Secretary of the Interior to Review and Streamline Historic Tax Credit Regulations?

By Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. / Attorney & Architect

Intriguing article at

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to review the Historic Tax Credit’s (HTC) regulations to make them easier to use “in cities like Detroit.”  I assume he’s just giving an example of where HTC’s are heavily used – like Detroit – and is not suggesting creating special regulations for blighted urban areas and forgetting the rest of the country.

But I like that the article also alludes to problems with the Secretary’s Standards, which – as a former administrator of the HTC, other preservation tax benefits and interpreter of the Standards for the State of Illinois – I have long held that the Standards are overdue for a complete replacement as a de facto historic building code.  That was never their intended purpose.

I’m publishing a number of articles soon addressing the need for a more comprehensive overhaul of Historic Preservation’s regulations and programs such as the HTCs, the National Register and Section 106, as well as emphasizing greater state and federal preservation agency transparency to the public – all to make it easier and less expensive for owners and developers to rehabilitate historic properties.  But, more on that later.

Copyright Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. 2012

Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. is Chicago-based Illinois and Florida-licensed attorney and Illinois-licensed architect. He practices design & construction law, real estate law, historic preservation law, accessibility law, is an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Division, is a Certified Mediator, and is a consultant and an expert witness in civil construction, historic preservation and federal accessibility litigation. He can be contacted at

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