Missouri Preservation is pulling together professionals who are working on rehabilitating historic buildings, so that efforts can continue on bringing old buildings back to life for modern-day use.
Missouri Preservation President Karen Baxter says the workshop is open to everyone from architects to developers to accountants.
“Even the attorneys that are involved with rehabbing historic buildings” are involved, she says.
Baxter says the workshop is meant to be guide to help property owners, architects who are planning on rehabilitating historic buildings or people who are financing them.“It’s important to understand the parameters involved if you are utilizing historic tax credits in the project because those historic tax credits come with a lot of regulations that include the design review of the project to make sure we’re preserving the historic character of the building, but also they come with a lot of regulations to make sure that the expenses have been incurred and that they’ve been incurred in a proper way,” she says.
Baxter says half a billion dollars goes into the construction of historic buildings in Missouri every year.
The workshop is also a way to promote and find new ways to rehab older buildings so they can be functional in the 21st century. She says buildings that were once three bedroom flats have the potential to be restored as a functional single family home in modern times, for instance.
“Not very many people live in a three room flat anymore, so how can we make those three room flats functional as residential properties still? So, historic rehabilitation projects…might be projects we are often are seeing buildings that might be vacant commercial buildings along our main streets,” she says. “It might be a historic high rise building that no longer seems to be needed for a major corporation’s offices, but could be used as lofts instead.”
Baxter says many people throughout Missouri are looking to get involved with preserving buildings in their own community too.
“People want to preserve the building that is most important in their community,” she says. “City planners, members of historic preservation commissions, to property developers…we have a wide variety of people that are involved in what is a major industry in this state.”
The workshop runs through Oct. 26. Baxter says the last two days of the workshop are designed for a broader audience, and that anyone interested in attending is welcome.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:06)