Date of Award


Degree Type



Urban Studies

First Advisor

Rosentraub, Mark

Subject Headings

Historic districts -- Valuation -- United States, Real property -- Valuation -- United States, Residential real estate -- Valuation -- United States, Electronic books. local, Historic preservation, Property values, Local historic designation, Sales price, Hedonic regression model, Positive externalities


Historic designation is thought to have a role in neighborhood economic and community development. Local designation of historic districts is increasingly used as a tool to revitalize deteriorated neighborhoods and to protect endangered historical districts. A number of limitations in several previous studies have made policy development as well as a complete assessment of the impact of designation difficult. Some past studies focused only on historic neighborhoods in one city or one state other studies have tested the impact of historic designation in general without distinguishing between local, state, or federal designation. Lastly, several earlier studies have also relied on comparing changes in property values in historic areas with those non-historic areas but with too few control variables to isolate the effects of historic area designation. This dissertation expands upon previous work by examining the effects of local historic designation on residential property values across six central cities in five states in the United States while controlling for numerous other variables that could impact the property values. The study employs hedonic regression models and difference on difference (case-control) descriptive statistical models to estimate the impact of local government designation of an area as a historical district on the prices of residential property. This is accomplished by the pairing of each historic district with a similar community that was not designated as historic. The research was performed in three fast-growth and three slow-growth central cities. The results indicate that local historic designation is associated with higher property values in the six central cities. In addition, the positive appreciation effects of local historic designation in slow-growth central cities were higher than in fast-growth central cities by 7.7 percent suggesting that historic designation has a role to play in urban revitalization for areas striving to improve property values despite slow population growt