Rick Dover is the general manager of Family Pride Corporation, a family owned and operated company and the oldest and largest provider of senior living solutions in the Knoxville, Tenn., area. Rick Dover has utilized historic preservation to provide senior adult facilities for communities in Tennessee and Georgia. Rick Dover has been also been deeply involved with saving historic structures in Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida.
Oceans2003: We are speaking with Rick Dover about his passion for historic preservation. Thank you for meeting with us today, Rick.
Rick Dover: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
Oceans2003: So my first question is, why preservation? Isn’t it easier to knock down an old building and replace it with a new structure?
Rick Dover: Perhaps, but look at what you lose when you do that.
Oceans2003: You lose an old rundown building?
Rick Dover: If you look beyond the outward appearance of the dilapidated structures, you’ll find a large part of a community’s history. History is what gives a community its character.
Oceans2003: You value preservation over new construction?
Rick Dover: Most definitely. Protecting history through its structural remains is enough to validate preservation efforts, but there are many other reasons why historic preservation is valuable.
Oceans2003: What are some of those reasons?
Rick Dover: Culture is one important incentive. Preservation of past eras and styles connect people with the past and with each other. It can be a strong motivation for social interaction.
Oceans2003: Social interaction? I wouldn’t have thought that would be a factor.
Rick Dover: When people realize the significance in preserving a structure with historical value, instead of destroying it and rebuilding, they develop a sense of civic pride. People with pride in their neighborhood tend to work together to make other improvements in their community.
Oceans2003: I can understand the importance of a connection with past generations being a common bond in a community.
Rick Dover: There is also the economic benefit. When historic buildings are made attractive to visitors, the community profits through increased tourism, greater household income, larger tax revenues, and added jobs.
Oceans2003: Doesn’t preservation of old structures have an adverse effect on new building projects?
Rick Dover: To the contrary. A plan for future development in a community that includes the protection of historic buildings actually encourages healthy growth.
Oceans2003: If you had to name the most important benefit of historic preservation, what would it be?
Rick Dover: That’s a difficult question, but if I had to choose only one I’d say perhaps the biggest advantage would be for the environment. Everyone benefits when historic buildings are rehabilitated rather than torn down and tossed into the local landfill.
Oceans2003: It sounds as if senior adults and local communities gain the most from historic preservations. Am I right?
Rick Dover: I agree they both benefit significantly, but ultimately I believe that future generations will gain the most from our efforts with an improved environment and a legacy rich in an enduring physical history of their local community.
Oceans2003: How long have you been involved with historic preservation?
Rick Dover: Family Pride Corporation and I have been passionate about historic preservation since the company was created in 1993.
Oceans2003: Why did you first become interested in historic preservation?
Rick Dover: The first building we rehabilitated was for my grandfather. We couldn’t find a senior living facility that would fulfill all his wants and needs, so we decided to create one.
Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation have been saving and preserving historical buildings for more than 20 years. Rick Dover has won numerous awards for historic preservation including the Tennessee Historical Commission’s Certificate of Merit, and Rick Dover has twice been awarded historic preservation of the year awards from the East Tennessee Historic Preservation Alliance. Rick Dover was the winner of the Loudon County Preservationist of the Year award in 2012 and the Nine Counties Preservationist of the Year award in 2011. For more information about Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation’s heritage preserving projects, visit familypridecorp.com.