It’s night. You’re standing on a platform waiting for the train to arrive, while you’re admiring the glowing skyline in the distance. Where are you?
Maybe you guessed somewhere iconic. New York? Chicago? How about Atlanta? If this was your guess then you were exactly correct.
When many people picture the city of Atlanta they are most likely envisioning the skyline pictured above, but it’s also important to note that Atlanta is also home to a rich history still present throughout its many communities. But what does this matter with all the rapid growth? After all, wouldn’t you think that preserving old buildings and sites would only stagger growth? This leads to the central focus: How have the historic spaces within Atlanta contributed to the city’s economic as well as physical growth?
The Relationship between Historical Preservation and Economic Development
Rypkema, Donovan. “Culture, Historic Preservation and Economic Development in the 21st Century.” Columbia, http://www.columbia.edu/cu/china/DRPAP.html. Accessed 4 March 2017.
This article addresses how historical preservation and the creation of these sites can lead to significant economic development. More specifically, Rypkeme defined historical preservation in terms of economic transformation. Some of the positive factors mentioned that may contribute to the economy include “job creation…and training”, “import substitution”, “compatibility of modernization…and evolution”, being a “natural business incubator for small enterprises” and the “opportunity for tourism”. When looking at this list it’s important to note that the ideas were originally created with China in mind. I, however, decided to include this article in my annotated bibliography, because the benefits are also applicable to the city of Atlanta. To continue on in the article, Rypkema then discusses the ways historical preservation and economic development affect public policies. The detailed list that seems most relevant for the annotated bibliography’s purpose include the spectrum of scale for preservation projects (they all do not have to be massive), that the areas are “determined as appropriate targets for public intervention”, provide appropriate spaces for the creation of organizations, and the chance to modernize without the destruction of history. In sum, the article identifies the positive ways in which historical preservation can promote growth in cities, such as Atlanta.
As I previously mentioned, the text cited above provides information to how historical preservation sites are a factor in both physical and economic growth in Atlanta over the years. One of the most important factors is tourism. Below I have attached several pictures of Atlanta’s most commonly known historical sites. To be more specific, I felt that the inclusion of the pictures further provided evidence of this industry and it’s significant impact on the city. Could you imagine Atlanta without the Oakland Cemetery? Without the Flat Iron building? Without the Hurt Plaza?
Overall, I felt the inclusion of this piece was necessary, because it lays the groundwork by introducing reoccurring themes that will be addressed in the following articles. Furthermore, as explained above, the article also address how historical development shapes Atlanta (and the economy) through the incorporation of several distinct factors. I also choose this article, because the article’s author, Rypkema, is very acclaimed in the field and is published in various sources. This adds credibility to his work!
Understanding Atlanta's Economic Growth
Sjoquist, David L. & Lakshmi Pandey. “A Comparison of Economic Growth Trends between Atlanta and Other Large Metropolitan Areas” The Center for State and Local Finance, 6 Oct. 2015, http://cslf.gsu.edu/files/2015/10/Comparison-of-Economic-Growth-Trends-_October-2015.pdf. Accessed 20 March 2017.
As a comparison piece, Sjoquist and Pandey explain Atlanta’s economic and physical growth through various charts and data tables – some pictured below. In the written explanation, the author details how Atlanta compares to other metropolitan areas in the categories of “population”, “employment”, and “per capita income. To be more specific, the first section, which is titled “population”, focuses on the change in population from 1990 to 2013. As expected Atlanta’s population increased both in number as well as in rank “from 12th to 9th”, a comparable increase similar to other metropolitan areas. Furthermore, Atlanta’s employment growth increased in a similar manner compared to population, “because the correlation between population and employment is very high”. In comparison with other cities, Atlanta has experienced similar if not better growth in term of economic and population growth. However, the authors note that Atlanta performs underwhelmingly in terms of per capita growth compared to other large metropolitan areas. (More specifically, the percent increase in “per capita income” was significantly lower than its counterparts.) In their conclusion, the authors then somewhat alluded to a call for action for Georgia to “rethink its economic development strategy, both in terms types of jobs that are being added and the skill levels of the workers”.
After reading and viewing the graphs, I thought that the ideas included in this bibliography would be a relevant reply to the issue addressed in this piece. For example, the source provided evidence that preserving historical sites provided jobs which would produce skilled workers. (An area of concern discussed by other authors in later entries.) Additionally, the jobs that require such skills have the potential to aid the percentage of “per capita income growth”. Overall, the inclusion of this piece provide evidence and understanding of the rapid growth of Atlanta both physically and economically but is also critical of changes that need to be addressed. I not only choose this text due to its detailed subject matter, but also because it was created by departments here at Georgia State which adds to it’s credibility. Finally, I feel that I must note that the article may have a weak point, because the authors may be more subjective rather than objective since they are actually familiar with Atlanta.
Historical Tourism's Role in Atlanta's Economy
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division. “Economic Incentives.” Georgia Department of Natural Resources, http://georgiashpo.org/incentives/development.
After looking at how historical spaces can contribute to the economic and physical growth of cities theoretically, it is arguably also important to provide evidence from Atlanta’s own sites. I choose to use the information from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. According to the website’s page, the author recognized what the other authors insisted in their own articles. Namely, “that historic preservation in Georgia spurs investment, attracts visitors, revitalizes downtowns, and effectively leverages scarce resources”, therefore adding monetary value to Georgia economy as well as attracting residents. Furthermore, the author also gave specific examples of how this occurs. For example, Georgia promotes the “rehabilitation of historic buildings” through tax incentive programs. This, in turn, creates incentives for jobs which allow workers to buy goods and services using their incomes. Finally, the author uses Susan D. Holmes, the former mayor of Monticello and a state representative, to further support the claim by citing the success of historic preservation in her own community. In light of this information, the page helps to add context to the rhetoric of Atlanta’s space, because it allowed me to understand the importance of historical sites around the city. Additionally, the text has also helped me to understand why growth has been so rapid around historical attractions. Nevertheless, I feel that I should mention that this piece was written with a government agency who wants to promote this phenomenon. To be more clear, this means that they may be biased in order to get the public on their side.
The Cost Efficencies of Historical Preservation
Lawson Smith, Kennedy. “Historic Preservation Meets Community Development.” The Community Land Use and Economics Group, https://www.bostonfed.org/-/media/Documents/cb/…/Smith_Historic_Preservation.pdf. Accessed 5 March 2017.
The next article I choose to include in the bibliography is centered on how historical preservation saves money, instead of just how it can produce benefits, which is arguably of equal importance. For example, the author employs the idea that instead of spending money on demolition and reconstruction, one could instead use the funds to revitalize a historic version. (This method both has the economic benefits of a traditional new construction job as well as preserving history.) Furthermore, this method could also work in both business and residential areas, even creating subjectively better affordable housing. Overall, I felt that this article contributed nicely to the other pieces by backing up their points, while also providing a new perspective on the economic benefits of historical preservation. This information can also be applicable to our own city since the buildings will continue to age. Therefore, this article may influence developers to consider the option of revitalizing rather than rebuilding. An example of such building in Atlanta includes the Flatiron building and the Hurt Plaza. However, it’s important to note that one weakness is that the article was written with Bosten specifically in mind, instead of Atlanta.
Benefits of the Historical Preservation of Housing
O’Connell, Kim A. “Caught Between Housing & History”. Journal of Housing & Community Development, Sept./Oct. 2004, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=9&sid=2b9fcc29-0ecb-4482-9e97-e457bac7d8dc%40sessionmgr104&hid=119&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=14503054&db=a9h
The following article by O’Connell addresses the issue of whether it is better to preserve historic housing or build new amenities in order to address the needs of a growing population. Within this population, the author focuses on those that are in need of affordable housing, which is more likely to be older buildings. After all, “the National Trust for Historical Preservation [states] 32 percent of household below the poverty line live in older and historic homes”, further accentuating the issue. From the author’s viewpoint, buildings, such as the Techwood Homes mentioned in the article, could be equally as good if not better than destruction and rebuilding. The author then cites several different points to support her arguments as well as further back the ideas that permeate all the sources in the bibliography. One such benefit is that “developers can take advantage of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit”, which acts as an incentive for the historical preservation of structures. Secondly, the author promotes the idea of “communities with character” suggesting that preserved history fosters a sense of pride in residents and may contribute to their unity.
Obviously, this article relates to Atlanta in the sense that it discusses a distinct residential area, but at a deeper level it can reveal a great deal more about the city. For example, in the first bibliography entry, I mentioned that there are small communities within the city with a distinct energy and aesthetic. In many cases, this is due to the historic buildings that are only standing due to historical preservation. Furthermore, I also choose this article, because I thought this would be an ever growing issue as housing continues to age as well as the population continues to grow. However, I think it is important to note that the article was written in 2004, so the views and evidence may be a bit dated. This somewhat discreditable factor is balanced by the author’s credentials of winning several awards, such as the Lee Prize.
A Closer Look at Communities Within
Lapenas, Denise. “Historic Preservation: Gentrification or Economic Development” Skidmore College, http://www.skidmore.edu/~bturner/ED%20Student%20Web%20Files/dlapenas5.html. Accessed 3 March 2017.
As many residents of Atlanta know, there are numerous smaller communities within the city: some areas are home to the affluent and others have mostly low-income families. Regardless of their majority income, most areas lay claim to historic sites engulfed by residential areas. Dr. Lapenas’ article depicts how the growth of the city can both encourage historical preservation as well as historical sites contributing to the physical and economic growth of the city. To be more specific, Lapenas details that the creation of such sites can create economic growth through jobs, tourism markets, and overall revitalization of urban environments. This, in turn, contributes to the rapid growth of the physical city as well as a push for similar sites to be established in other areas so that they may too reap the same benefits. However, as Lapenas points out, the inclusion of historic sites may also lead to gentrification, which as previously stated, can be observed in Atlanta’s trendier communities. From reading the article, it has provided evidence of why and how communities located closer to more popular historic sites tend to be more affluent due to the increased economic activity. Furthermore, this knowledge contributes to understanding the overall space of Atlanta and why there seems to be such rapid growth of residential areas around certain sites, instead of the historic sites being more clustered as one might expect. I choose this article because I felt that it would provide both sides of the argument as to how rapid growth is both affecting as well as being affected by historic sites. In the same regard, I also thought it was beneficial to clearly identify the pros and cons of the situation. Although I feel that it is worth mentioning, that this source was not directly obtained from a scholarly collection, so it, therefore, loses some of its credibility.
Below I have attached two postcards. One is a postcard is of the downtown Atlanta skyline in 1966. The other, a current view of the city. From the discussion above, these pictures depict how much the city has truly grown. Of course, the addition of historical sites is not the only reason behind rapid growth, but it has most certainly contributed to Atlanta’s economic development. Additionally, as visitors of Atlanta know, the dense metropolis has also affected the sites by creating a more noticeable division.
Case Study One: Gainesville-Hall County
Hemmer, Lee. “Bridging economic growth with historical preservation.” Atlanta Business Chronicle, 29 Apr. 2016, http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2016/04/29/bridging-economic-growth-with-historical.html. Accessed 20 March 2017.
The next text I decided to incorporate into the bibliography was an article that primarily acts as a case study for how historical preservation can promote economic and physical growth in cities. In this case, the author focused on Gainesville-Hall County located just outside Atlanta. Lee begins by saying, “Gainesville-Hall County was recently ranked third in the nation and first in Georgia for number of economic development projects,” alluding to the county’s economic strength and potential. This leads the author to emphasize the economic power, while also identifying a particular concern: promoting growth while preserving historical sites. (This is highly relevant to both the annotated bibliography as a whole as well as the other sources.) Of particular interest, Lee then examines the example of the Healan-Head’s Grist Mill in the aforementioned counties. More specifically, the process of restoring the site in order to transform the Mill into a preserved historical site attracting tourists to the area increased economic activity in the surrounding cities. Overall, the article provides evidence to support the previous pieces; historical preservation is an effective economic growth method which in turn leads to physical growth.
Overall, I chose this case, because I felt that it is relevant to understanding our own city and how historical preservation can contribute to its growth. However, I believe it is important to note that the cities located within Gainesville-Hall County is a much smaller than that of Atlanta. However, the general information can also be applied to Atlanta. Also, I would like to point out the article was written by the associate of a chairman on the Hall Chamber of Commerce. This means that the article may have been written to promote the agenda of the Hall Chamber of Commerce, potentially to promote tourism.
Factors to Evaluate Benefits Case Study: Athens, Rome, and Tifton
Morgan, Julie D. “Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in Georgia, A Study of Three Communities: Athens, Rome, and Tifton.” Athens-Clarke County Planning Department, 1997, https://athensclarkecounty.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/291
Like the previous entry, the article by Morgan is a case study looking at the cities of Athens, Rome, and Tifton. Even though the cities are similar to the other article, I decided this article would be a good addition due to the factors the author uses to analyze the effectiveness of historical preservation to promote economic development. These factors include construction, real estate, and tourism. At a closer look, construction creates jobs as well as puts revenue into the community’s economy. Furthermore, looking at real estate may reveal a great deal about how historical preservation affects property value. Finally, tourism, as discussed in previous entries, also adds monetary value to the economy, which promotes growth. After careful analysis, the studies found that all three cities experienced beneficial results from historical preservation in the factors mentioned above.
In addition to some of the other previous articles, it’s important to understand that the article was written in 1997, so there may have been changes in the towns since the article was first written. Further, since the article was not written about Atlanta the ideas may not transfer identically to the city, but could still yield similar results. However, I believe that the factors could be applicable to measuring the benefits of historical preservation in Atlanta.
Supporting Case Study: Athens, Millegeville, Rome,and Tifton
Leithe, Joni and Patricia Tigue. “Profiting from the Past: The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Georgia.” Athens-Clarke County Unified Government and the Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 1999, http://www.georgiatrust.org/news/preservation_issues/profiting_from_the_past.pdf. Accessed 20 March 2017.
In accordance with the other texts, this source also identifies historical preservation as not only a necessary but also as a beneficial technique to promote growth in Atlanta and Georgia in general. To clarify, the author points out specific benefits of historical preservation. The first being that historical preservation “creates jobs”, a point that has been discussed in almost all of the sources. The authors then continues on by saying that preserving historical sites also “enhances property values” and “revitalizes communities”. (Both supported by cases observed in the cities of Athens, Milledgeville, Tifton, and Rome.) Finally, the authors then attest to the power of the tourism industry in both Georgia and the U.S. as a whole. More specifically, “tourists spent over $453 million on historic-related leisure activities”, translating to a booming economic sector in the Georgia economy. Overall, the tourism industry attracts visitors for longer periods of time and has a large monetary value. This allows us to see that historic cities within Atlanta have contributed to its rapid growth, following a similar trend as in Athens, Millegeville, Rome, and Tifton.
Even with these well-evidenced points, I feel it is necessary to point out that the text was written by a college in collaboration with a government department. This adds to the piece’s credibility, but it may also be biased towards promoting the government’s interests. Further, it is also important to explain that this relates to the other sources by confirming and identifying similar points. Additionally, I chose this source because it revealed the historical sites importance to the city and its relevance in the future. Finally, I also feel the need to mention that this source was written 1999, so the data and findings may be a bit outdated.
Historical Preservation and Atlanta's Economic Future
Laurie, John. “Historic Preservation and Cluster Based Economic Development.” Economic Development Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, 2008, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=c41d816f-731b-42e5-b0f1-e1d5fc425f6e@sessionmgr4008&vid=3&hid=4108. Accessed 5 March 2017.
Overall, the sources have looked at how historical preservation has affected economic and physical growth in the past, making it now necessary to analyze how these sites may change the space of Atlanta in the future. I choose this scholarly article because it focused on this perspective as well as for its credible nature since it was included in a scholarly journal as well as the in GSU library resources. More specifically, once again the author further confirms that historical preservation can contribute to economic development through the previously discussed results (i.e. the creation of jobs). However, the text offers a new idea called “culture based approach”, which focuses on the competition within a certain area increasing the strength of their economic success when looking from the perspective of a national or global economy. From there, the author then answers the question of how this relates to historical preservation. These “benefits include access to specialized knowledge, skills, and resources; lower transaction costs; specialized infrastructure; and enhanced productivity and output”, which results from such preservation. Taking this knowledge into consideration, one can imagine that historical preservation will only add to Atlanta’s newly found economic boom as it has in the past. Alluding to the ever growing development of Atlanta in the near and far future.
The future is rapidly approaching and with it the beckoning for new projects, new growth, and new innovations. These options may seem tempting, but it is also essential to keep in mind the resources already available and the existent history. Looking back at the collection of sources, it is evident that historical preservation is a means of which we can have both: rapid economic growth and salvaging history for generations to come. This, in turn, will leave a space for the growing population to thrive in as well as relish the history of those that played a role in the development of the city.