9 Historic Sites are Dying, But Ours Don’t Have To

Posted by | September 09, 2015 | Blog | No Comments

With Strategic Planning and Vision, Historic Sites Can Prepare for Growing Visitor Impact

“Historical and natural sites of extraordinary beauty draw large numbers of visitors. [. . .] However, those same crowds often have a detrimental effect on the places they visit.” – CNN

In a recent article by CNN, we learned the unfortunate fact that many of the world’s greatest historic sites are endangered due to “unchecked sprawl and development.” From Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, to the Great Barrier Reef and the Taj Mahal, bringing in visitors can be a double-edged sword.

What that means for us

While on a smaller scale, the directors and managers of our region’s historic attractions echo these same concerns. More people, more cars, more foot traffic. A growing international tourism industry. Changes in technology that change the experience.

As the world catapults forward, preserving our historic sites becomes that much more important. A few strategic steps can make all the difference for those that will come after us.

Finding balance

The LA Group has a few proven methods for helping facilities protect fragile resources while achieving their growing goals for tourism revenue and public visibility. Some of these include:

  • An assessment of the current facilities
  • Programming the current and future use of the space
  • Long term visioning for growth and evolution
  • Prioritization of efforts to identify immediate and long range needs
  • Implementation of maintenance guidelines

Below you’ll find some of The LA Group’s recent historic projects. Each one is a snapshot of our area’s history – where we came from and what it means to be who we are today. But, delicate plantings, fragile infrastructure, and changing traveler expectations have compounded into a critical need for conscious planning.

 

Examples and Strategies Implemented

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site General Management Plan, Kinderhook, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Vehicular Circulation, Parking, Service & Emergency Access
  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Educational Signage & Way-finding
  • Special Protection of Fragile Resources
  • Promotion & Public Awareness
Martin-Van-Buren-master-plan
Niagara Falls State Park Facilities and Landscape Rehabilitation, Niagara, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Vehicular Circulation, Parking, Service & Emergency Access
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Educational Signage & Way-finding

Niagara Rehabilitiation

Olana State Historic Site Strategic Landscape Design Plan, Greenport, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Vehicular Circulation, Parking, Service & Emergency Access
  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Special Protection of Fragile Resources
  • Promotion & Public Awareness

Olana-mansion-path

Grey Towers National Historic Site Facility Master Plan, Milford, PA
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Safety
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Educational Signage & Way-finding
  • Promotion & Public Awareness

Grey-Towers-Mansion

High Rock Spring Reactivation Plan, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Educational Signage & Way-finding

High-Rock-Spring

Congress Park Master Plan, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Vehicular Circulation, Parking, Service & Emergency Access
  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Promotion & Public Awareness

Congress-park

Champlain Canal Lock 5 Master Plan, Schuylerville, NY
  • Pedestrian Access & Circulation
  • Vehicular Circulation, Parking, Service & Emergency Access
  • Safety
  • Maintenance Considerations
  • Educational Signage & Way-finding
  • Promotion & Public Awareness

Champlain-Canal-Lock-5

Sites large and small can realize the benefits of a thorough assessment and long range planning. While high profile sites such as Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal are of worldwide concern, the challenges and successes of your local historic site are just as important to your community.

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