Rocky Mount needs to clone an accomplished person like Amy Facca who is a historic preservation planner, architectural historian, and grant writer with a strong interested in cultural economic development. She holds a Master’s degree in Architectural History and Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. I discovered Amy while researching how we can undertake an inventory of our architectural assets. Preservation Rocky Mount and the Historic Preservation Commission NEED an Amy Facca to help us with our efforts to protect our unique story. Are you the Amy Facca we need?
Facca writes that communities have unique “signatures” or “signature elements.” We know our signatures include: The Railroad, Tobacco, Textiles and now Micro Beer. A community’s signature is rooted in its unique history, people, arts, architecture, heritage, natural resources, culture, commerce, agriculture, industry, and institutions. Signature elements can be a continuous source of pride, inspiration, and creativity that can serve as building blocks which communities can use to tell their stories, stimulate revitalization and growth and promote themselves to potential residents, visitors, and investors.
All of this is important because community planners and economic development professionals are increasingly identifying communities’ signature elements, as key elements of what has become known as the creative economy. To tap into this segment of the economy, communities are turning increasingly to cultural economic development, which includes, among other things, historic preservation, main street revitalization, and heritage tourism. These efforts need an up to date, honest inventory, an analysis of existing conditions and the identification of opportunities and threats relating to the creative/cultural economy.
Preservation has evolved far beyond its early focus on the restoration of historic properties of famous Americans. Preservation today is engaged in questions of how to keep our downtowns and older neighborhoods vibrant by respecting the past while fostering development to fill in the gaps. We want to be sure that developers and local officials recognize the enormous economic benefits that strong local historic preservation programs yield. It’s a fascinating time in the life of Rocky Mount, a time not without its controversy, but there is a need for enthusiastic, creative thinking. Please think about joining Preservation Rocky Mount to help build our future while honoring our past. I thank Amy Fach for her valuable contribution to my education and her contribution to preservation with these ideas for Rocky Mount, NC.