My, oh my! How this year has flown by! We've spoken about so many historic preservation projects this year. Kimberli Fitzgerald, Salem's Historic Preservation officer, joined us today to provide updates on many of these projects. She began with an update on the work of the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC). In 2010, Salem adopted a new 20-year historic preservation plan, and as part of that plan there were five main goals. Kimberli reported that as of 2015, the HLC had completed most of these goals, which included developing and implementing a more user-friendly historic preservation code; expanding education and public outreach opportunities; developing recognition/award and incentive programs; protecting neighborhood resources (Heritage Neighborhoods); and enhancing heritage tourism and local history by developing partnerships with other heritage groups (Salem Heritage All Star Forum). Work is continuing and will build on each of these main goals.
On a sadder note, the City Council decided not to purchase and renovate LeBreton Hall on the Fairview campus as part of the proposed public park, and encouraged the owner to demolish the building prior to the City's finalizing the property purchase. Additional processes will come into play as the park's master plan is developed, with opportunities for public input.