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Historic Beaufort Foundation

By Mary Thompson 

PRESERVATION ECONOMIST DONOVAN RYPKEMA PRESENTS

Leading preservationist economist Donovan Rypkema will speak on the economic impact of historic preservation at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at USCB’s Center for the Arts.

The talk is open to the public and will include a Q&A at the end. Masks are required. The event is being sponsored by the City of Beaufort, Historic Beaufort Foundation and USCB’s Center for the Arts. It will be livestreamed on the City of Beaufort’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/CityBeaufortSC.

Rypkema is principal of Place Economics, a real estate and economic development consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Educated at Columbia University, Rypkema earned a Master of Science in historic preservation, and is author of several publications including Community Initiated Development, The Economics of Rehabilitation, and the Feasibility Assessment Manual for Reusing Historic Buildings. His book, “The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide,” is widely used nationwide and has been translated into Russian and Korean.

Rypkema has undertaken assignments for public and non-profit sector clients in 49 states. He has worked with such groups as the Urban Land Institute, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, the American Planning Association, Smart Growth America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the International Downtown Association. His federal clients have included the Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation.

Rypkema shared in an interview in 2018 with South Dakota Public Broadcasting, “We’re really in the business of economic development, and so we don’t advocate for historic preservation with historic preservation as an end, we argue for it as a means to a lot of things, including its economic impact, and that manifests itself in a greater labor intensity, so it means local jobs, it means a difference in property value appreciation, which means money in the pockets of homeowners, it means a central role in downtown revitalization, it means a lower level of foreclosure patterns in historic districts, it means an incubator for small and startup businesses, there’s a whole range of contributions that historic buildings make that aren’t because of some stupid gargoyles. It’s really of the kind of character and quality of those buildings.”

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