Buying Time for Heritage

How to Save an Endangered Historic Property

Revised and Expanded Edition

By J. Myrick Howard

Buying Time for Heritage

344 pp., 6 x 9, 133 color plates, 2 tables, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7700-2
    Published: October 2023

Paperback Available October 2023, but pre-order your copy today!

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What does it take to save endangered historic properties? This practical guide builds on decades of historic preservation experience to provide readers with legal, financial, political, and technical tools and strategies to be more effective preservationists. Myrick Howard makes clear that large sums of money are not necessarily needed to save endangered historic properties, but knowledge and passion are essential. This book shows how preservation-minded neighbors and organizations can succeed with only modest resources and rather than clash with developers, can become developers themselves for community benefit. Howard draws on case studies from forty-five years of successful work leading Preservation North Carolina, with lessons that are applicable coast to coast.

This richly illustrated, fully revised and redesigned second edition includes detailed projects to renovate vacant houses in working-class neighborhoods; reflections on addressing racial equity through preservation; an expanded section on using preservation easements; and summaries of revolving fund programs around the country. Buying Time for Heritage is an indispensable resource for those looking to save the special places of our collective past.

About the Author

J. Myrick Howard is past president of Preservation North Carolina, a statewide, nonprofit historic preservation organization and a national leader in the field.

For more information about J. Myrick Howard, visit the Author Page.


Praise for the First Edition of Buying Time for Heritage: "Probably the best book ever written on how to do preservation in the real world. Based on Howard's thirty years of experience running a revolving fund, it contains essential lessons for all preservationists on how to accomplish more with less.  Engagingly written for a 'can do' audience, the book makes clear that success in saving buildings depends less on huge endowments than every-day business 'smarts.' It should be the lead book on every preservationist's bookshelf."—Robert E. Stipe, Noted preservation educator and author, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

"Buying Time for Heritage is essential for preservationists and students of preservation around the country to learn how to transform buildings and towns using Preservation North Carolina's work as a guide. Myrick Howard is a national leader in the field of historic properties redevelopment programs and has inspired historic preservationists to add such programs to their work."—Mary Anthony, The 1772 Foundation

"Reusing our older and historic buildings is a prime tenet of both the conservation and preservation movements. Avoiding the usual real estate jargon, Myrick translates the complicated world of real estate development into concepts we can all understand and embrace."—Paul Edmondson, former president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation