Thursday, February 19, 2015
7:45-8:15am Continental Breakfast
President and CEO,
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Older Buildings, Livable Cities:
Historic Preservation and the Dynamic Urban Environment
in conversation with Wayne Ratkovich,
President and CEO, The Ratkovich Company
500 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
$20 General Admission*
Since 2010, Stephanie Meeks has been the President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit created in 1949 by congressional charter to support the preservation of America’s historic buildings and neighborhoods. Prior to joining the Trust, she headed up the international humanitarian organization Counterpart International, and before that worked for seventeen years with the Nature Conservancy.
Her focus at the Trust has been on its Main Streets Program, an initiative to revitalize cities and towns around historic commercial districts, and its Preservation Green Lab, which promotes the reuse of older commercial buildings in the interest of sustainable, environmentally responsible urban growth.
Both efforts have come together here in Los Angeles in the Partnership for Building Reuse, the Trust’s collaboration with the Urban Land Institute. Los Angeles was chosen as the first of five pilot projects to identify and address obstacles to building reuse in major U.S. cities.
And just last month, the Trust added the Southwest Museum in Mount Washington to its list of 55 “national treasures.” The designation offers new hope to the beleaguered museum, which has been largely closed in recent years due to conflicts surrounding the stewardship of the Autry Center, which took over the museum in 2003. Read the full story in this recent Los Angeles Times article.
It’s no secret that American cities are enjoying something of a renaissance in the early 21st century. Today, 80% of Americans and counting live in an urban area. Americans – especially younger Americans – are increasingly looking to make their homes in our big cities. Given these trends, Stephanie K . Meeks, will address the critical role historic buildings play in creating jobs, strengthening neighborhoods, spurring revitalization, and expanding prosperity. She will present compelling new research from the National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab on the social and economic impact of older buildings, and emphasize the key policy tools – such as historic tax credits – that states and municipalities can take advantage of to foster economic growth. And she will explain how getting the most out of historic and older buildings moves cities forward, makes them more dynamic and livable, and should form a central part of any strategy for urban development, in Los Angeles and across the nation.
Wayne Ratkovich is President and CEO, of The Ratkovich Company. The company’s work has been conducted in association with a number of the country’s largest financial institutions and has received many awards from the City of Los Angeles, BOMA, the Los Angeles Conservancy, USC, UCLA and a number of civic organizations.
Ratkovich served as a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute for 21 years. He has served as a Vice Chairman, a member of ULI’s Executive Committee and as a Governor of the Urban Land Foundation. He has served on eleven ULI committees, three times as Chairman of the Awards of Excellence Jury. He has chaired 10 ULI panels formed to tackle some of the country’s most difficult and now successful urban development challenges.
Ratkovich is an Emeritus Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and in 2011 he was named a Life Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. He is a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.