Oct. 22, 2009 Portland, Oregon – The Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO) has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Kinsman Foundation to update and expand its conservation easement program with the goal of protecting hundreds of historic properties across the state.
A historic conservation easement, sometimes referred to as a preservation easement, is a legal contract that passes with a property’s title to future owners and is the only means by which a historic property can be protected in perpetuity. Easements can be applied to structures and surrounding land to protect setting and context.
“The HPLO conservation easement program has been in place since the 1980s,” notes Executive Director Peggy Moretti, “but it fell off the radar in recent years. We’re bringing it back to public attention because it’s a very important option for those who want to permanently preserve a historic home, building, farm or site. We’re most grateful that the Kinsman Foundation recognized its value and supports our efforts.”
Owners of historic homes or commercial buildings may elect to place a conservation easement on their property for numerous reasons, including to preserve family heritage, ensure emotional and financial investments in restoration is not undone by subsequent owners, improve the community through long-term preservation of a local landmark, or for the income tax deduction or estate tax savings.
“Many people believe that listing a building on the National Register of Historic Places ensures protection,” explains Moretti, “but National Register listing is no guarantee against demolition, neglect, or the destruction of historic integrity.”
The Historic Preservation League of Oregon currently holds conservation easements on 42 historic properties across the state ranging from the Astor Hotel in Astoria, the Jacksonville Railroad Depot, the Old Post Office in Bend, the Governor Hotel in Portland, and numerous private residences both large and small.
For more information about conservation easements or other initiatives of the Historic Preservation League of Oregon, call 503 243-1923 or visit www.HistoricPreservationLeague.org.