Preserve America

U.S. Pension Building, Washington, DC

Preserve America is a federal program that supports efforts to preserve and enjoy our nation’s heritage. Permanent authorizing legislation was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2009. Executive Order 13287, signed by President Bush in 2003, complements the Preserve America initiative and calls upon the federal government to:

  • Protect, enhance and use historic properties owned by the government;
  • Build partnerships with state and local governments, Indian tribes, and the private sector to promote local economic development through the use of historic properties;
  • Maintain accurate information on federal historic properties and their condition; and
  • Seek opportunities to increase public benefit from federally owned historic properties, including heritage tourism.

With 31 percent of GSA's owned space located in historic buildings, GSA has many opportunities to make a difference by encouraging client agencies to use historic buildings we own or have an opportunity to lease. Most directives set forth in the executive order have long been standard practice at GSA, including:

  • Developing a national database documenting GSA historic properties;
  • Working with communities to ensure public benefit from the federal presence;
  • Creating an active strategy for using historic buildings and keeping them viable; and
  • Leasing underutilized historic buildings, and renting ceremonial spaces for special events.

GSA is proud to be a partner in this initiative to strengthen government-wide preservation efforts. For more information, visit

Last Reviewed: 2023-02-09