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Offered January 13, 2016
Prefiled January 12, 2016
Commending the National Historic Preservation Act.
Patrons-- Lopez, Minchew and Sullivan; Senators: Ebbin and Favola

WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act was signed into law on October 15, 1966, and established the nation’s legal framework for the protection and preservation of historic buildings, landscapes, and archaeological discoveries; and

WHEREAS, the United States and thousands of public, private, and nonprofit sector partners are commemorating the signing of the National Historic Preservation Act throughout 2016 under the banner of Preservation50; and

WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act traces its roots to the publication of With Heritage So Rich, a book by Virginia preservationists, that documented the growing losses to the nation’s heritage in the absence of a clear policy on historic preservation; and

WHEREAS, over the past 50 years, the National Historic Preservation Act has had a profound and positive impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth and the United States; in the past 25 years alone, 1,600 communities revitalized historic downtowns and main streets and carried out 89,000 historic building renovations, significantly reducing waste from demolition and new construction debris; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Preservation Tax Incentives Program created by the National Historic Preservation Act is the largest federal program supporting historic preservation; it has helped create millions of jobs, saved tens of thousands of historic structures, and attracted billions of dollars in investment; and

WHEREAS, the National Register of Historic Places, also created by the National Historic Preservation Act, contains more than 80,000 historic properties, with at least one place listed in almost every county in the United States and nearly 3,000 places listed in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, as of October 2015, the Commonwealth leads the country in the number of rural historic districts with 30 listed and three pending, and Virginia organizations have preserved numerous important National Historic Landmarks, including Fort Monroe, the Alexandria Historic District, Monticello, Montpelier, the Pentagon, the University of Virginia Historic District, and the Williamsburg Historic District; and

WHEREAS, 2016 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, which administers a state tax credit program that generated over 2,500 projects between 1997 and 2012; in 2015, the Commonwealth ranked first in the nation for the number of historic preservation projects certified for federal tax credits; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office also administers the Federal 106 Review Process, which reviews approximately 4,000 projects annually for their impact on preservation efforts, and the Certified Local Government Program, which provides localities with funding for preservation projects; and

WHEREAS, heritage tourism is a critical component of the Commonwealth’s economy, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources is an active partner in Preservation50, an organization celebrating the first five decades of the National Historic Preservation Act and working to ensure a strong future for historic preservation efforts; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the National Historic Preservation Act on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its passage; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Preservation50 Advisory Committee as an expression of the General Assembly’s appreciation for the significance of the act and its many benefits to the Commonwealth and the United States.