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Topic: Are there any rich Americans around? (Read 1910 times) previous topic - next topic
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Are there any rich Americans around?

I asked for Americans, because in the USA you seem to value the recent heritage that you have. For example, in New York, you saved and preserved the historic port area, full of buildings from the 1800s. In the UK, we let much older buildings fall down.

One of the historic buildings featured in the BBC Restoration programme will be saved, but the rest will be left to rot and decay:

So, if you have between $200,000 and $10,000,000 to spare, why not save another one?


P.S. I'm voting for this amazing Scottish castle:

[span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'](EDIT: you don't spell Scottish with one "t"!!!)[/span]

Are there any rich Americans around?

Reply #1
I have to agree, David, Kinloch Castle, considering its location, etc., was absolutely staggering. Don't you have the feeling that this program has only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of historical buildings that are rapidly falling into decay?

Are there any rich Americans around?

Reply #2
I fear it's very widespread. Though many owners use this as a way of circumventing listed building status. You can't pull down a listed building. But you can leave it until it falls down, then clear the site, and then build whatever you wanted to build all long.

I hope things are changing. We've come a long way from the 1960s (when ripping down old buildings and replacing them with something hideous was seen as a good thing), but we've still got a long way to go. The fact that this series was made is very encouraging.

There needs to be a shake up of various laws. You should get a tax break for restoring a listed building, not penalised! Planning should be much stricter, so that the character of an area is preserved. It's already possible for authorities to compulsory purchase a building for its preservation, but few have the money. What might work are suitable tax breaks and incentives for trusts, groups, and individuals who want to restore or repair listed buildings.

I know of one instance where a local authority is forcing one absent owner to sell their castle to another individual who wants to restore it, but the paperwork and delay is unbelievable! There should be something more automatic, more streamlined for saving listed buildings.

For the buildings in the BBC restoration programme, the problem is basically cash. But for many other buildings, I'm guessing that things are much more complicated.

(sorry - I feel strongly about this one - I despair at the fantastic buildings that we are loosing, and the terrible ones that are going up! In the case of many lesser buildings, it wouldn't matter so much if what was replacing them was better than what was there previously, but this is rarely the case)


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