School of Architecture and Planning

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The Economics of Heritage Development

Executive summary

Buffalo's Opportunity

The Idea of Heritage Development

Urban Design and Heritage Development

Exhibit of Historic Views

Heritage Development
- a Case Study

Group Discussion Sessions

A Summary of the Conversation

Content Analysis
(coming soon)


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Spaulding's Exchange was a hub of activity in 19th Century Buffalo. - WNY Heritage Institute Collection

Second Panel Session

Wendy Nicholas


Thank you. I have the pleasure of moderating this next session and Iím very pleased to introduce to you two people who can talk with great experience about the economics of heritage tourism and heritage development and the economic benefits that accrue to communities that invest in and capitalize on their historic resources for both community development and heritage development.

I think someone earlier mentioned that heritage tourism is the fastest growing segment of the national tourism industry, and at this point, tourism is about to take over as the largest retail industry in our country. Which is a little hard to believe, but, nevertheless, to capitalize on oneís heritage for purposes of getting on this tourism bandwagon is a great way to go.

We have with us today two experts in both heritage tourism and also in understanding the economics and economic benefits. They are Tom Moriarity and Elaine Carmichael. And Iím going to follow the earlier lead and introduce first Tom and then Iíll introduce Elaine.

As Tom said, Tom and I go way back. When we were both getting started in historic preservation ó some of you may be aware of the National Trust Main Street program which started out of our Chicago office in the late 1970ís ó it was a time when our regional office there was getting lots of calls from small Midwestern towns who were looking for help for their commercial Main Streets in a time when retail was moving to shopping malls.

Tom was one of the very first three Main Street managers and really got this Main Street movement off on the right foot with three years in Madison, Indiana where he learned a great deal about commercial district revitalization. He has gone on to work in this field in many different ways, and is currently a principal at Economics Research Associates, a national company. Tom manages mixed-use development studies providing development analyses of historic structures in commercial districts, transportation center and airport concession master plans and commercial area revitalization programs.

Model of Inner Harbor Proposal. - Empire State Development CorporationHis list of clients is long and intriguing. Since 1987 Tom has advised the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in over 25 consulting assignments, including retail master plan redevelopment of the new World Trade Center in New York. He has worked in central Buenos Aires for a U.S.-Argentine joint venture and participated in development analysis for redevelopment of the historic Main Train Station, and Tomís been involved with Detroitís Renaissance Center as well as Goldman/Sachs in helping them to develop their new office retail complex on the Hudson River shore in New Jersey.

And I will tell you that, on a personal note, Tom is really extraordinary at the Texas two-step, which he happened to teach me one year when we were very much younger. Tom Moriarity. (applause).

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Heritage development and the tourism industry (back to the top)

Thomas Moriarty: Economics Research Associates, Inc.

Thank you. No. No demonstrations, we promise. Wendy and I met many years ago when she was a fresh-faced preservationist beginning in Louisville, Kentucky. Actually, Wendyís the one who taught me how to say Louisville properly. You say it without moving your mouth. Luh-vul. Luh-vul. (laughter) And Iíve continued to use that as necessary and I owe you a great debt of gratitude for that.

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