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Lecturer to discuss economics of preservation
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Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center (CGRDC) recently announced awarding of a special grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The purpose of the grant request is to bring a preservation economist to coastal Georgia for a two-part lecture series, “Preservation Economics in Coastal Georgia.”   

Scheduled for May 24 and May 25 in Richmond Hill and Brunswick, this outreach project has been funded in part by a grant from the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation Preservation Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Those contributing organizations and non-profits who invested in this project include the Eugenia Price-Joyce Blackburn Foundation, Cassina Garden Club and Neptune Garden Club of St. Simons Island, Liberty County Historical Society, Brunswick Landmarks Foundation, Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, Tybee Island Historical Society, Windsor Park Homeowner’s Association, Friends of Historic Jekyll Island, and the Savannah College of Art & Design.   

Donovan Rypkema  is  the author of numerous publications, including the well-received book entitled “The Economics of Historic Preservation.” His booklet, Profiting from the Past, The Impact of Historic Preservation on the North Carolina Economy noted that “the economic impact of preservation is significant, complex and widespread.” Among others, those impacts derive from investing in Main Street Programs, Heritage Tourism and the Cottage Crafts industry promoted through arts councils and folklore life programming.

Rypkema’s presence in coastal Georgia contributes toward the CGRDC’s recognition of the importance of celebrating National Preservation Month and is an outgrowth of interest expressed by the center’s ten-county Historic Preservation Advisory Council. In August 2006, Council membership endorsed pursuing a Preservation Services Fund (PSF) grant available through the National Trust for promoting preservation and providing public outreach.  When the CGRDC Board of Directors concurred, the center’s preservation planner, Patricia Barefoot, moved forward with an inquiry about grant guidelines; the rest is history.  

“It is vitally important that we promote public outreach opportunities for the general public, as an ongoing effort.  This is one way to demonstrate how historic preservation enriches our lives” said CGRDC Executive Director Vernon Martin.

Rypkema’s lecture at Richmond Hill will be held at the John W. Stevens Wetlands Education Center, J.F. Gregory Park, from 3-5 p.m. on May 24. He will talk about “The Economics of Preservation in Coastal Georgia.”  

The following evening from 6-8 p.m., Rypkema will be at Brunswick’s Old City Hall, 1229 Newcastle Street, Brunswick talking about “Using Historic Resources to Create Workforce Housing.”  Both lectures are available to the public at no cost.