In Celebration of The 50th Anniversary of The National Historic Preservation Act

WHEREAS, 50 years ago, the United States Conference of Mayors demonstrated visionary leadership in addressing the accelerating loss of historic places across the United States by releasing With Heritage So Rich, which championed the preservation of America’s historic places as a living part of our communities; and

WHEREAS, the findings and recommendations of With Heritage So Rich formed the basis for the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which states that:

  • the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people; [and]
  • the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans;

WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act motivated the state and federal partnership of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Park Service to implement preservation programs throughout the country and led to the establishment of the Historic Preservation Fund, the principal source of funding for critically important programs that preserve our cultural resources, spur job creation and community revitalization, and foster economic growth; and

WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act inspired the creation of Federal Historic Tax Credits, which represent the largest federal investment in historic preservation and have catalyzed the rehabilitation of more than 41,250 buildings, created 2.3 million jobs, and leveraged more than $117.6 billion in private investment; and

WHEREAS, the preservation movement is deeply committed to telling the full story of our nation’s history and seeks to identify, acknowledge, and protect previously undervalued places and underrepresented communities in order to capture the full breadth and diversity of our national heritage; and

WHEREAS, historic preservation has demonstrated an unparalleled capacity to revitalize our older cities, neighborhoods, and communities; foster vibrant economic and social activity; generate jobs; spur tourism; attract talent; and contribute to the resurgence of American cities; and

WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act’s innovative and prophetic vision of historic places as a living part of our communities has even greater potential to provide broad public benefits today than it did in 1966; and

WHEREAS, the wide array of stakeholders including all levels of government, nonprofit and private enterprises, and individuals celebrating the anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act affords a singular opportunity to reinvigorate the forward-looking vision, in which the United States Conference of Mayors has a central role to play; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and recommits to another 50 years of visionary leadership in historic preservation in order to maintain our nation’s historic places as living parts of our communities and as vibrant places for Americans to live, work, and play.