2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. Working on the national committee tasked with planning the anniversary celebration brought home to Mr. Dempsey that many people have little to no knowledge of the intricacies of this field. People within the industry, on the other hand, know that the ground is fertile with legal issues.
Laws from the federal to the local level impact the preservation of buildings and properties that have some historic character. Some recognition is honorary while other has immense restrictions. Georgia offers a tax credit as does the federal government for certain qualified efforts to preserve historic structures, particularly those that are to be redeveloped for investment purposes. Another way to preserve properties is through placement of easement restrictions on the building, its façade, or possibly the entire parcel. Historic cemeteries are a special type of property that often fall into disrepair as the family structure becomes more global and ownership of the cemetery comes into question. Such properties must be examined as highway projects may impact them for instance. Fighting in courts to allow or prevent a development in a historic neighborhood is often where preservation rears its head in the court system.
Historic preservation even extends beyond the bounds of property. Conservation of cultural resources is vital to the arts but also to our advancement as a society. Civil War relics, Civil Rights Era documents, works of art, collectible and rare books, and archaeological finds each have a unique worth whether to the owner or to a larger community. These may be donated to a museum or local historical society or passed down through a family. For more information on The Law Office of W. Wright Dempsey, Jr., LLC’s cultural conservation practice, click here.
Mr. Dempsey can help clients navigate these waters from the recognition of properties on the National Register of Historic Places to the qualification for credits. Through his studies in heritage preservation, Mr. Dempsey has acquired knowledge and understanding of the unique legal issues presented. He is also able to work within a network of preservation professionals on your behalf. For individuals, if you wish to nominate historic property to the National Register, grant a façade easement, or donate or loan items to a museum, please contact the firm. For businesses and industry professionals, if you have a question or need advice regarding a § 106 review, a § 4(f), or any other environmental impact study, contact The Law Office of W. Wright Dempsey, Jr., LLC. Likewise, to ensure a conscientious planning for succession of collections in your estate, Mr. Dempsey’s can draft appropriate documents.