Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paterson's Great Falls Named National Historical Park

President Obama recently signed into law the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Act. The Paterson Act is part of an omnibus parks and historic preservation bill.

Hamilton statue at the Great Falls
photo via Flickr by Ken Ronkowitz

As the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton founded the City of Paterson to begin implementing his plan to harness the force of the Great Falls—then the nation’s largest waterfall—to power new industries that would secure America’s economic independence.

Considering that one federal agency has ranked Paterson as the most economically distressed city in the United States, the local community leaders hope the creation of the national historical park, along with preservation and redevelopment of the historic center of the city, will have a positive impact on Paterson’s 175,000 residents.

Groups such as NJ Heritage Development Coalition are recommending that the state enact a state historic preservation tax credit that will jump start redevelopment in Paterson and across the state.

President Barack Obama’s Remarks
"As Americans, we possess few blessings greater than the vast and varied landscapes that stretch the breadth of our continent. Our lands have always provided great bounty – food and shelter for the first Americans, for settlers and pioneers; the raw materials that grew our industry; the energy that powers our economy.

What these gifts require in return is our wise and responsible stewardship. As our greatest conservationist President, Teddy Roosevelt, put it almost a century ago, “I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”

That’s the spirit behind the bipartisan legislation I’m signing today – legislation among the most important in decades to protect, preserve and pass down our nation’s most treasured landscapes to future generations."

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