Crotty, Anne Rachel
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The ‘fifty-year rule’ is preservation parlance for the axiom that a building must be fifty years old in order to be considered ‘historic.’ This axiom is derived from the National Register of Historic Places criteria and considerations. Little critical thought has been given to how a rule affects concepts of historic significance and the designation of historic resources. This work looks at the origins of the fifty-year rule, its role in preservation practice, and whether the rule warrant re-evaluation. From there, the fifty-year rule is evaluated and alternatives to the rule are explored. Recommendations are based on an analysis of the fifty-year rule and its impact on historic preservation practice.
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