Historic Preservation Vital to Washington’s Economy, Culture

April 30, 2017
While historic preservation plays an important role in visually promoting a town’s history, it’s also vital to the economy, Rebert said. “Historic rehabs are 60- to 70-percent labor, so more money stays in the local economy. You are keeping the labor, the work, the money, in your town,” Rebert said. “Rehabbing vacant or unused buildings, they can add to the tax rolls.” But labor is not the only economic factor in historic preservation. It’s in the fact that people are drawn to the ambience of these small, historic towns that cropped up in rural areas, their locations and growth born of industry and commerce — towns such as Washington with its sheltered port, lumber factories and railroads, and Tarboro, which rose to prominence with steamboats’ ability to deliver goods, and people, far inland. “They call it cultural heritage tourism. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what keeps this town alive.”
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