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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Finding the Top 10 Cities for Historic Preservation in the U.S.

We are starting off 2013 asking what are the Top 10 Cities for Historic Preservation in the U.S.?

The Livability website issued their own list of the Top 10 Cities for Historic Preservation.
10. Victoria, TX
9. Danville, KY
8. Muskogee, OK
7. Pueblo, CO (107,577)
6. Abingdon, VA
5. St. Augustine, FL
4. Franklin, TN
3. Santa Fe, NM
2. Savannah, GA (139,491)
1. Charleston, SC (122,689)
While a helpful starting point, this list tends to be dominated by smaller cities. Only three cities on the Livability list have populations over 100,000. While population alone cannot and should not be the sole decider of whether a place is a leading city for preservation, it stands to reason that many of the larger-sized cities have been around longer and due to their greater population have more people and resources to dedicate to ongoing historic preservation efforts. Unlike smaller sized areas, however, the preservation work in larger cities tends to get lost among all of the other economic activity occurring there.

Having said all of that, we've come up with a revised list of the Top 10 Cities for Historic Preservation in the U.S. The smallest of these cities, Baltimore has a population of 619,493, while the largest, New York, has over 8 million residents. Further, the reason we chose to select these cities while omitting more populous areas, is because in our view these cities have well established historic preservation organizations and a clear commitment to preservation in ways that other large cities do not.

The links below go to an online paper for each city. We've selected 25 of the leading preservation organizations and individuals in each city. An online paper is generated each day from links posted to the Twitter accounts for those sources. The resulting paper for each city will then be used as a tool to judge the level of historic preservation activity in each city.
New York City, NY (1)
Los Angeles, CA (2)
Chicago, IL (3)
Philadelphia, PA (5)
San Antonio, TX (7)
Indianapolis, IN (12)
San Francisco, CA (14)
Detroit, MI (18)
Boston, MA (21)
Baltimore, MD (24)
In the coming year we will closely follow these initial ten cities and see what we can learn about preservation as it is practiced in each one. Throughout the year we may add, delete, or change the ordering of cities on this list. Ultimately, our hope is to come up with a list of the best cities for historic preservation in the U.S. We will then release that list at the end of 2013.

Feel that your city has been left out, or have any other special opinions that you'd like to share? Let us know on Twitter @placepromo or by writing to placepromo(at)gmail.com.