Meeting to help preserve historical sites

By Alicia Cobbs
Since late 2006, a citizen committee has been working on an update to the 1997 Preservation Plan. Now, the final steps toward completion and approval of a draft plan have begun. Through a collaborative effort between several city divisions (Housing and Community Development, Planning and Development, and Memphis Landmarks Commission), a series of ongoing public meetings are being held to gather input on historic resources in Memphis neighborhoods. The 16 input meetings have been organized by Livable Memphis and preservation plan facilitator, Cathy Marcinko, to give citizens an introductory overview of the draft plan contents. Then, through a “mapping your historic resources” exercise, residents are asked to identify and talk about their own neighborhood’s history, as well as historic and cultural resources.
The original plan’s goals and objectives have been consolidated and reduced to achieve more attainable implementation strategies. The four major goals of the plan now address economic development, planning and regulation, resource protection, and education. The economic development section advocates for and presents ways that preservation can be used as a community and economic development strategy. Planning and regulation offers recommendations that will help preservationists impact community planning, code enforcement, urban design, and sustainability. The historic resources section recommends ways to identify, catalogue, and increase awareness of cultural and natural resources, while the education section stresses various ways to expand preservation education and advocacy through technology and outreach to schools.
Feedback regarding these goals and objectives, coupled with recommendations for historic buildings and sites not currently included in the historic database, will be taken from the public meetings, and where possible, will be incorporated into the plan. Cooper-Young’s meeting will be held Thursday, October 21, 5:30-6:30 pm at the CYCA building, located at 2298 Young Avenue. Residents are encouraged to come participate in an interactive mapping exercise and note which historic resources have not been included in the database. Furthermore, personal memories and stories pertaining to community preservation efforts are welcome. For more information or to ask questions, call (901) 725-3124 or send an email to


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