WITH SOFT-WOVEN SPANISH NAMES: ASSESSING HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROGRAMS IN TEXAS BORDER TOWNS
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Type of Work115 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at email@example.com or (410) 337-6075.
Subjectscultural patrimony of the borderlands
National Park Service diversity goals
Latino history and heritage
Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor
Hidalgo (Hidalgo County)
Rio Grande City (Starr County)
Roma (Starr County)
San Ygnacio (Zapata County)
preservation challenges and solutions for rural communities and small towns
National Register of Historic Places
Historic preservation -- Theses
Cultural property -- Texas -- Borderlands
Historic districts -- Texas -- Preservation
The rural characteristics of communities along Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor present barriers to the implementation and support of common historic preservation strategies developed for urban environments. An examination of historic preservation activities in four South Texas border towns with historic districts reveals a range of accomplishments although they have similar characteristics—low population, mostly Latino; high poverty; and between 72 and 83 percent farmland. Despite competition for financial resources from other priorities—funding police and fire departments, street maintenance, waste collection, and parks and recreation—even economically disadvantaged communities conduct effective preservation programs beyond identifying historic resources. Towns with a combined infrastructure of county and municipal preservation commissions working alongside private preservation societies are most productive. Collaboration with conservation and parks supporters also benefits historic preservation. Programs empowering local preservationists, such as implementing a universitysponsored, preservation extension service that provides expertise and educational programs, are recommended over sole reliance on transitory outside experts. Research reveals that the most successful local preservation programs utilize outside funding to catalyze local historic preservation initiatives. Outside funding sources include state and federal grants and private donations, sometimes coupled with matching funds generated by sales tax revenue or permit fees. Soliciting and managing these funds requires local leaders who apply for grants, seek donations, and lobby for preservation programs. Among the most effective of these leaders are city managers and local and county economic development corporations because they promote public-private partnerships and provide financial support and expertise for a variety of projects from commissioning preservation plans to purchasing and restoring historic buildings.