How to defeat historic preservation: scare people

That’s precisely what a group of developers and third-wave gentrifiers did back in 2007 when they created One Oakhurst to gin up opposition to the creation of a proposed Oakhurst local historic district in Decatur, Ga. Several of the folks behind One Oakhurst were web-savvy IT professionals who created untraceable anonymous email accounts and a blog that successfully avoided caching by search engines like Google. Continue reading

Preservation’s three “R”s

Montgomery County, Maryland’s historic preservation office supervisor Scott Whipple authored a great post on an exchange he had with a school girl at a planning open house last weekend. Scott had asked the girl why historic preservation was important:

She told me that historic preservation is important because it was better to reuse buildings than to throw them in the trash.

Yes! This girl got it. OK, it took a slight prompt from her mom. But she got it. She was thinking differently. It is better to reuse buildings than to throw them in the trash.

Read the complete post at the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Straight Line blog.

There’s a mansion on the hill … (updated)

Developers paid better than the corn / But this was not the place where they were born — John Gorka, “Houses in the Fields” (Jacks Crows, 1991)

After the fall of 2011, each time I passed through the intersection of Ansley Street and Greenwood Avenue in Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood, Neil Young’s song title immediately popped into my head, along with the lyrics from two tunes on John Gorka’s 1991 album, Jack’s Crows. On the hill overlooking the intersection is Liz and Rob Broadfoot’s 2,800-square-foot home. Its historically inspired projecting bays and exaggerated Craftsman details look out over Oakhurst’s smaller homes conveying an air of conspicuous consumption and privilege.

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