Aberdeen has a new historic preservation plan

Aberdeen has a Historic Preservation Plan, which was adopted unanimously Wednesday night by Mayor Bill Simpson and 11 City Councilmembers.

The plan “will serve as a guide to the city and interested members of the public in directing the future of cultural and historic resources in Aberdeen,” said Community Development Director Lisa Scott in the staff report.

The plan lays out goals and action steps that can be used for planning and ordinance writing purposes, added City Attorney Eric Nelson after the vote.

It can be used to create historic districts downtown and in residential areas that qualify. Such districts can aid in attaining many federal and state grants and loans to renovate properties within them.

City officials and consultants have held several public meetings on the matter. The 116-page plan was also reviewed and vetted by members of the city’s Historic Preservation Committee.

Goals and action steps are laid out in the plan. In year one, it proposes to take another look at Main Street, a funding program to revamp downtowns, apply for a downtown National Register Historic District nomination, help the Electric Building obtain a national historic building nomination, learn about state building codes regarding historic rehabilitation and preserve and enhance the connection between downtown and the F Street waterfront and development of Benn’s landing area.

Goals in years two through five target improvement and enhancement of historic properties through enhanced tax credits, restoration work, reduction of demolition of historic properties, design standards and the creation of housing and arts spaces.

The plan includes an array of photographs of Aberdeen historic buildings and residences, a “who’s who” of buildings that are eligible or are on the Aberdeen Historic Preservation list.

The plan was financed in part by a grant of $10,000 in state and federal funds as well as $10,000 from the city. The money was used to hire consultants Teresa Brum of Spokane and Phil Thomason of Nashville.


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