Meet Fort Worth’s new historic preservation officer!

Fort Worth’s new historic preservation officer brings 29 years of experience in architecture, architectural conservation, historic preservation and preservation planning in both private practice and various levels of government.

Learn more about Murray G. Miller:

Can you share some of your philosophies about historic preservation?

My philosophies about historic preservation are rooted in the very first recorded set of preservation principles — the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Manifesto of 1877, which acknowledges that we have a responsibility to protect our historic places and hand them down thoughtfully to those that come after us. This is reflected in many charters, including the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, which I have had the opportunity to work with for more than 29 years and to receive specialized training on its interpretation from the National Preservation Institute. To “conserve” is inherently an important part of how I approach historic preservation — to do as much as necessary and as little as possible is the basis from which sound preservation advice originates.

As a member of the International Network of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, I am invested in a worldwide organization dedicated to the support of traditional building, the maintenance of local character and the creation of better places to live.

So what is the practical application of all this?

I believe that historic preservation is about managed change, and it presents us with incredible opportunities to use our creativity in balancing often competing objectives that has the potential of making us good stewards of a nonrenewable resource that we are so entrusted.

Sounds great. How do we accomplish this?

To do this, I think it is necessary to embrace historic preservation for the opportunities that it presents, recognize its economic, educational and cultural values, its contribution to quality of life and make a point of celebrating preservation successes that are only possible with the sustained support of the community and local government. Rest assured, there will always be challenges.

Speaking of challenges, what are some challenges with historic preservation in a city like Fort Worth?

Perhaps amongst the most notable challenges are having the necessary resources to administer a historic preservation program thoughtfully, given the need for meaningful incentives, effective regulations, education and awareness, and strategic partnerships — while upholding best practices, consistency and a timely sense of humor within a setting of potentially rapid change, competing objectives and excellence in customer service.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing?

I am most looking forward to working with architects, developers, the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission, the preservation community, property owners and decision makers to use solutions-based sustainable approaches toward historic preservation. In other words, when our decisions reflect sustainable approaches, that is an important accomplishment that we should celebrate. I am also looking forward to elevating the importance of education and awareness that will serve to better equip us with the tools that are needed to arrive at good decisions.

Contact Miller at 817-392-8574.

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