Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Save America's Treasures and Preserve America

Since the President’s Budget Proposal for FY2011 was announced last week, the historic preservation community has been abuzz with news that the very popular and successful programs Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America were cut. Many have questioned why, during such difficult times, should we tell our representatives to make funding for historic preservation programs a priority. Why? Because among other things, these programs create jobs.

To this point, the author of The Economics of Historic Preservation, Donovan Rypkema, has offered the following analysis of his research:

Between 1999 and 2009, the Save America's Treasures program allocated around $220 million dollars for the restoration of nearly 900 historic structures, many of them National Historic Landmarks. This investment by the SAT program generated in excess of $330 million from other sources. This work meant 16,012 jobs (a job being one full time equivalent job for one year...the same way they are counting jobs for the Stimulus Program). The cost per job created? $13,780.

This compares with the White House announcement that the Stimulus Package is creating one job for every $248,000. Whose program is helping the economy?

If the creation of one SAT job cost $13,780, eighteen of these jobs could be created for $248,000.


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