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Star preservationist Adler dies at 88

SAVANNAH, GA. — Lee Adler II was never content with saving Savannah’s historic homes and buildings one at a time. In 1959, he found a way to spare entire city blocks and neighborhoods from the wrecking ball that changed the way preservation groups across the nation did business.

Adler died Sunday at age 88, said Matt Weeks of Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors. A cause of death was not immediately available.

As president of the His­tor­ic Savannah Founda­tion, which Adler led until the mid-1960s, he took an entrepreneurial approach to saving Savannah’s architectural treasures by essentially persuading local preservationists to get into the real estate business. The group would buy sagging old properties facing demolition and sell them to buyers who promised to restore them. The tactic worked so well that groups across the U.S. began following Adler’s lead.

“There’s not a preservation group in this country that doesn’t owe some debt of gratitude to the work of Lee Adler,” said David J. Brown, the chief preservation officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington.

In other news

TOYOTA INDUSTRIES Corp. will open a $350 million compressor production plant in Georgia’s Jackson County. Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that the plant in Pendergrass will bring 320 jobs.

SOUTH CAROLINA Treas­urer Curtis Loftis told senators Tuesday that the state pension system is underperforming and paying too much in fees, but his public call for transparency seemed to backfire as Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, suggested he seek a solution rather than publicity. Loftis said the state might need to reduce its alternative investments.


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