Preservation Texas, founded in 1985, is the only statewide organization dedicated to being the advocate for the historic resources of Texas. We advocate on behalf of our membership and local affiliates for actions by public agencies, private organizations and citizens to protect, restore, and insure economic benefit from historic building, places, artifacts and archives.
How Do We Accomplish Our Objectives?
- Educating members and constituents on key issues.
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- Developing position statement on statewide issues.
- Working with other organizations and individuals in supporting or opposing ideas of mutual interest.
- Monitoring legislation that impacts historic resources.
2014 Advocacy Program:
Preservation Texas advocates on behalf of its membership and local affiliates for actions by public agencies, private organizations, and citizens to protect, restore, and insure economic benefit from historic buildings, places, artifacts, and archives. As a part of its education and advocacy efforts, Preservation Texas will spotlight the Most Endangered Places in Texas and will support programs that encourage and fund local preservation organizations and projects.
Do you know of an advocacy issue?
Would you like to request intervention or assistance for PT?
As the advocate for preserving the historic resources of Texas, Preservation Texas (PT) will support other like-minded organizations and, in some cases, individuals who are in the midst of an advocacy or preservation challenge. As a statewide organization, PT can more effectively intervene if the challenge meets certain criteria that align with PT’s mission.
If you are requesting either a letter of support or active participation, please provide answers the following questions:
- Does the challenge fit under the annual advocacy policy adopted by PT Board action?
- If the challenge is property-related, is the site on the Texas’ Most Endangered Places list? If yes, what year was it designated?
- If the challenge is property-related, did the project earn a PT Honor Award? If yes, when and for what?
- If the challenge is property-related, is the site designated a historical or archeological landmark? Please list all designations and indicate if a determination of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places has been made.
- Are you a PT member? Click here to join now.
- Do you support – or are you a part of – a local preservation nonprofit or County Historical Commission?
- What type of support are you requesting?
- Do you own the property? If not, who does?
- Is this an emergency?
- Do you have a plan of action to reach your desired outcome?
Requests for intervention or endorsement should be sent via e-mail to the PT Office.
Preservation Texas’s support for requests is strictly at the discretion of the Advocacy Committee and the PT Board of Directors.
Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation Activities
Historic preservation creates jobs, including skilled craft jobs, generates investment on Main Street in smaller towns and prompts reinvestment in historic districts in larger cities. Heritage tourism in preservation-focused communities drives increased revenue for local governments and for the State of Texas through sales tax revenue, hotel-motel tax revenue, and increased property values. New economic activity in preservation-oriented communities generates at-home jobs for Texans. Preservation Texas (PT) will continue to spotlight the state and local economic benefits of historic preservation.
Texas’ Most Endangered Places
PT has highlighted the plight of preservation funding and how it affects Texas’ resources through its Texas’ Most Endangered Places program. The announcement and naming of these places are held on the steps of the Texas Capital, drawing legislators and media alike. These properties and places are held to a higher importance in the telling of Texas’ rich history. With the remaining funding for historic preservation projects slashed and the re-alignment of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, PT will continue to recognize the new places and offer support and technical advice to the previous listings.
During the 83rd Legislative Session, the very popular and important THC Historic Courthouse Preservation Program was drastically cut. PT members and friends reached out to legislators to let them know the positive impact the program has had across the state; however, in the final days and hours of budget meetings the program was reduced to $4.2 million for the biennium. For more information on how the THC fared during the session, go to www.rallyfortexashistory.org
Since its creation by the Legislature in 1999, this program of the Texas Historical Commission has provided locally-matched state funding for 83 counties. 62 of those county courthouses will be fully restored, while an additional 64 counties with approved restoration master plans await funding. 2011-2012 funding totaled $20 million, was awarded to 13 counties while another 27 applications came in for consideration. Although allocations were cut to $20 million in the last legislative session, the program not only preserves and reuses these important historical buildings of Texas history, but also creates jobs, spurs additional local revitalization, and generates additional state and local revenues.
Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Historical Commission, as the state agency for historic preservation, is uniquely qualified to carry out its state and federally-mandated responsibilities that ensure the protection of Texas’ historic resources. Through its programming, such as the Heritage Trails Program, Main Street Program, the County Historical Commissions’ charges and the historic Courthouse Preservation Program, the THC provides services to communities that result in significant economic benefits throughout the State. For example, Heritage Trails alone work with rural and urban communities to preserve, identify and promote local assets as a means to increase their economic base. Therefore, its importance cannot be understated. PT supports increased state funding for THC to continue its programs.
Mid-Century Modern Architecture
PT supports the continued efforts of Texas organizations dedicated to highlighting and preserving significant architectural structures and landscapes built in the mid-20th century throughout the state of Texas. The building boom that began after War World II produced some of the most architecturally significant projects, many designed by renowned architects, in the state and throughout the United States.
Protection of Historic Resources throughout Texas
As Texas continues to upgrade and develop its transportation infrastructure, to develop its business hubs and to extract natural resources, such as natural gas, from the earth, PT supports methodical planning before historical places, cultural landscapes, highway systems and farm and ranch land are adversely affected. The organization requests that responsible actions be taken by the state of Texas, her cities, counties, and local preservation groups in order to protect what is uniquely ours: scenic views, historic places and structures as well as parks and farmland, historic highways and trails, prehistorical as well as historical archeological sites.
Designated State Historic Sites and Parks
PT supports the restoration of funding for the preservation, operation and maintenance of state historic sites and parks, whether operated by the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or some other governmental entity, in order to ensure their continued public availability to Texans and to visitors from other states and countries.
National Historic Trails
PT supports the development of state legislation and policy for way-finding signage along Texas’ National Historic Trails, such as the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and El Camino Real de los Tejas. (See also National Issues.)
San Antonio Missions
PT supports the application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to designate the San Antonio Missions a World Heritage Site. Just as the designated Statue of Liberty and the Great Barrier Reef are just a few of the world’s most cherished sites, the Missions are a most-beloved part of Texas, United States and world history and deserve to be listed on the same level of world acknowledgement.
U.S. Congress continues to have significant opportunities to address historic preservation issues as it debates the national debt. Preservation Texas supports several proposals before the Congress to:
- Support the use of transportation enhancements as part of the re-authorization of the nation’s transportation program currently being debated.
- Support full funding for the national Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). PT supports a $46.925 million appropriation (level funding) in FY 2013 for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and $9.7 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs).
- Secure improvements to the existing Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. (H.R.2479, S. 2074: Creating American Prosperity Through Preservation Act (CAPP))
- The institution of a Historic Homeowner Tax Credit program – (H.R. 2555)
- A National Park Service feasibility study for Historic Highways and Trails.
- Monitor the protection and restoration of historic places and structures in jobs and infrastructure projects.
- Monitor the closing of federal post offices and the subsequent use of the buildings and/or the transference of ownership of the buildings, particularly when such buildings were federal projects of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.
- Monitor the proposed legislation designed to limit charitable donation deductions, which would potentially damage historic sites and museums nationwide.