54°F
weather icon Clear

Success of historic preservation based on community’s commitment to future

The forces that drive the life and future of a community are many and diverse and historic Boulder City holds no exceptions. Keeping history alive and relevant is a challenging undertaking and, as of today, our city has had remarkable success in achieving it.

Last month, this column described the effort that was required to establish the city as a historic place on the National Register of Historic Places and to finally, after a failed first attempt, to have the City Council adopt an ordinance and appoint a Historic Preservation Committee.

The adoption of the ordinance, which provided for voluntary compliance, was met with mixed and vehement reactions. On one side, there were those who objected because they saw it as a first step toward an ordinance that required mandatory adherence. The need to preserve owners’ rights as to the use of their property is one of those forces. On the other side, many were outraged that the ordinance had no “teeth” in it. They believed that enforcement was the only way to achieve preservation of the historic assets of the city. The need for community compliance is another force to be reckoned with. Both sides were passionate about their positions.

The five-member committee that was appointed by the City Council in July 2006 was tasked with the job of making the voluntary nature of ordinance effective. After extensive review and discussion, guidelines were established that would assist property owners with their plans to restore or upgrade their properties. A repository of historical hardware and other items was recreated for residents who were replacing broken or missing pieces of historical value in their homes, along with a list of other sources.

The voluntary nature of the ordinance was a gift to the community in many ways. Homes that had been neglected have been painted, repaired and relandscaped. Owning a home in a beautiful historic neighborhood became incentive enough to take action. Pride in the community is another powerful force that provides a strong motivation to follow the committee’s guidelines.

Most homeowners want their property to be an asset to their neighborhoods; the value of preserved or properly restored historic property is not merely aesthetic, it also represents revenue for the city through increased property values.

Thankfully, residents in the historic district are well on their way to restoring and maintaining their neighborhoods and the city did excellent work in restoring and repurposing the original elementary school to serve as City Hall. The new challenge to preservation in Boulder City is the saving, restoring and repurposing of its remaining public buildings. Hopefully, as a result of an outpouring of public concern, Boulder City High School will be restored or rebuilt to reflect the historical architectural features of the original building and grounds.

However, the fate of the abandoned Six Cos. hospital is yet to be determined. The city’s Historic Preservation Committee has an important role to play in the resolution, but there is also new energy being infused into the search for a satisfactory outcome. This energy is coming from a younger generation and it is coming from private resources. As stated on its home page, the Historic Boulder City Foundation, was founded this month “with the intention of preserving and advancing Boulder City’s historic heritage and other items of significance for future generations to enjoy.” This effort is yet another example of the strength and force of the community’s commitment to preserving its historic heritage.

Throughout the decades, the 31ers and their children and grandchildren have actively kept the history of Boulder City alive and relevant and, as others have moved into the community and raised their children here, the spirit has endured. Now, a new generation of adults who were raised in Boulder City has voluntarily set the bar even higher. The spirit of the 31ers has endured and is perhaps even stronger today, having survived and thrived through all the intervening years.

Susan Stice McIntyre is a native of Boulder City, a first-generation 31er, and former member and chairman of the Boulder City Historic Preservation Committee.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Families thankful for holiday traditions

Families are trying to celebrate Thanksgiving this year in as normal a way as possible even though it could be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coloring contest winners revealed

The inaugural Boulder City Review Christmas coloring contest showcased the best of the holiday spirit from community members of all ages.

High school homecoming goes virtual

In the midst of a pandemic, social distancing and distance learning, Boulder City High School found a way to celebrate Homecoming 2020 and crown the court by way of a virtual pep rally.

Turkey divan makes leftovers divine

One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday is enjoying the wonderful leftovers. Now, I don’t know about your post-turkey-day turkey, but mine usually has no legs, or thighs but lots of leftover breast. If that happens to your turkey too, then you’re going to love this week’s recipe: Turkey Divan.

Extra gravy can fix many Thanksgiving woes

In a year that’s already proven “interesting,” Thanksgiving will be no exception. Lots of folks are hosting smaller gatherings, meaning fewer people to bring dishes or help in the kitchen. Some may be making their very first Thanksgiving dinner. To assist in making this a low stress, enjoyable holiday for all, I offer a few tips.

Beatty had plenty to be thankful for in 1905

Thanksgiving 2020 may be different than anything we have known in our lifetimes due to the virus pandemic and that is most unfortunate.

Cox sponsors free admission at museums

In celebration of World Kindness Day on Friday, Nov. 13, Cox Communications is underwriting the cost of admission to three local museums throughout the month of November.