I last wrote about the amazingly complex and unhappy situation of the property on Fairfield Avenue. HPA is completing a strategic plan which, when adopted and implemented, should help to solve this problem and others. The Board of Directors has adopted a resolution to allow HPA to become the historic preservation “resource and technical assistance hub” in Hartford. To become such we will address challenges thus:
- Raise the profile of why preservation matters to encourage owners to seek advice as a first step when buying or owning property in an historic district
- Recognize that the City of Hartford and owners of historic properties are to be our Number 1 customers
- Consult on historic property guidelines as published by the Historic Preservation Commission under the Historic Preservation Ordinance adopted by the City Council
- Create a walk-in center where information, advice and resources are made available
- Establish design consultation, construction budget and project management capacity to advise on site
- Build a database of appropriate materials, costs, a construction calculator, where material can be purchased
- Create a list of contractors and sub-contractors who have experience working on historic properties
- Offer guidance on petitions and presentations before the Historic Preservation Commission
- Link financial resources which support historic preservation projects, e.g. The State Homeowner Tax Credit Program
- Create a revolving fund to facilitate access to funding for projects
The key is to raise the bar on historic preservation, to imbue in the City a philosophy that preservation matters and demonstrate that historic preservation improves property values. This is the mantra by which a livable community, one like ours with a tremendous historic fabric, thrives.
Your comments, questions and observations are greatly encouraged.