(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

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[Page H6864]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         HISTORIC PRESERVATION

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Higgins) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the National 
Trust for Historic Preservation's 65th National Preservation 
Conference, which will be held in my community of western New York next 
  Over 2,000 people from across the country and around the world will 
converge in Buffalo to be immersed in our considerable and remarkable 
architecture. What makes this conference unique is that our community's 
historic preservation assets are the very reason the conference is 
being held there.
  The centerpiece will be the numerous buildings, homes, parks, and 
neighborhoods that were remarkable upon their construction and will 
help grow us in the future. This conference will provide international 
validation to what many in western New York have long known and 
understood: that our ability to thrive lies in recapturing the 
potential of what we have built in the past. And we are doing just 
  Buffalo is home to the Nation's first park and parkway system, 
designed in the 19th century by the famed landscape architect Frederick 
Law Olmsted. The 1,200-acre parklands are some of the very best in the 
world. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is leading a multimillion 
dollar effort to restore the parks so western New Yorkers can visit and 
appreciate and enjoy them for decades to come.
  Meanwhile, we are meticulously restoring buildings integral to our 
architectural legacy. These include the Darwin Martin House and 
Graycliff Estate by Frank Lloyd Wright; the Guaranty Building by Louis 
Sullivan; the Buffalo Psychiatric Center by Henry Hobson Richardson; 
and the Hotel Lafayette by one of America's first female architects, 
Louise Blanchard Bethune.
  These efforts are not just examples of historic preservation. They 
represent a new confidence that we can take charge of our own future by 
reclaiming our past.
  Mr. Speaker, historic preservation efforts in Buffalo and western New 
York also demonstrate the importance of partnerships between the 
Federal Government and the private sector. Without these partnerships, 
many preservation projects would never get off the ground.
  Federal tools like the historic preservation tax credit and the new 
markets tax credit bring builders, investors, and development 
professionals together, and they have the capacity to turn around 
entire communities.
  In Buffalo, $64 million of new market tax credit investments have 
occurred since 2005. This investment has leveraged projects totaling 
over $141 million in our community. The new markets program has 
encouraged the redevelopment of the Oak School Lofts, Ellicott Commons, 
the Electric Tower, the Webb Lofts, Ashbury Hall, AM's Warehouse 
Lofts, 567 Exchange Street, the Larkin at Exchange complex, the Erie 
Lackawanna Train Station in Jamestown, and the Innovation Center at the 
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. All of these projects involved either a 
restoration of a historic, vacant building, or new construction in an 
economically distressed area.
  I support legislation that would extend the new markets program and 
authorize it at $5 billion or more a year. And I support extending the 
historic preservation tax credit because I have seen in Buffalo how 
cost effective and successful these programs can be.
  Older industrial areas like Buffalo will be able to compete and 
succeed in a globalized economy if their leaders develop a culture of 
innovation and create new economic opportunities while taking advantage 
of the unique aspects of the past. Buffalo and western New York are 
ready to meet that challenge.
  I congratulate those who have led the effort to host this important 
conference, especially Bob Skerker and Catherine Schweitzer, and the 
hundreds of western New Yorkers who will make this conference a 
  To the conference attendees and visitors from all around the world, I 
would say our community is honored to host you and proud to show off 
our unique architecture and historic assets. I promise you will not be