Check out the above link and then read this blog entry.
The visual reference shows the simultaneous failure and success of historic districts in Cleveland, Ohio.
Why does the use of historic districts struggle in Cleveland?
I suppose the better, and more constructive, question to ask would be, "how does it succeed?"
If we analyze the two images on the provided link again... we might see something a little more vibrant.
Obviously, a lot of buildings were lost, and their former sites became parking lots.
Okay, we've known this factor of living in mid-western USA, but what we can notice is the fact that this area is in use and active.
While many buildings were slain to accommodate the automobile's demands, this cluster of early 20th century buildings remain in use and attractive to both reuse and redevelopment of nearby land.
Cleveland may not remain as intact as southern port cities like Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC, but it has the gritty appeal of an industrial age that those cities will never have to offer.