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The pace of social, economic, and environmental change in the 21st century can be so rapid that even when change is generally positive, it may overwhelm efforts to avoid or minimize harmful effects that can come with it. Such harmful effects can include traffic congestion, inadequate public services, overcrowded schools, crime, and higher taxes. They can also include the destruction of historic buildings, sites, and landscapes. To address problems such as these effectively planning is necessary, and this includes a plan for historic preservation. A plan must serve to guide the efforts of agencies and individuals who are collectively trying to preserve the historic environment. It can also facilitate the coordination of those efforts with other planning and growth management efforts.

As the state agency primarily responsible for the stewardship of historic resources in the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Historical Commission has taken the lead in efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for historic preservation in the state. The development of such a plan is a requirement of the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the provisions of which are carried out in Tennessee by the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission first developed a statewide plan for historic preservation in 1970 in response to the passage of that legislation. This plan has been periodically revised since that time with the most recent revision being completed in 2003. The text of this plan is posted here and can be accessed by clicking on the link below. A draft of this plan was previously posted with a solicitation for comments from the public. Although this edition of the plan is now final, public comments are still invited on the plan and how best to implement it. These comments will be taken into account as the Historical Commission implements the plan over the next few years and will also be taken into account when work begins in a few years to once again update the plan. Any comments, suggestions, or questions may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Richard Tune, Tennessee Historical Commission, 4921 Lebanon Rd, Nashville, TN 37243.

We believe that the plan provides a good picture of what is being done as well as what needs to be done to preserve the historic built environment of Tennessee.

A Future for the Past - A Comprehensive Plan for Historic Preservation in Tennessee (PDF 1.05 MB)