Historic Preservation – Economic Developer’s Friend

WACV, a local FM talk radio station, has periodically on its morning show a segment called “Did You Know…”

Today on Midtown Montgomery Living we’re going to play that game.

What do the (soon-to-be a boutique hotel) Murphy House, the train shed on the Montgomery riverfront, and the warehouses-now-office-buildings along Commerce Street have in common?

(Cue sound effect:  ding…ding…ding)  Time’s up!

The answer: They are all standing and beautifully renovated today thanks to the direct and/or indirect action of Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, the City’s private nonprofit historic preservation organization.  Were it not for Landmarks and the efforts it puts forth, these and too many others to name might be rubble.

And Landmarks is not the only group actively promoting historic preservation in our community.  The other worthy organization is the City’s own Historic Preservation Commission, chaired by Dr. Richard Bailey.  At their recommendation, Mayor Todd Strange declared each May as Historic Preservation Month, which is recognized by communities throughout the nation.

The HPC also instituted a series of preservation awards, the purpose of which is twofold:

  • To encourage excellence in the planning, design, and execution of projects affecting the City’s historic resources and heritage.
  • To raise greater public awareness and understanding of historic preservation efforts and their benefits to the City of Montgomery.

Last night the HPC announced the second year’s award winners, who were:

Overall Restoration/Residential – 346 Cloverdale, Garden District. David Hughes, owner; Glen Riley, contractor

Reintroduction of Historic Detail in a Residential Property- Michael Anderson craftsman – 19 S Capital Parkway, Capital Heights.

Restoration Craftsmanship All historic districts, Marshall Millwork

And, I am proud to say, I was the recipient of the Robert G. Daniel Award for distinguished service in historic preservation. In plain English that means I’ve been a thorn in the flesh of many City and developer types for nearly 40 years! As I said to Mayor Strange, Dr. Bailey and others in attendance, there’s more to preservation than just doing the right thing. “Historic preservation is an incredibly useful economic development tool. The more of our history that we preserve, the more heritage tourism, and the more positive press the city is going to enjoy and that translates into dollars.”

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.



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