In 2008, when the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Communities created a list of the top 109 historic places around the world, Natchez, Mississippi, made the list at number 40. While Natchez was praised for its “fantastic architectural heritage” and other qualities, local residents’ hard work and dedication to preserving the city deserves just as much acclaim.

Known for its distinctive plantation mansions, Natchez has nearly 80 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. And due to the hard work and concerted efforts of various local community members, foundations and organizations, the city welcomes approximately 700,000 visitors a year, bringing in millions of dollars in tourism-related revenue.

William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Natchez is a prime example of a city embracing its past, and especially its architectural assets and cultural heritage, and using them as an engine to move into future.

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