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The value of a rehabilitated neighborhood school in Edenton, NC: a quantative and qualitative inquiry

Directed by Jo Leimenstoll, 122 pp.


Current literature supports the concept that the multivalent nature of historic resources can be accessed and utilized for economic development and historic preservation initiatives. Thus suggesting that complete assessment of economic, social, cultural, and subjective values requires both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to provide stakeholders with a more holistic understanding of historic preservation and the effects of rehabilitation on surrounding communities. This mixed methods case study examines the different ways in which a community valued the rehabilitation of a neighborhood school in Edenton, North Carolina based on property values and community perception. The researcher conducted a quantitative property value study that compared values from 1990 and 2006 for all parcels within a one-half mile radius of the rehabilitated school. The researcher then conducted a content analysis of available meeting minutes and newspaper articles for the year 1988. Results revealed a positive correlation between the adaptive reuse of the E. A. Swain School and surrounding property values. The content analysis revealed that the community positively valued the project. The findings of this thesis support current literature that historic preservation is an effective economic development tool. Not only can communities use these findings as a leverage tool to promote adaptive reuse, but also the research design can be adapted to any rehabilitation project in which a holistic interpretation of community valuation of the built environment is required.

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