urban conservation. The apartment building had
the potential to have a serious adverse impact on its surrounding
neighborhood, which was fully admitted by the Department of
lousiiing and Urban Development. More careful attention to the
siirrotlinding areas and less commitment to the plans of the developer
coiould have re.;ulted in the construction of a building that was at once
compatible with the social and physical make-up of the neighborhood
anl(I it.- lanil(linurk status and which contributed to the construction of
low anid nmo(derate income housing in the District.
20 U.S. D)parlT,'tiil (i f TTniiinR nnd T'rhnn Da vPloppnwnt Drqff rnw irnm niltal Impact Statement on the
S.I '.L; I I p<), cI'l). 7IT.5 JU ii. Sirrert, N.%'., Washliiigtlon, D.C., JuiIe 11, 1974, p. 13.
21 1l,id.. p). "-'.
22 .. D.-pii.rl 'iitf of I[,nsiiig anl I'rl,'in T)..vl..ipmrnt. I I'D Rcionnal rfl pe l1r. Final Environmrnntal
Inip1frl Ziritruinft for the Prp', isd Svasons 2-_i114 Hiousing Prujecl, Decrimber 9, 1974. Summary Sheet,
3 l3It.. Appendix A, letters clmmontiiig on I)rafl Environmiental Im pact Slatement.
One recurrent theme in preservation is the quality of rehabilitation
work that is carried out on a structure. For many it becomes readily
apparent that an unsympathetic or shoddy approach to rehabilitation
can destroy the very characteristics of a building that made it a
candidate for rehabilitation in the first place. There have been many
examples of rehabilitation contractors performing shoddy work. The
new program of the National Association of Homebuilders, referred to
in Chapter V, is designed to help curb this problem. Architects,
through the American Institute of Architects, have also expressed
concern about the quality of rehabilitation and restoration work being
performed. Architects have advocated establishment of controls to
insure that work undertaken on existing buildings does not destroy
or impair a building's major attributes.2 The rehabilitation and
restoration guidelines prepared by the National Park Service and
proposed to be published by the Department of Housing and Urban
development are a step toward insuring that existing buildings will
receive sympathetic treatment and alteration.
COMMERCIAL AREA REHABILITATION
This study has concentrated primarily upon residential structures
and various means and techniques to foster their preservation and
rehabilitation. Commercial and retail and industrial structures have
also been the subject of many efforts in the past few years to insure
their preservation and re-use. Old buildings are being used in a
variety of new ways. For example, the revitalization of a city com-
mercial/retail area in both a physical and economic sense is going on
in many places.25 An underlying theme of the activity is that goods
and services should not all be located in suburbs where they are only
accessible by car and thus unavailable to many city residents. These
services should be located conveniently to in-town residential areas,
within walking distance or along a major route of public transporta-
tion. There are several experiments being carried out to illustrate
the various techniques for "neighborhood commercial revitalization."
The techniques and methods that must be used are different than those
needed for strictly residential area revitalization. However, reju-
venation of in-town commercial and retail activity must become an
integral part of preservation projects if residents are to be attracted
to live in the center city.
Some of the approaches used in historic preservation have indicated
that they can be of substantial help in economic revitalization. For
example, some urban historic districts have been able to generate
tremendous economic activity. The Georgetown historic district in
Washington, D.C., the Vieux Carre historic district in New Orleans,
Louisiana, and the Pioneer Square area of Seattle, Washington, are
indicators of the retail and commercial activity that can be generated
by historic districts. Initial indications are that historic district
designation can lead to increased economic activity for an area.26
2 Letter. Clarence E. Moran, AIA, Presidrnt. West Virginia Society of Architects, to Donald B. Myer,
AIA, Chairman. Committee on Historic Resourcvv, American Institute of Architects, April 20, 1976.
25 See, Ada Louise Huxtable, "The Fall and Rise of Main Street," New I ork Times Magazine, May 30,
1976, pp. 12-14.
26 See, Office of the Mayor. City of Seattle (Washington), An Economic ELalualtion of the City's Commit-
ment to Pioneer Square, (Author, July, 1974).
DISPLACEMENT RESULTING FROM PRESERVATION
One of the most crucial issues confronting preservation is displace-
ment of existing residents. In many areas that have undergone
revitalization, housing prices, both sale and rental, have escalated to
a point where existing residents can no longer afford to remain in
the area. The result has often been a complete ethnic or racial change
in the overall make-up of the area. In the past few years there have
been attempts to retain the existing social characteristics of an area
while upgrading the physical make-up of the area. One of the most
successful approaches has been the Neighborhood Housing Services
approach, first pioneered in Pittsburgh and now used extensively
by the Urban Reinvestment Task Force. The NHS approach was
described in Chapter IV. In 1974 the National Endowment for the
Arts awarded a grant to the City of Alexandria for a study on how to
keep existing residents in an area just outside the designated bound-
aries of the historic district that was fast becoming a "restored"
area. The consultants on the study recommended an approach to the
problem that appears to hold some promise. A non-profit cooperative
made up of the residents in the area would be formed to purchase
from the residents an option on the sale of the property at an agreed
upon price at some future time. The price would be based upon prob-
able current value combined with an inflation factor. When the house
was put up for sale, the corporation would market the property with
a priority list of purchasers. First preference would be given to rela-
tives of the owner of the house, second preference to residents of the
area as of the date the cooperative is established, third to household,
with below 80% of the metropolitan median-income at the time of
resale, and finally after all the above preferences had been exhausted,
the house would be put on the open real estate market and made
available to anyone. Initial funds for the operation of the corporation
would be derived from the city, the federal government, philanthropic
sources and financial institutions.27
The plan was voted on by residents in the area in June, 1976. Ballots
were mailed to each of the 1,085 owners of parcels of property in the
designated area. An unexpectedly small number of ballots were
returned-250. Forty-two ballots were ruled invalid, 201 pINersons
voted against the lprop)osal, and forty-nine persons voted in favor.
The outcome of the voting clearly indicated that the residents of the
area were not willing to give up their property values to preserve tihe
ethnic and racial composition.
Many problems faced the proposal had it passed. Among tli-.e
problems were the cost of creating a corporation called for by the
p)ropl)osal and more importantly, the City of Alexandri. had I received
some indication from the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment that community deve)lopmetit block grant funds could not be
used to finance the project because of the Uniform Relocation Act
and a clause in the Housing and Community Development Act which
sti)ulates that ma ket prices must. be paid when buying property wit l
block grant funds. Currently the cit y's p)lanling dep)artntent is analyz-
ing alternative methods for implemen. atiotn of the l)roposal. It hi'.
been suggested that the plan be implemented on a mllch smaller seali,
including only those residents who voted in favor of the proposal.
I Hammer, Slier, George Associates, NIA Study Report to the City of Alexandria, December 31, 1975.
Whatever the outcome of the plan, it does represent a unique and
interesting solution to the problems of preserving a neighborhood
and its residents. For these reasons, the plan has received much
publicity and will probably continue to be looked at by cities and
areas which face similar problems.
Another approach that was taken to keep existing residents in an
area being revitalized was one used with moderate success by the
Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in Washington, D.C.
Seward Street in the Capitol Hill area of the city was composed of
black residents who rented their homes from absentee landlords.
With funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment, HDC purchased the houses from the landlords. Systematic
rehabilitation of the houses was then begun. There was one vacant
house on the one block street. It was rehabilitated first. A family
was moved into the house, their house was rehabilitated and they
were moved back to their own house which was sold to them; following
this a second family was moved into the vacant house while their
house was undergoing rehabilitation. HDC moved slowly down the
block rehabilitating each dwelling in turn while the family occupied
the formerly vacant house at the end of the block during the renovation
period. In this way, little disruption in the continuity and life of the
block resulted. In every instance, the former renters who now owned
their house ended up with mortgage payments that were below the
rents that they had been paying. The block was physically renewed
without disruption or displacement and the residents who had lived
on the block were able to stay at a price they could afford.
Many preservation activities which physically change a neighbor-
hood do, however, result in the displacement or dislocation of the
existing residents. In its Source Book for the Neighborhood Conserva-
tion Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, summed up
the approach that must be taken if cities and their neighborhoods are
to be successfully revitalized.
It is dangerous to view neighborhood conservation as a discrete problem that
can be approached with a large measure of isolation from what is going on in
other sections of the nation; for the fact remains that industry and vital middle
class families are leaving our older cities by the legion, and even whole metropolitan
areas for the first time are losing more people than they are gaining. This basic
fact of life must be a constant reminder to public officials, planners and business-
men as they seek to forge the right measure of land use controls, investment and
tax climate that will conserve the nation's neighborhoods for their citizens.28
x Neighborhood Conserrytion, p. I194
CHAPTER VII-ALTERNATIVES AND ACTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED
As has been pointed out in the study, the past few years have seen
an increasing emphasis on re-using existing resources. There is eco-
nomic wisdom in revitalizing the existing fabric of the built environ-
ment, rather than abandoning it or tearing it down and building anew.
Old buildings can serve new and productive lives. Their rejuvenation
can be a source of employment, profits, and a renewed urban environ-
ment. There is, however, no coherent federal policy framework for
Increasingly, there are calls for a thorough re-examination of federal
policies toward urban areas and their old buildings. Such an examina-
tion would encompass many areas of federal domestic policy. While
there have been encouraging signs of change toward urban conserva-
tion, what is needed is a careful and thoughtful approach to the
whole spectrum of alternatives on the part of the federal government.
Among others the National League of Cities has proposed that the
goal of a national urban policy should be oriented toward urban
conservation. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine on
neighborhood preservation also called for a new national policy for
In many areas of the country there is a conscious effort to utilize
existing resources; to turn away from an approach to urban areas
that promotes throwing away valuable portions of the built environ-
ment. The time seems appropriate for the Congress to look carefully
at the programs and activities of the federal government toward
urban areas and to work toward fashioning a new policy approach
aimed at conserving the built environment.
The ideas contained in this chapter are aimed at suggesting a few
steps that the Subcommittee can take toward that goal and provide
a basis for approaching the whole issue. This chapter sets forth a
number of avenues which the Subcommittee may wish to explore. No-
specific cost figures have been compiled for the alternatives. It is
anticipated that specific economic projections will become available
as the Subcommittee discusses possible approaches it wishes to
advocate to promote preservation and urban conservation. It is
anticipated that many of the recommendations set forth will not be
Much can be done to clarify and rationalize existing programs of the
federal government with respect to urban conservation and preserva-
tion. The legislative mandates for many federal programs and
organizations include participation in and encouragement of conser-
vation and preservation activities. One of the goals of future actions
by the Subcommittee should be to see that federal agencies interpret
1 See, Bob Kuttner, "Ethnic Renewal," New York Times Magazine, May 9,1976, pp. 18ff.
and act on their mandates to promote preservation. If clarifying
legislation or additional authority is needed this should be brought
to the attention of the Subcommittee.
One of the major conclusions that the National Endowment for the
Arts, reached in its study of neighborhood conservation is worth noting
carefully. "The general agreement on many of the definitions and con-
cepts of neighborhood conservation should not conceal the virtual
ab-ence of any comprehensive, realistic, forceful statutes to translate
this concern into action." 2
STATUTORY DEFINITION OF PRESERVATION/CONSERVATION
As pointed out in the first chapter, one of the problems facing preser-
vation is a wholly serviceable definition that would adequately encom-
pas.s the myriad of activities and programs which are currently going
on to conserve/preserve portions of the built environment. Because of
the lack of such a statutory definition, there is considerable overlap
and contradictory actions in federal programs in the area of preserva-
tion/conservation. It is suggested that the Subcommittee consider
adopting a definition that would include the majority of preservation/
conservation actions and activities currently taking place. As has been
noted, there is some conflict between traditional historic preserva-
tionists who place major emphasis on the historic or architectural
merit of a structure as the primary basis for preservation and urban
conservationists who place primary emphasis on how a structure can
contribute to a community or neighborhood. Such a new definition
could allow for closer coordination and cooperation on preservation/
conservation issues and activities between various federal agencies.
It could also contribute to a more rational approach to preservation of
various parts of the built environment.
CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION
There has been considerable discussion in the past few years regard-
ing a reassessment of the assumptions underlying the criteria used for
de-ignating historic structures. Historic properties listed on the
National Register of Historic Places are eligible for a number of
benefits including matching grants-in-aid for restoration work, pro-
tection from adverse federal action through the provisions of Section
106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation and FHIA insured home improve-
ment loans up to $15,000 (rather than the usual $10,000 limit). Re-
vising the criteria for listing a property on the National Register
could expand the usefulness of the Register as a planning tool and
extend the benefits of the program.
There have been a number of proposals for revised criteria. The
Tusk Force on Land Use and Urban Growth, sponsored in 1973 by
the Rockefeller Brothers Fund suggested that the National Register
be expalnded to include a category to be called conservation areas-
urban districts with a mix of uses, vital street life and physical integ-
rity. The Fourth Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality
noted three types of city neighborhoods that should be preserved:
2 Strfphen A. Kliment, AIA, ed., Neighborhood Conmerration: A Source Book, (New York, 1975), p. 1/8.
those identified with historic events or individuals; older ethnic neiglh-
borhoods; and older neighborhoods with some special trait. An article
entitled "Saving Urban Charm," which first appeared in December,
1974, and has been reprinted in different publications, considered the
same issue, "Preservation too often relies on individual structures and
too seldom on the general streetscape. . District preservation
should be concerned more with the overall effect of buildings and less
with a few surviving and well-placed gems." The article went on to
suggest a set of criteria that could be used to determine if an area
should be listed on the National Register as an urban district or
conservation area. They were:
What is the overall effect, planned or unplanned, of the structures
and spaces in the area on its utility as well as its attractiveness?
Does the area have a variety of facilities and opportunities for
residence, employment, shopping, recreation and education?
Is the area associated with groups of existing or former residents
who because of their common employment or heritage have contrib-
uted significantly to the city's development?
Is there a special activity associated with the area-a central mar-
ket, an educational or transportation facility, wharves, warehousing?
Is the sense of place enhanced significantly by some important
natural or man-made features such as a canal, or river, hillside,
vistas, a park or public square?
Do the people who live, work, and shop there have a clear and
consistent sense of the area as an important urban place with definable
Expansion of the Register criteria could make available the benefits
and protections that now accrue to properties listed on the National
Register to a wider range of urban places and help encourage urban
conservation. There would be problems associated with expansion of
National Register criteria, including the amount of regulation and/or
protection that is available for urban districts or conservation areas.
The amount of funding available for restoration work on Register
properties would have to be re-analyzed. The Subcommittee should
consider the possibility of expanding the Register criteria as one
means of helping foster urban conservation.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS
A number of groups and individuals have advocated making greater
use of CDBG funding for preservation related purposes. The Sub-
committee may wish to explore funding under CDBG specifically
directed toward urban conservation and preservation objectives. This
could be accomplished in several ways.
(1) Mandate that a certain percentage of funding available to an
entitlement community from Community Development Block Grants
has to be used for preservation purposes. This does hold some pitfalls,
especially from a philosophical point of view. It would tend to negate
part of the basic concept of the CDBG approach, namely that deci-
sions on where money should be spent are best determined on the
local level. It could also potentially open the door to mandating use
' Lawrence 0. Houstoun, Yr., "Defining What We Want to Save," Urban Land, July/August, 1975. pp.
of CDBG funds for other special purposes such as recreation or water
and sewer programs or road improvements.
(2) Mandate a certain percentage of funding available under the
discretionary grants available under the HCDA be made available
for preservation/conservation related purposes. This approach would
affirm the interest of the Congress in urban conservation while not
detracting from a city's ability to determine for itself where CDBG
funds should most advantageously be spent.
(3) Develop a program of matching monies to be made available
to cities that spend CDBG funds on preservation/conservation related
activities. For example, for every dollar a city spends on conservation
another dollar could be made available to be spent on conservation/
preservation related projects. The effect of this approach would be to
stimulate those cities that wish to encourage urban conservation to
do so at an accelerated pace.
Single building revolving fund
Many significant and important buildings are lost because of a
lack of financial resources to either purchase the building outright or
to hold the building until a purchaser can be found. The Subcommittee
may wish to explore establishing a revolving fund from which com-
munities and non-profit preservation organizations could borrow
money for short terms to secure significant and pivotal buildings.
Money borrowed from the fund would bear a nominal interest rate to
offset government expenses and would have to be repaid within a
short period of time-up to two years or whenever the building is
sold or permanent financing is obtained. A maximum amount that
could be borrowed would be set and the funds would be available
on a priority basis determined by the Department of Housing and
Neigh bor, ood revolving fu nd
Many neighborhoods can be upgraded substantially with a small
investment-parks could be created or upgraded, vacant and aban-
doned bifildincs can be boarded up, trees planted, and buildings could
be acquired which would otherwise be demolished in order to stabilize
the neighborhood. Money could be loaned from a revolving fund as
an aflvanrce on future actions of a municipality. Sometimes a neighbor-
hood1 cunnot wait until its turn in the municipal capital improvement
cycle coiner up. Loans from such a revolving fund would be aimed at
stabilizing and up)grad(ling neighborhoods, in an effort to prevent
(ldeteriorationl and llban(lonment. Loans could be made available to
minicip;)alitieo and to neighlborhlood associations. Loans could be se-
clire(l wit il a le'inll against the, future appropriations to cities from the
allocations under the Hlousing and Community Development Act.
ENCOURAGING MIDDLE INCOME CITY HOUSING
It lins been noted re heatedly that a healthy urban economy requires
a lienithliy mli(ddle cliss livincy in the city and contributing to it. Federal
housing programs have not traditionally been aimed at middle income
people; the needs of the middle class have not been dealt with as
extensively as the needs of the low and moderate income groups.
With the rapid escalation of housing prices around the country, middle
income families are being priced out of the housing market. Many
cities do offer substantial and convenient housing stock that is priced
below comparable new construction in suburban locations. In a report
on The Changing Market for Middle Income City Housing, the Federal
National Mortgage Association concentrated on the specialized
problems of financing middle income city housing with the broad
objective of attracting mortgage funds which would enable middle
income families to buy or rent city housing at an acceptable cost.
One of the means by which this could be accomplished is by en-
couraging rehabilitation. This can be effectively achieved through
such preservation techniques as the designation of historic districts
which help "prevent undue disruption of the historic qualities of the
area" which "is increasingly important to homeowners." 4 The
Subcommittee could explore the various proposals which have been
suggested as means of encouraging middle income city housing through
the conservation and preservation of existing urban housing stock.
TAXES AND PRESERVATION
Recent analysis of how tax system affects preservation have gen-
erally conficluded that the present federal tax system discriminates
against preservation and re-use of existing structures and favors new
construction. The most recent analysis of the effect of the tax system
on preservation was a conference on "Public Tax Policy" sponsored
by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the keynote
address, Mortimer Caplin, former Commissioner of the Internal
Revenue Service concluded, "As we probe U.S. tax laws for possible
solutions [for the preservation of buildings], we must recognize that
tax incentives by themselves are not sufficient. They can be only a
part of an overall preservation strategy, and the development of a
total strategy must be our ultimate goal."5 While not clearly within
the purview of this Subcommittee, the consequences of tax policy
on preservation and conservation is a major issue in preservation and
conservation. There have been a number of bills introduced in this
Congress and the last aimed at revising the tax code to eliminate pos-
sible disincentives to preservation and conservation of historic struc-
tures. The Subcommittee may wish to examine some of these proposals.
There is a growing body of experience and knowledge in urban
conservation and neighborhood preservation. There is, however, no
large body of literature on the subject, nor is there a strong association
of interests. Throughout the country, there have been a number of
experiments and successful examples of conservation/preservation
approaches that have worked and have succeeded in revitalizing an
area. Because of the widely divergent nature of places, laws and
SStrategies for Accelerating Rehabilitation and Developing New Middle-Income City Housing,"
"F'orum Two, The Changihig Market for Middle Income City Housiag, (FNMA, 1975), p. 49.
6 Mortimer Caplin, "Federal Tax Policy as Incentive for Preservation," Preservation News, May, 1976,
attitudes, no consistently successful formula for urban conservation
has emerged. A successful conservation program must involve many
facets of society. In part, this is because preservation to be a success-
ful approach to revitalization cannot be a discrete approach to a
problem, but rather part and parcel of a total approach which includes
school quality, crime prevention, transportation systems, the political
and legal mechanisms and more.
HUD has, through its many programs, developed a body of con-
siderable expertise in the functioning and packaging of successful
preservation oriented programs. The Department should be encour-
aged to provide some of this expertise in the form of technical assist-
ance to communities on a non-mandatory basis. Some communities,
especially discretionary CDBG communities, with little experience
in utilizing federal government programs, have experienced difficulties
in establishing programs. Assistance from the Department, through
either the Central Office or the Field Offices, could be a boon to some
of these communities. In large measure the kinds of requests the
Department is likely to receive will be of a hardware nature (the
mechanics of implementation) rather than in the area of program
formulation. For example, one large city, not a discretionary commu-
nity, desired to make a residential rehabilitation loan program part of
its community development plan. While the program was accepted as
part of the community's CDBG application, the city experienced
difficulty when it came to actual program implementation. The city
did not know how to physically design the forms to be filled out by
rehabilitation loan applicants. Although the city was eventually able
to design suitable forms, the actual beginning of the program was
delayed for several months. HUD specialists, especially those who
work with the 312 program, would have readily provided the city with
the necessary forms and other information. However, the HUD
approach of not interfering with HCDA programs effectively pre-
cluded this approach.
On the other hand, an approach by HUD to HODA communities
which made the lending of technical assistance and advice obligatory
would undermine the underlying philosophical basis of the Act. A
rational evenhanded approach by the Department would undoubtedly
be of substantial help to many communities.
DEVELOP A SPECIFIC FEDERAL MECHANISM FOR URBAN CONSERVATION
While there is considerable activity and interest in conservation
and preservation, actions of the federal government, as have been
noted, are sometimes contradictory and not wholly supportive of these
activities. The Subcommittee should encourage programs designed to
promote and heighten awareness of preservation and conservation
on the part of both the private sector and the public sector.
With the myriad of government programs that impinge upon preser-
vation and conservation, the Subcommittee may wish to explore the
creation of a separate entity within the federal government that could
have an overview of the various activities in preservation and urban
conservation. This body could be designed to monitor federal govern-
ment actions and to identify areas of contradictory or negative federal
actions in the area of conservation and preservation and work to
mitigate or eliminate them. The body could be empowered to make a
series of legislative recommendations to the Congress designed to
encourage a more aggressive stance by the federal government in this
area. With the change in emphasis in the area of community develop-
ment it seems important that such an entity be created if the programs
and activities of the federal government are to be responsive to the
needs of local communities. It may be desirable to allow this body to
fund a certain number of demonstration projects in conservation and
preservation as a means of developing information for shaping future
federal actions in this area. The body should have a clear authority
to monitor federal actions in preservation and conservation. It should
be broad based so that it is able to encompass and assess the wide
spectrum of federal programs. The development of such an entity
could be an important step in encouraging fully the many initiatives
in urban conservation and neighborhood preservation.
The National League of Cities has pointed out that there is no
-defined national policy toward the urban areas of the nation, but
rather a de facto one. The federal government has taken a largely
piecemeal approach to solving urban problems, especially housing
problems. A federal body charged specifically with developing a
positive and coherent program for neighborhood preservation and
urban conservation could be an important step in working toward
the revitalization of cities.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT USE OF OLD BUILDINGS
Efforts have been made in the last few years to encourage the
federal government to lease office space in old and historic structures
rather than in new buildings. Conversion of a significant older struc-
ture to serve federal office space purposes could provide comparable
space at less cost than new construction in many instances; encourage
other organizations, both public and private, to make efficient and
effective use of old buildings and contribute to variety in downtown.
If the federal government could guarantee a lease to use a historic
building, it could give the owner the necessary leverage to obtain
financing for a renovation project. As federal space procurement
presently operates, old buildings are at a distinct disadvantage as
compared to new structures. It has been suggested that there is no
compelling need to house the majority of federal offices in a city in
the same structure since the agencies may have little need to be in
close physical proximity to one another since they may have quite
disparate functions. It has also been suggested that decentralizing
federal agency activities around a city may actually work better
since it would allow agencies to be closer to the constituencies which
One of the most compelling reasons for the federal government to
make use of historic buildings to house their functions is to promote
preservation by example. There are only few examples where the
federal government has actually used old buildings for its functions.
The two most prominent examples are the refurbishing of the War,
State and Navy Building as the Old Executive Office Building adjacent
to the White House and the conversion of the 18th and 19th-century
townhouses on Lafayatte Square across the street from the White
House into offices for a variety of federal functions.
However, the General Services Administration (GSA) has been
reluctant to use or convert historic structures to new uses for the
federal government. There have, however, been proposals to do so.
One group in San Antonio, Texas, recently offered the General
Services Administration, in response to a bid request, space in a
structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the
area office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The bid was rejected by GSA because it was determined that the
space offered did not meet the government bid specifications. How-
ever, the group offering the space has contended that the offer was
rejected only because the building was old and suggested that the
government's bid specifications were written in such a way as to
disqualify historic structures. The National Endowment for the
Arts has published a book on adaptive use and multiple use of historic
structures for federal use. The Federal Architecture Project has also
worked with the Endowment and other federal agencies to promote
use of old and historic structures by federal agencies.
Bills have been introduced in the Congress that would facilitate
the ability of GSA to utilize historic structures for federal needs.
The Senate held hearings on a bill, S. 865, in May 1975, and it passed
the Senate on August 1, 1975. While the measure has been introduced
in the House of Representatives, no hearings have been held as yet.
Many feel that federal government lease or purchase and conversion
of an old and historic building would have a significant impact on
fostering re-use of existing structures to meet modern office needs
by the private sector. The Subcommittee may wish to examine the
current proposals in this area as a method of fostering preservation.
FINANCING CITY HOUSING
One of the most pressing problems in conservation and preservation
involves financing and credit in older sections of urban areas. With
relatively few exceptions the bulk of mortgage money is lent in
suburban areas rather than in the city proper. The reasons for this
are manifold, yet if cities are to be revitalized this lending pattern
has to be reversed. Lending institutions tend to follow patterns rather
than to initiate activity. Thus mortgage money is not usually available
to an area that is beginning to be revitalized and upgraded, but may
become available when it is perceived that an area or neighborhood
has achieved siibstantial rehabilitation. Most proposals to encoutrage
and stimulate financing of preservation an(d conservation are aimed
at alleviating some of the risk involved in lending in city neighborhoods
just undergoing renovation. In the last few years, there have been
many proposals and some attempts to make credit more available in
One proposal advanced by the Federal National Mortgage AZsoci-
ation calls for the establishment of "'"he National Cities Corporation."
The general areas of activity for the Corporation are proposed as: (1)
a representative role as a cent ral organization to assist those involved
in city developmentn; it is envisione(l that the corporation could certify
projects on behalf of federal agencies; (2) provide assistance anld advice
to local nt it ies iwndert king urban l)roje('cts; and (3) act as a catalyst
for neighborhood preservation projects. The Corporation would be
privately funded although its financial status would be guaranteed
by the federal government. Its broad objective would be to attract
mortgage funds to urban areas which would enable middle income fami-
lies to buy or rent housing at an acceptable cost.
Other activities of the proposed Corporation would include insurance
for home borrowers against floating interest rate mortgages when
rates are rising; encourage consumer loans based on home equity as
collateral; participate in development of designated City Rehabilita-
tion Projects and encourage pension fund investment in city housing.
The Subcommittee may wish to examine this proposal as well as
others that have been formulated for encouraging investment in city
GENERAL APPROACH-OVERALL EMPHASIS OF FEDERAL ACTIVITIES IN
URBAN CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION
With the interest in preservation and conservation many new
approaches and techniques have been developed. There is much still
to be learned and many avenues to be explored in the effort to preserve,
the built environment. Experiences-; that have been successful in one place
may or may not succeed in another place. Much of the current acti-
vity in preservation and conservation is succeeding precisely because
of the "bootstrap" nature of the activities. Since there are no major
federal programs to assist preservation and conservation efforts, most
preservation and conservation activities have had to rely a great deal
on local initiatives and people have had to become intimately involved
in each project. Decisions regarding activities in preservation and
conservation have been made locally. Perhaps the most, beneficial
aspect of this local initiative has been the pride of neighborhood and
of place that has occurred in each project.
The programs of the federal government should continue to encour-
age this local preservation and conservation activity, lending support
and encouragement when necessary. However, major federal inter-
vention and financial support designed ostensibly to foster preservation
and conservation activities could produce undesirable side effects.
Several preservation and conservation programs that the federal
government is currently participating in have shown some successes.
Programs and activities such as Neighborhood Preservation Projects
sponsored by the Urban Reinvestment Task Force have indicated
approaches that can be taken to promote specific conservation and
preservation needs and activities.
Before any major commitments are made to promote conservation
and preservation, they should be tested through development of pilot
programs and carefully monitored to insure that they are achieving
the desired result. The Subcommittee may wish to encourage the de-
velopment of a number of pilot programs in conservation and preserva-
tion prior to considering major changes in the programs of the federal
government toward preservation and conservation.
APPENDIX I-BASIC ISSUES IN PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION
Many issues confront neighborhood conservation programs and it is%
often difficult for elected officials to balance these issues and deter-
mine what policies are best for a community and its residents. The
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) cosponsored a conference
on neighborhood conservation in September, 1975. In conjunction
with the Conference, Neighborhood Conservation: A Source Book was
published which outlines some of the problems which face urban con-
servation efforts and records conservation programs underway in 45
cities throughout the country. The publication identifies 5 critical
issues in neighborhood conservation: political/administrative; legal;
business/financial; social; and physical design. The following is a
discussion of each of these issues taken primarily from the NEA
The extent to which public officials, both elected and administrative,
are sympathetic to conservation greatly determines whether or not a
program is successful. Since preservation efforts have turned largely
from the private sector to the public sector, more and more pressure
has been applied to elected officials and local governments. The im--
pact of local government on conservation is immense because it
controls land use, determines areas on which to focus, provides
financial support, enforces code and tax regulations, and implements
programs for planning.
New tools have been developed recently which permit local govern-
ment to use their legal powers for preservation. Zoning remains the
traditional tool but incentive zoning, transfer of development rights
and easements are just a few of the new tools being used. As these
new tools are being implemented, they are being challenged in court.
Some administrative and political issues which relate to planning
are: should a community focus preservation efforts on a key neighbor--
hood or spread efforts over the entire city? Policymakers must decide
whether to concentrate on a historically or architecturally important
neighborhood, on a marginal neighborhood which is just beginning to
decline, or the entire city which can result in widespread consideration
but reduction of the total effectiveness of a conservation program.
Secondly, city officials must deal with inner city neighborhood
residents who feel slighted and ignored when a city recognizes that
its hope centers on marginal neighborhoods and places its efforts
there. This issue is racial or ethnic in most instances because Model
Cities and anti-poverty programs have virtually stopped and urban
conservation programs have often embraced white middle-income-
working persons. The city officials must balance these issues and since!
revenue sharing has replaced the categorical grant system, these two
constituencies have become even more competitive for program funds.
A third political administrative issue is how much power in planning
and operating conservation programs is placed in the hands of neigh-
borhood units. Many cities have adopted decentralization of admin-
istration and community services but communication, quality of
sf rvices, and boundary problems have arisen. A fourth problem is tim-
ing of a conservation program. In some instances, a city government
must decide whether to rush to save a structure or district or delay
efforts and hope that private efforts are initiated and local investment
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 provided
Section 8 rent subsidy funds for newly built or substantially rehabili-
tated housing units. This has placed preservationists and developers
in competition for funds, with city officials in the middle. An even
greater ramification of the block grant program has been the placing
of )preservationists' efforts in competition with construction of public
utilities and public works. Local government may be susceptible to
criticism if it singles out one particular program for concentration.
Finally, city administrators must determine how they will deal
with properties within designated conservation areas. Aside from code
enforcement, cities have few alternatives to deal with problems of
badly deteriorating structures. Receivership laws, condemnation,
homesteading and ownership cooperatives are some of the new tools
developers are using to solve these problems. If such tools fail, the
city has usually no further legal options and mustattempt to deal with
the owner who is often unsympathetic to the problem. Code enforce-
ment can be used either to improve the quality of a structure or
expedite displacement and ultimate abandonment of a property when
owners either pass the cost of compliance with codes on to tenants or
abandon the structure altogether in order to avoid the costs of im-
proving the property.
Zoning is the most important legal tool for preserving and protect-
ing neighborhoods and historic sites. Recently, new approaches to
zoning have been developed. Incentive zoning is such a new tool in
which density with its economic rewards is traded for development
plans which offer services and amenities. Other zoning tools-transfer
of development rights, hou-ing quality standards, and economic
sIbsidy--are newly developed tools being used to protect the integrity
In several instances, courts have questioned the use of specially
de. ignitcd districtss as preservat ion tools. Zoning implies a regulation
issued as a result of an overview of the needs of the locality as a whole
to regulate development. The courts have taken the view that historic
district conirnmiions are too specific to exercise so broad a use of
regulatory powers. Many believe that there should be an overall
planning and zonig approach to landinark and community conserva-
tion rather than designation of specific sites or (districts. Courts will
increasingly look at the existence of an overall zoning plan which con-
siders all needs of an entire co0mu1unity.
Another legal issue is the taking issue which says that if the use of
private property is regulated too intensely, it is "taking" from the
owner without just compensation. The courts, until the late 19th-
century, tended to deny compensation to owners who had lost their
business properties. but this stance has gradually changed. In urban
neighborhoods, this issue becomes more critical where development
pressures are strong.
The line which the courts have drawn between taking of property
without due process of law or compensation, and the regulation of
use under the police power, turns on the question of economic return.
Where a regulation prevents an owner from realizing a return on his
investment, the regulation may become a taking of property without
due compensation. This issue arises especially in communities subject
to strong development pressures in areas of historic or architectural
value. Here the interests of the public in preserving a valuable public
asset are pitted against the interests of owners and their right to de-
velop their properties as they desire.
When zoning laws have created problems for businesses, property
owners have alleged hardship and requested zoning variances. Ex-
cessive numbers of zoning variances have become prevalent and in
many communities more and more developers who favor higher floor-
area-ratios are granted variances on the basis that it promotes growth.
Thev are confronted by people who live in these neighborhoods of
low density and small scale.
.Finally, condemnation laws affect neighborhood conservation when
a property is condemned for a public purpose and then implementa-
tion is delayed. There are numerous instances where a public authority
designates properties for condemnation, then waits several years
before beginning the program or does not implement the program at
all. Usually this results in decay, crime, and blight conditions in the
Business interest in a conservation area must be strong if the area
is going to succeed without public subsidies. Efforts to stimulate a
good financial attitude toward a conservation area have focused on
several issues regarding lending institutions, the potential of the
property tax and uses of certain new government programs.
Redlining and disinvestment by lending institutions are central
economic issues. Redlining refers to the practice of lending institutions
to refuse to invest in neighborhoods or areas that are deemed a high
risk. Redlining takes many forms. It can require higher downpayments
from borrowers, higher loan interest rates, higher closing costs, and
shorter loan maturities. Borrowers in redlined neighborhoods
sometimes have to pay discount points or meet more stringent struc-
tural standards. Often a "balloon mortgage" is given the borrower
which reduces the lender's risk, takes much longer to liquidate and
increases the debt service.
Poorly maintained housing, vandalism, substandard city services
and high operating costs in a neighborhood may contribute to red-
lining. It is not necessarily confined to the reluctance of lending insti-
tutions to invest but also may include landlords and businessmen as
well. Landlords who are unable to obtain mortgages for purchases or
renovation are unable to resell or refinance, thus they treat their
property as a short-term investment. Property owners exact the high-
est possible rent and reduce maintenance to a minimum. This contri-
butes to deterioration and often can lead to abandonment.
Local property taxes can affect financial investment in a conserva-
tion area. Because many ordinances do not usually differentiate be-
tween a tax on land -and a tax on land improvements, it is often to
the advantage of the owner not to improve his property and to sell it.
Property improvements usually increase property taxes and can result
in a reluctance to invest in improvements.
The tax incentives issue is much debated. Until the early 1960s,
it was generally felt that public purposes were best advanced by
government-thus the massive programs of government public hous-
ing. However, more recently, it has become apparent that low and
moderate income housing can also be provided by the private sector.
The private sector can make use of tax benefits and these can represent
important incentives for private enterprise to provide public housing
Federal real estate tax depreciation allowances also affect stabiliza-
tion of neighborhoods. Section 167K of the Internal Revenue Code
permits a 5-year tax write-off for rehabilitation expenditures in low
and moderate income housing. However, the Section yields benefits
chiefly in cases of major renovation. If the Section were recast to allow
moderate income owners to participate through less extensive renova-
tion, its use would probably greatly expand. Landlords could profit
from the Section in a similar manner. Legislation has been introduced
since 1972 under the title of Environmental Protection Tax Act which
would deny accelerated depreciation benefits in cases of demolition
of historic buildings and replacement by new ones.
Rent controls which limit rent levels and rates of increase on
apartments often contribute to the decay of a neighborhood because
owners insist that they cannot maintain their properties subject, to
limited rental income. They treat their properties as short-term
investments and may defer maintenance and contribute to decay of
the area. In conservation areas, when rent controls are lifted, rents
usually increase dramatically and displacement can occur.
Section 8 funds, distributed by HUD as rent subsidies for low and
moderate income housing for new or substantially rehabilitated units
is discussed in Chapter VI. Local governments, owners and business
face a dilemma regarding the use of Section 8 funds; do they allocate
Section 8 funds for renovation which may drive up rents and drive
out tenants or do they allocate such aid to new construction, thus
bypassing marginal or declining neighborhoods and contributing to
their ultimate decay? Section 8 rent subsidy dollars can offer an
important element to neighborhood conservation if they can be used
for renovation without a major rent rise.
A very imuport ant factor governing neighborhood conservation is
the conservatioli-ts' ibility toprotect neighborhood resources within
tlie frainework of afn intelligent growth policy. Preservationists have
traditionally been reluctant to face issues of growth and development
in the private sector. 'Thlie interests of preservation and those of market
economy have often found it difficult to work together. The location
of the neighborhood is a factor which greatly determines its ability
to remain an entity. If a conservation area is located near a central
business district it may suffer great land and development pressures.
A conservation area without strong protection will find it difficult to
protect its amenities in the face of development demands. Incentive
zoning such as density bonuses can help alleviate this conflict.
Many communities which are striving to maintain their small scale
neighborhood character suffer a loss of retail services due to businesses
moving from downtown to the outskirts in search of larger markets.
Businesses are offered few incentives to remain and adapt themselves
to older buildings. Some developers feel that modern businesses will
only rent modern offices. Adaptive re-use has been discussed in the
report. Yet with a healthy conservation area with thriving business
activities, other problems occur. Many cities have realized the potential
of conservation. Preservation has brought handsome profits to some
areas through real estate, the tourist industry and publicity. With
such popularity comes a greater burden of city services as well as
tensions over new construction on the fringes of historic districts. Also
tourist facilities have brought out hostility between businesses and
residents. The residents maintain that over popularity detracts from
their quality of life. Too, special shops appear which cater to tourists
and neighborhood convenience stores close.
Growth restraints have been used in some places. High-rise con-
struction in a central business core can change the visual scale of
surrounding neighborhoods. In San Francisco, neighborhoods near
the central business district backed an ordinance to impose a limit
on building height. The limitation proposal was defeated in a refer-
endum vote because it was too simplistic as an urban design tool.
It was opposed by business interests on the basis that limitations would
erode the city's tax base. The question still remains, can central
cities economically survive on a no-growth tax base and if so what
revenues will be generated to deliver city services? The answer appears
to lie in the integration of conservation neighborhoods into the
comprehensive planning program for a city.
The impact of neighborhood conservation on social issues is least
known or understood. The majority of rental housing in conservation
neighborhoods is owned and managed by landlords with little experi-
ence in management who suffer from financial restraints of bank
disinvestment, high operating costs and low income tenants. Self-
help is an important issue. Homesteading has not achieved the successes
anticipated because of the need for assistance and self-help for the
homesteader. Code enforcement has social implications in that it
may cause abandonment and thus affect the tenant. Recently it has
been proposed that tenants be given initiative for code compliance.
Tenants are becoming increasingly militant and are raising issues such
as implied covenant and warranty of habitability to justify inter-
vention in traditional landlord activities. If such initiatives were
given to the tenant, he would be in a stronger legal position to repair
and deduct the costs from the rent and be eligible for a share of tax
The second major social issue is displacement which has been dis-
cussed in Chapter V. Displacement stems from two causes: non-
conforming uses of structures and upgrading of structures. Non-
conforming structures in a redevelopment plan are often demolished.
Residents must find temporary quarters elsewhere, often outside the
neighborhood, and usually do not return. Displacement due to
upgrading is more serious. While upgrading of a building affects
owners, it is the tenant who cannot afford the rent and has to move.
At present, there are few legal mechanisms to prevent such displace-
ment. One of the goals of neighborhood conservation is to give
people the option to remain in a viable community or to move. A
good program of neighborhood conservation must be coupled with
commitment to delivery of city services, protection of retail shopping
and incentives for employment in the community.
A final issue concerns the degree of participation among neighbor-
hood groups in conservation. Many factions divide a neighborhood
and much work must be done to channel all interests toward a common
goal of conservation. Local history oriented preservation efforts tend
to originate among a cluster of private groups. The main responsi-
bility for advancing a program eventually resides in a single group.
Housing and conservation oriented efforts tend to have a more political
public base and sponsorship takes on a more public, socially oriented
framework. There are a number of factors which contribute to divisions
in a conservation p)rogramn. Among them are religious, racial, ethnic,
income, political and geographical problems. An important element
which cn contribute to the stability of a neighborhood is the par-
ticipation of neighborhood institutions. Colleges, hospitals, churches
and museums provide leadership roles and centers for jobs as well
as community activity. Problems may arise when these institutions
expand into historic areas and cause displacement of neighborhood
Whether a neighborhood conservation program relies on a formal
coh!,sive organization or a few key leaders who work together in-
formally, its success depends on the willingness of all concerned groups
to cooperate constructively.
The physical design of a neighborhood is much harder to control
than the social, political, economic and legal issues that confront
a neighborhood. Public design policy is needed in a neighborhood
if it is to remnlain viable, attract and keep residents and encourage
maintenance. Such a concern for design originated with the land-
marks preservation movement which pressed for guidelines and
regulations centered on the fabric of the neighborhood and was
subject to review by n board. While such review has been prevalent in
significant architectural or historical neighborhoods, this review of
physical design lias not been considered in less significant neighbor-
hoods which do not po(sscss clearc.it architectural significance. Physical
design policy in neighborhoods embraces three issues: (1) the degree
of housing rehabilitation and the type of new construction permitted,
(2) the flexibility of existing guidelines to insure that strict and specific
requirement-, do not have an adverse effect on the neighborhood, and
(3) the recognition of the need for open space-parks, scenic views'
etc., which are incorporated in the broader context of a comprehensive
plan for the neighborhood.
The issue of the period which a district or single building should
seek to recapture or to which new construction should seek to con-
form is an old question among historic preservationists and developers.
The issue is serious because often personal biases and preferences
creep into the standards of restoration. A city's planning commission
or urban renewal agency may disagree with a historic preservation
group as to the extent to which a building of the colonial period should
retain Victorian embellishments. Often later additions to a building,
particularly of the Victorian era, are considered bad and therefore
removed. Such removal represents a bias and, on a massive scale,
could lead to the destruction of vestiges of an important period in the
neighborhood's history. Also some preservation groups tend to ignore
structures other than significant residential architecture associated
with persons or events in history. Warehouses and indu-trial plants
are notable examples of this tendency.
Communities must write rehabilitation guidelines and ordinances
that reflect existing heights, setbacks, materials, colors and textures.
Strict guidelines can place a burden on a property owner in securing
financing to carry out rehabilitation. Regarding new construction
in a preserved neighborhood, the question arises as to whether the
new building will imitate the character of the surrounding older
structures or new construction will reflect modern design so that
confusion will not ariqe as, to which building is old and which is new.
An additional concern is the problem of control of areas on the
fringes of a historic district. A conservation area needs to be safe-
guarded against non-conforming development on its fringes by buffer
zones whose scale will not disrupt the historic area.
Within a neighborhood preservation project, owners are faced with
the problem of the degree to which they will renovate their property.
Will they rehabilitate only to make the building structurally sound in
order to keep current tenants or will they rehabilitate substantially
in order to attract more affluent upper income tenants? Upward
conversion poses a serious problem for neighborhood conservation
because it tends to destroy housing for low to moderate income
persons and tends to alter the character of the community. In a non-
designated district upward conversion can destroy the architectural
harmony of the area unless held by zoning, tax and relocation controls.
Finally, the question of how much to renovate in a neighborhood
is an important issue. Many feel that extensive physical renovation
is important from a long-range viewpoint even though it may require
demolition, reconstruction, high capital costs and displacement of
tenants. They feel that preventive maintenance will not last the
duration of a loan and that investment in an unsound structure is
only supportable if the structure is made physically sound. Advocates
of moderate renovation point to the social implications of massive
rehabilitation which result in high rent rolls, relocation, loss of com-
munity cohesion and marketability of units.
The issues involved in urban conservation are complex and solu-
tions are not easy. Yet, throughout the country individuals, groups
and governments are devising strategies and approaches that can
stimulate conservation and preservation efforts. Much remains to be
done and accomplished to insure that a city and its neighborhoods
remain healthy and vital.
APPENDIX II-UsEs OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS
The following examples illustrate how Housing and Community
Development Act funds are being used by communities for preserva-
tion related programs and projects.
Source: Preservation News, May, 1976, "Uses of HCDA Funds"
Cortland, N.Y.-$142,000 of $500,000 total (about 28%) for
exterior rehabilitation grants for commercial buildings on Main
Street; restoration of fire station; and restoration of 1890 house
owned by Cortland County Landmarks Society.
Racine, Wis.-$45,000 for preservation programs, including survey.
San Francisco, Calif.-$100,000 for preservation loan program for
restoration and rehabilitation of structure of architectural merit
and community significance where other loans are not available to
owner. Emphasis on exterior restoration. Administered by Foundation
for San Francisco's Architectural Heritage.
La Crosse, Wis.-$20,000 of $668,000 total (about 3%) for restoring
and preserving properties for historical, architectural or aesthetic
Sioux Falls, S.D.-$200,000 for historic preservation rehabilitation
grants and loans.
Albany, N.Y.-$58,000 of $1.4 million total (about 4%) for feasi-
bility study on reuse of railroad station; acquisition, rehabilitation and
sale of selected buildings in Upper and Lower Arbor Hill and South
Spokane, Wash.-$25,000 for a city historic resources inventory.
Davidson County, Tenn.-Preservation plan for Davidson County
being funded with block grant funds.
Pipestone, Minn.-$10,000 to develop design guidelines and
preservation plan for downtown commercial area.
Tampa, Fla.-$50,000 for community preservation activities.
Ellensburg, Wash.-$5,000 to aid in restoring the historic Kittitas
County Museum building.
Boston, Mass.-20% rebate on home repair bills. Up to $3,000 for
taxable incomes of less than $16,000. No nonessential work such as
room additions or swimming pool repairs eligible.
Mobile, Ala.-$330,000 for historic preservation rehabilitation
grants and loans.
Charleston, S.C.-$850,000 for three-year neighborhood preserva-
tion and revitalization plan in 75 square-block historic neighborhood.
SLouisville, Ky.-$272,600 of $8.6 million (about 3%) for preserva-
Bethlehem, Pa.-$25,000 for the revitalization and restoration of
economic areas or buildings.
Indianapolis, Ind.-$50,000 for historic preservation rehabilitation
grants and loans.
Winooski, Vt.-Block grant funds will be used for restoration of
oldest building in town, Old Stone House (1790).
Troy, N.Y.-$230,000 of $1.4 million total (about 17%) for re-
habilitation into a neighborhood center of late 1800s warehouse;
restoration of 1882 firehouse into neighborhood center with recreation
facilities and library; restoration of Burden Iron Works Office Building
Salem, Mass.-All first-year block grant funds used for preservation
and rehabilitation projects.
Augusta, Ga.-$18,500 for Historic Augusta Pilot Restoration
Palatka, Fla.-Restoring with block grant funds 125-year-old
howze into museum and community center.
Richmond, Va.-S$30,000 for Urban Character and Historic Con-
servation Plan, comprehensive study of historic preservation needs.
Lo; Gateo, Calif.-$175,000 for three-year revolving loan and
grant fund for historic preservation and rehabilitation improvements
by owners or occupants of pre-1900 houses.
Dayton, Ohio.-$600,000 for housing rehabilitation revolving fund.
Cleveland, Ohio.-$10,000 for historic preservation rehabilitation
grants and loans.
Lexington, Ky.-$54,000 of $1.1 million total (about 5%) for
historic preservation rehabilitation fund. Loans up to $5,000 at 3
percent a year to be made in four designated historic areas.
Provo, Utah.-$40,000 for aid to businesses that wish to restore
their facades in the downtown area.
Newport, N.H.-Block grant funds, along with funds from federal
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, to be used to create recreational
park setting for Old Courthouse.
Lancaster, N.Y.-$24,200 of $25,058 total (about 96%) for re-
habilitation and restoration of 1894 county opera house as town offices
Rockville, Md.-$60,000 for preservation activities during first-
year program. City council decided to allocate no funds from second-
year program, using the previously targeted preservation funds to
pay off debts incurred by previous urban renewal projects.
(ilhicago, 111.-$1.3 million for preservation projects throughout
New York, N.Y.-$1.05 million of $102 million total (about 1%)
for acquisition and preservation of 1653 Wyckoff House and sur-
roundling land; and planning and management funds for New York
City Landmarks, Preservation Commission.
Morristown, N.J.-Funds being used to set up 3 percent interest
rehabilitation loan fund in historic area.
York, Pa.-Block grant funds to be used as basic funding source
for future preservation projects.
New Bedford, Ma,;.-$8S50,000 for revitalization and restoration
of economic areas or buildings and $470,000 for historic preservation
rehabilitation grants and loans.
San Antonio, Tex.-Nearly $5 million of $16 million total for
preservation related projects including restoration, rehabilitation
and adaptive use of downtown buildings, renewal of historic down-
town plaza/park, acquisition of land in the historic district, and
restoration of a Victorian cominiercial area.
Amherst, N.Y.-S15,500 (8% of $176,314 total) for moving of
historic structures to new site of Old Amherst Colony Park outdoor
Babylon, N.Y.-$25,000 (6% of $430,000 total) for restoration and
rehabilitation of former town hall for museum.
. Binghamton, N.Y.-$100,000 (2% of $5,000,000 total) for restora-
tion of city library roof.
Buffalo, N.Y.-$30,000 (0.3% of $11,700,000 total) for staff and
office space to administer city's new preservation ordinance.
$1,000,000+ for renovation revolving loan fund in 15 areas, some of
which are potential National Register or local historic districts.
Non-CD program: $600,000 from Economic Development Admin-
istration Labor Intensive Program for site improvements and cleaning
of monument in Niagara Square.
East Aurora, N.Y.-$5,881 (33% of $15,881 total) for survey of
historically significant buildings and sites aimed at developing amend-
ments to the village zoning code to provide for historic districts.
Eden, N.Y.-$8,787 (44% of $18,787 total) for partial restoration
of c. 1820 Asa Warren House owned by Eden Historical Society. Part
of the house will be restored as historical society offices and a small
museum; the other part will be maintained as an apartment.
Hudson, N.Y.-$526,000 (57% of $919,000 total) for exterior
rehabilitation through facade easements of 9 buildings and acquisition
of 3 buildings to be sold at write-down in Front St.-Parade Hill-Lower
Warren St. Historic District; interior and exterior rehabilitation of
19th-century firehouse for continued use as firehouse; site improve-
ments and exterior and interior rehabilitation grants for 98 mixed
usage buildings in business district. Non-CD block grant program:
$1,750,000 combination of Urban Renewal, Section 312, Section 115
and conventional mortgage monies for exterior and interior rehabilita-
tion of 40 buildings in Front St.-Parade Hill-Lower Warren St.
Ithaca, N.Y.-$10,000 (2% of $427,000 total) for historic re-
habilitation low interest loan fund for exterior work, as part of larger
rehabilitation loan program in North Side and South Side areas.
Lockport, N.Y.-$40,000 (2% of $1,900,000 total) for rehabilita-
tion of city hall which will be leased as a restaurant and museum.
Non-CD block grant programs: urban renewal monies for exterior
rehabilitation of Washington-Hunt House and Section 312 low interest
rehabilitation loans available in Lowertown National Register
McGraw, N.Y.-$102,800 (35% of $286,000 total) for restoration
and rehabilitation of 19th-century house for apartments for the
Mt. Kisco, N.Y.-$50,000 (12% of $389,000 total) for relocation
and rehabilitation of railroad station.
Newburgh, N.Y.-$261,000 (12% of $2,018,000 total) for acquisi-
tion and rehabilitation of Dutch Reformed Church for use as com-
North Hempstead, N.Y.-$20,000 (1% of $2,618,000 total) for
restoration of toll gate house in cemetery as visual amenity; restora-
tion of Roslyn clock tower in Main Street Historic District; reconstruc-
tion of stone wall next to Starkins House, leased by Roslyn Landmarks
Society and operated as a museum.
Plattsburg, N.Y.-$20,000 (2% of $827,000 total) for restoration
of Kent DeLord House museum; donation of funds to Clinton County
Historical Society for future acquisition of building for its offices.
Poughkeepsie, NY.-$350,000 (3% of $10,800,000 total) for ex-
terior restoration through facade easements of 35 buildings in the
Union Street and the Mill Street-North Clover Street historic districts.
Rochester, N.Y.-$100,000 (0.7% of $14,600,000 total) for moving
of 3 residences onto vacant lots in Third Ward National Register
historic district; public improvements in Grove Place Preservation
District. $1,000,000+ for low interest rehabilitation loan program,
some in National Register and local historic districts.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-$45,000 (5% of $1,045,000 total) for
restoration of city-owned Drink Hall.
Smithtown, N.Y.-$43,000 (35% of $123,000 total) for relocation
of Caleb Smith House, a town-owned museum, to allow for parking lot
expansion for adjacent library; site improvements for Obediah Smith
House, owned by Smithtown Historical Society and to be developed as
Tonowanda, N.Y.-$100,000 (13% of $741,000 total) for acquisition
and restoration of 1829 log cabin for museum and acquisition of the
surrounding 41 acre peninsula for park.
White Plains, N.Y.-$50,000 (1.2% of $3,721,000 total) for
relocation and rehabilitation of Purdy House, Washington's field
headquarters, as museum.
Williamsville, N.Y.-$10,539 (66% of $15,339 total) for restoration
of Glens Falls Entranceway to Glens Falls Park.
Yorktown, N.Y.-$50,000 (11% of $426,000 total) for acquisition
and restoration of Cristal Farm, pre-Revolutionary War buildings,
and acquisition and development of surrounding land for park.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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