Historic Preservation and Sustainability – Local Journalist getting it right

Author: Katlyn Cotton
Jul 09, 2008

Yeah, this is a bit self-serving, and I apologize in advance for that. But a couple of weeks ago I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I wrote about it in this blog on June 13th.

Well, on that trip I met a journalist by the name of Jon Zemke and subsequently traded emails with him. Jon writes for and is news editor of the online magazine Concentrate which covers the Ann Arbor area.Ann-Arbor-727955

So Jon, who himself lives in a historic property, wrote a great story that you might want to check out entitled The Economic Upside of Preservation. He generously quotes me in the article, hence the self-serving part. But he did something else that good journalists do — he made the local connection. Yeah, he cited some of the factoids that I often talk about in relation to the economic impact of historic preservation. But more importantly he put those abstract numbers into a local context using local historic preservation projects and local property owners. His photography colleague Dave Lewinski added great photos, including the one I’ve stolen and inserted above.
Furthermore, he got it right — at least in relation to what I had to say. And that is often not the case with local journalists — even when what they write is largely sympathetic.
Historic preservation has a great story to tell — about its positive economic impact and its being at the heart of real sustainable development. But someone has to tell that story — and tell it well. And Jon Zemke has done exactly that.

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