April 19, 2007
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND HUD PARTNER WITH PRESERVE AMERICA INITIATIVE IN OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI
Oxford, Mississippi becomes one of 473 designated communities
OXFORD, MS - At an event held today, John L. Nau, III, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Bob Young awarded Oxford, Mississippi the designation of a Preserve America Community. Joining them was Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth and other local leaders.
In an effort to promote the Preserve America initiative and preserve historic communities, HUD has partnered with
the Advisory Council, other federal agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President's Council on Environmental Quality, and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. First Lady Laura Bush is the honorary chair of Preserve America. To date, 473 communities have been designated as Preserve America communities.
"Preserve America Communities, neighborhoods, and grant recipients know the importance of historic preservation
to the economic, educational, esthetic, and cultural life of America, as well as to their residents, their visitors, and especially to their children," said John Nau, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. "The citizens
of Oxford, Mississippi do a great job of preserving and promoting their heritage."
Oxford, Mississippi has supported the preservation of its historic environment. The Oxford Preservation Commission, established in 2000, plays an active role in recognizing and preserving local historic districts and landmarks. The
city's comprehensive land use plan also emphasizes protection of historic neighborhoods. Oxford and the University
of Mississippi have been involved in the development of a regional heritage tourism program called the Mississippi
Hills Heritage Area. Oxford also produces a walking map and guide for visitors and hosts a variety of community-
based celebrations. Oxford's Lafayette County courthouse was built in 1873, restored in 1981, and is currently undergoing further restoration. The building and its neighboring public square have remained a vital center of commerce, culture, and activity for Oxford. Efforts continue to designate it a historic preservation district in the
face of redevelopment pressures Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative
include a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride,
increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.
"In addition to governments, the private sector – businesses, philanthropic groups, historical organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens – also have a crucial role to play. Public-private partnerships are
already supporting excellent preservation work throughout our country, and they'll be vital to preserving our
national treasures in the years ahead," said Mrs. Bush.
For further information on the Preserve America initiative go to: www.preserveamerica.gov
For local information contact: Catherine Clements at (662) 236-1310.
For further information contact: Cassandra Terry, HUD Jackson Field Office Director at (601) 965-4700 ext 2105.