The public is invited to a free presentation on the findings and the vision of the visiting preservationists at 6:15 p.m. June 7 at the Verdier House, 801 Bay St., Beaufort.
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June 4 marks the beginning of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Leadership Training, which is being hosted by Historic Beaufort Foundation. About 25 preservationists have arrived in Beaufort from as far away as Juneau, Alaska, and Calgary, Alberta. For five days, they'll use Beaufort as a living laboratory.
The key goals of the training are:
1. To increase the effectiveness of current and emerging preservation leaders by training them in skills that will support preservation success in their communities.
2. To offer an opportunity to apply preservation skills and techniques to a real world preservation challenge, building confidence and inspiring action in their own communities.
3. To foster an ability to work effectively in teams and to recognize the complexities of relationships and resources needed to successfully carry out preservation projects.
4. To contribute to local preservation efforts by suggesting viable alternatives and sound redevelopment options.
The group is looking at the obstacles and incentives to redevelopment and will prepare a redevelopment plan that offers an economically viable, market supportable and financially attractive future. Participants are working in teams, spending about half the time in the classroom and half the time meeting with stakeholders, analyzing data, preparing options and testing their assumptions.
Participants were chosen through a competitive application process and are expected to possess solid knowledge of and experience in historic preservation.
The participants are board members and paid staff from statewide and local nonprofit organizations, state historic preservation offices, elected and appointed public officials,
historic commission members, city planners, Main Street managers and other preservation activists.
The National Trust has trained some 500 preservationists to date and has helped communities find ways to save and use endangered resources. For example, in Fort Collins, Colo., a long-vacant historic downtown hotel building was back in operation only a few years after program participants worked on its redevelopment. And, in San Antonio, Texas, program alumni helped put the historic Judson Candy Company on the radar screen of local developers and investors. It has been redeveloped as an upscale condo complex.
Historic Beaufort Foundation wants similar results for Beaufort. That is, we want more local property owners and developers who are willing to undertake more preservation-based development in the historic district. Our almost 50 years as advocates for preservation in Beaufort illustrates our support of past, present and future efforts to bring new life into our historic resources. We trust that the energies of the National Trust's program this week will benefit this goal and our community.
A final report will be completed over the summer, and the results will be shared with the public via the foundation's website and email list.