Columbia Residents Discuss Historic Preservation Benefits

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COLUMBIA - Historic Preservation Commission members and Columbia residents discussed a first ever, local historical preservation study Tuesday.

The study revealed historic preservation in Columbia created jobs, stimulated tourism and increased revenue. It also showed that in the past decade, private developers have used tax credits to invest more than $88 million in preserving and restoring historic buildings. 

"It [historial preservation] won't cost the local economy anything," Historic Preservation Commission Chair Brian Treece said. "There is a great deal of state and federal tax credits available for historic preservation and that's money that stays here in Columbia instead of going to Jeff City or Washington D.C."

Treece said these historic tax credits have contributed a great deal to the economy. He said the commission needs to "invest in, incentivise and spread more public awareness about this so these improvements can continue."  

Some of the sites the study focused on include historic buildings such as the State Historical Society of Missouri and Walters-Boone County Historical Society, and the downtown area such as The District and the 8th Street Historic Avenue of the Columns.  

Commissioners also discussed how the commission will apply for a state historic preservation fund grant for 2013. If granted, the commission will use the money to host a statewide historic preservation conference in the fall of 2013. It will bring in students, teachers and professionals from all over the state. 

The commission encourages the public to comment on the study's results. Residents can send in comments by emailing Rachel Bacon at or calling (573) 874-7239 until noon July 6. 

Commissioners will hold the next meeting on Aug. 6.