Land banks can serve as catalysts for community revitalization and bring renewed life to vacant historic buildings
Many vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties that will be acquired by municipal land banks in New York State may also be historic structures: listed or eligible for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, or locally designated by municipal ordinance. These structures will also be potential triggers for federal, state, and local environmental and historic reviews and mitigation. These properties deserve special consideration in municipal efforts to establish and implement land banks; historic status should be recognized as an asset, not an obstacle, in successful and sustainable efforts to return blighted properties and neighborhoods to productive use.
The Preservation League supports integrating historic preservation in the redevelopment work undertaken by land banks. Our Guide to Land Banking and Historic Preservation in New York State details the initial steps land banks should be prepared to undertake to address the opportunities and issues such structures represent in local redevelopment challenges.
The League’s VP for Policy & Preservation Erin Tobin wrote about the relationship between land banks and historic preservation for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership Forum in 2015: “Land Banks and Historic Preservation”