Jason Parrott’s guest is Steve Frevert, who is the Executive Director of Downtown Partners, the Chairman of Burlington’s Historic Preservation Commission, and a board member of Historic Trust.
Frevert says organizations from across the country are using the month of May to celebrate and promote historic preservation efforts. He defines the practice as the recognition of historic assets within a community.
An example is the effort to develop a new historic district in Burlington.
Frevert says the city started surveying the downtown “Warehouse District” about two years ago. He says the application to the National Register of Historic Places has been filed and should be awarded in the next few weeks.
Frevert says the primary benefit of the designation is the buildings will qualify for historic tax credits. He says they could cover 45% of the cost of a project, which can make a development possible.
Frevert says a clear example of how to use historic tax credits is the re-opening of the Capitol Theater. He says some of the preservation aspects are the acoustic tiles and the ticket booth.
“If something is gone, they are not looking for you to replace it,” says Frevert. “It is not about pretending something is there if it has already been removed, it is about preserving what we have.”
Frevert says there are misconceptions surrounding preservation standards. He says an example is that a property owner will not have to paint their building a certain color just because it is in a historic district.
A walking tour of Burlington’s West Jefferson National Register District is scheduled for Sunday, May 20th as part of Historic Preservation month.