WASHINGTON – June 9, 2016 – Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3) today announced the introduction of the Lowell National Historical Park Creative Partnerships Act, legislation that preserves and rehabilitates nationally significant historic buildings through a proven effective public-private partnership.
The Lowell National Historical Park Creative Partnerships Act reauthorizes the Historic Preservation Loan Program, at no cost to the taxpayer. The Historic Preservation Loan Program was established in 1983 to leverage private funds to preserve and rehabilitate nationally significant historic buildings within the Lowell Historic Preservation District. According to the National Park Service and the Lowell Development and Financial Corporation, this loan program has helped to fund redevelopment of twenty-two buildings and generated over $122 million in private investments to date, which means that every federal dollar originally appropriated by Congress for the program has leveraged $162 in private investment.
“Our nation has made a commitment that our most significant historical, cultural, and natural sites should be preserved in perpetuity for future generations of Americans. They help to tell the story of who we are as a people and a country, as well as spur sustainable growth. The Historic Preservation Loan Program has proven to be a critical tool to protect significant historic sites located here in the Third District,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “Leveraging private investments is a creative and effective way to complement the mission of the Lowell NHP, and in so doing, advance the city’s community and economic development goals, while protecting that which is historically unique to Lowell. I look forward to working with my colleagues as this bill makes its way through the legislative process. We must all commit to responsibly protecting the places and traditions that make us who we are.”
The Congresswoman’s bill has received strong local support.
James Igoe, President of Preservation Massachusetts said: “Lowell is truly a remarkable community: one that has embraced its past as a springboard for its future. It holds extant the beginnings of the American Industrial Revolution and also successful use of historic preservation as a means of successful community and economic development. A major part of that success was the establishment of the Lowell National Historical Park and its Historic Preservation Loan Program. Leveraging private investment has proven key and Lowell’s tremendous success within their historic districts proves just how valuable these partnerships and programs are.”
Jim Cook, Executive Director of the Lowell Development and Financial Corporation, said: “The Preservation Loan Program has been one of the most important tools for the restoration of historic structures since the early 1980s. Although much has been accomplished, the remaining historically significant buildings in the City of Lowell would benefit greatly from the loan program.”
Jack Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Bank, said: “The Preservation Loan Fund has been a highly successful tool for stimulating private investment in the highest quality of historic preservation within the Lowell National Historical Park and Preservation District. The proposed legislation is important to our joint efforts to meet the ongoing challenges of ensuring the appropriate preservation and redevelopment of the vast resources contained in the Park’s 583-acre preservation district. This legislation will ensure that Lowell’s important historic resources can be maintained for the enjoyment of future generations of Lowell residents and Park visitors.”
Congresswoman Tsongas is a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee and the top Democrat on the Federal Lands Subcommittee, which oversees public lands, including national parks.