The Yale Law Journal

January 2007

Living History: How Homeowners in a New Local Historic District Negotiate Their Legal Obligations

Tad Heuer

116 Yale L.J. 768 (2007)

American historic preservationists are increasingly emphasizing the need to preserve not only prominent landmarks, but also the vernacular architectural culture of "ordinary neighborhoods." Preserving such neighborhoods often requires convincing homeowners to agree to legal restrictions on how they maintain their homes, yet to date, there has been no empirical research on how homeowners have responded to the policy tradeoffs inherent in making such a decision. This Note fills that gap, using extensive original empirical research to examine how homeowners in New Haven's recently approved City Point Local Historic District viewed and managed their legal obligations. This Note then draws upon these data to develop policy recommendations for improving local preservation efforts nationwide.