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Aerial view of the Fergus Falls Asylum

Success Stories

Preservation Success Stories

Were you or your Heritage Preservation Commission involved in an education project to help raise awareness about preservation in your community? Did you collaborate with a partner, assist with a building rehab project, or help save an archaeology site? Then brag about it! Tell us about your accomplishments, big or small.

Send an email to us at MNSHPO@state.mn.us to provide information or upload materials related to work you’ve completed that met the goals of the 2012-2017 Preservation Plan.

Below are the goals and strategies from the 2012-2017 Preservation Plan. Please identify which goal and strategy your success story fits (e.g. 3f) and list the number/letter of the goal and strategy followed by details of your accomplishment. If you have more than one success story, please start a new paragraph with the next number/letter of the goal and strategy. Thank you for participating!

1. Preserve the places that matter: Increase the identification, designation and protection of Minnesota's historic and archaeological resources.

  1. Update inventory data and make the information widely accessible through new technology.
  2. Fill gaps in the survey record, focusing on archaeological resources, cultural landscapes, traditional cultural properties and historic resources of the recent past.
  3. Increase designations to local registers and the National Register for properties representing the full range and geographic spread of Minnesota’s historic resources, using grant and tax credit assistance when appropriate to bring those resources the added recognition and protection afforded by designation.
  4. Increase protections for significant resources by strengthening selected state laws (Environmental Quality Board rules, for example) and establishing local preservation ordinances.
  5. Advocate for and direct resources to threatened and underused high-profile National Register properties as well as places where advocacy will build on and enhance local capacity.

2. Promote preservation’s economic benefits: Strengthen the connections between historic preservation, community economic vitality and sustainability.

  1. Increase use of state and federal preservation tax credits for adaptive reuse of historic sites and structures.
  2. Publicize annually the economic impacts of the Minnesota Historic Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit and advocate for its reauthorization.
  3. Resurrect Minnesota’s “This Old House” law to create incentives for rehabilitating historic properties and revitalizing residential neighborhoods and to combat the loss of historic fabric from tear-downs.
  4. Increase participation, advocacy and stable funding for the Minnesota Main Street program to revitalize historic commercial centers.
  5. Invite Legacy grant applications that result in job creation and/or job training in preservation and construction trades. Report back and celebrate successes.
  6. Document and publicize the economic value and sustainability of traditional historic districts and site rehabilitation projects, and showcase energy-efficient preservation projects.
3. Educate, educate, educate: Build a foundation for effective preservation education and activism.
  1. Develop a historic preservation curriculum adaptable for all ages, including grades K–12 and trade and technical schools.
  2. Improve interpretation of cultural resources and historic sites around the state by integrating compelling, instructional stories of historic preservation.
  3. Develop and implement hands-on workshops and training opportunities that demonstrate effective treatment techniques for historic resources.
  4. Provide training and support for heritage preservation commissions, local government staff and owners of historic properties to enhance preservation outcomes.
  5. Improve understanding of and compliance with local, state and federal preservation laws.
  6. Connect Minnesota’s preservation partners and reach wider and more diverse audiences through social media and other communications vehicles.
  7. Develop and implement programs to train, equip and mobilize more volunteers to engage at all levels of historic preservation activity.
4. Increase diversity in Minnesota’s historic preservation community: Include participants who reflect the breadth of the state’s racial/ethnic groups, geography, income levels and ages.
  1. Create volunteer, training and professional opportunities in the preservation field that involve underrepresented groups, including immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities.
  2. Strengthen communication, coordination and consultation with American Indian communities. Encourage tribes to expand and enhance their historic preservation programs and develop additional preservation expertise.
  3. Expand survey and designation efforts to include properties associated with underrepresented groups and to assure that all regions of the state are fairly represented and served.
  4. Increase participation in preservation conferences, training and workshops through such means as scholarships and internships for Minnesota’s diverse populations.
  5. Include groups devoted to green and sustainable development in the network of preservation partners.
5. Lead the way: Develop leaders at all levels to strengthen Minnesota’s preservation network.
  1. Create a united voice in advocating for the use of Legacy funds to benefit historic preservation, as the Minnesota History Coalition did for history.
  2. Establish a preservation response team to better coordinate efforts when historic resources or funding sources are imminently at risk or when public policy affecting historic preservation requires urgent attention.
  3. Develop and implement a training program for preservation leaders at the local and regional levels.
  4. Incorporate preservation training into existing leadership training programs at key agencies.
  5. Increase the capacity of Minnesota’s statewide, regional and local nonprofit preservation partners by enlisting, training and referring volunteers for historic preservation programs and projects.
  6. Establish a means to convene a broad array of preservation leaders on a regular basis to improve communication and keep everyone moving towards implementation of the statewide plan.
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