The post office with imposing columns, the bustling train station and its lofty clock tower, the gothic revival cathedral— if your city had these, then you had successfully arrived. No longer a mere trading post or seaport, your city was now a major player, and you could point with pride to its fine public buildings, which represented the aspirations of the citizens. These buildings represented Progress with a capital "P."
But progress also meant the demise of some of these landmarks. New modes of transportation called for modern facilities, changing settlement patterns caused houses of worship and schools to close their doors for lack of attendance, and new technologies meant that the century-old library couldn't meet the needs of patrons anymore.
These iconic buildings, however, were sturdy and well-designed structures, and preservationists, developers, and city leaders found new uses for many of these buildings. Train stations are now luxury hotels, courthouses are museums, and churches are performance spaces.
We could go on and on about the challenges of preserving these iconic buildings and how these challenges have been successfully overcome. But the old adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words," applies here. We have created "iconic building cards" for seven building types—post offices, schools, houses of worship, stadiums, courthouses, libraries and train stations—that outline the challenges, solutions, and available resources for each type.
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