Architectural Examples, Successful
Projects and Good Infill
| Armories |
Barns | Baseball Fields | Bridges
| Chain Hotels | College
Campuses | Conservatories/Greenhouses |
High Rise | Institutional
Buildings | Jails | Labor
History Sites | Linear Features | Medical
Clinics | Outdoor Ampitheaters |
Streetscapes | Surrender
Sites| Theater Seating | Trailers/Mobile
Home Parks | Wood Grain Elevators|
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Missouri has recently started our first nonprofit
barn alliance, Missouri BARN (Barn Alliance and Rural Network). The group
has a number of goals, one of which is a rural survey program that primarily
focuses on barns. Does anyone have a good example of what their state is
doing with rural or barn surveys? Do any states have programs that specialize
in historic barns?
The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
has good barn program
One of the qualifying structures for the Iowa
Historic Tax Credit program is a barn built prior to 1937.
Check out the Washington Heritage Barn Preservation
Initiative...a tremendous success!
In Maine the survey and preservation of barns
(rural or otherwise) has been a priority for about 10 years. In 1999
we developed a Barn Preservation Grant Program for privately owned barns
which are listed in the National Register. Sadly, we’ve only been
able to fund three rounds of grants in that time – the last was
in 2006. The funding is dependent on either state bonds or legislative
appropriations and in both cases, the Barn Grants are a very small subset
of a larger grant program that covers seven branches of cultural agencies
within state government. Average grants have been about $5,000, the
property owners have to match that amount, and the work has to meet
SOI Standards. Based on the economy, I doubt the program will receive
funding again in the near future.
In order to evaluate the relative significance
of barns for listing in the Register we developed specific Barn and
Farmstead survey forms. These have been in use since 2002, and we require
all surveyors (Section 106 or grant funded) to use them. The forms are
also distributed to property owners who wish to be considered for the
grant program, although I think we only get about a 15% return rate.
Even though I designed the forms I will be the first to acknowledge
that they are not great – they were too closely based on our regular
survey forms – but we now probably have several thousand barns
recorded. Someday I hope to put together a barn MPDF for different parts
of the state.
The National Barn Alliance developed barn survey
forms a few years ago which are much better. http://www.barnalliance.org/documentation.html
For larger scale barn and rural property surveys,
we utilized HPF monies a couple years ago to survey over 300 barns and
agricultural properties in the state and produce a multiple property
documentation form to provide the historic context for these properties
in our state. The MPDF is available to read online at http://www.kshs.org/resource/national_register/
if you are interested. We hope to continue adding to the survey information
gathered to date and encourage more property owners to nominate their
properties to the state and/or national registers.
There is a statewide non-profit dedicated to barn
preservation in Kansas. See the Kansas Barn Alliance website at:
In partnership with the Kansas Barn Alliance,
the Kansas SHPO has surveyed over 300 barns and farmsteads across the
state over the last 3 years or so. The report is available at this link:
The survey project was also featured in our agency's
quarterly magazine: http://www.kshs.org/resource/ks_preservation/kpjulaug08.pdf
In response to the 2004 listing of Southern Maryland
Tobacco Barns on the National Trust's 11 Most Endangered list, the Maryland
Historical Trust worked with NTHP, Preservation Maryland and the five
Southern Maryland counties to raise awareness of and preserve tobacco
barns. These structures are particularly threatened due to economic
forces, development pressure from Washington DC, and the State of Maryland's
tobacco buyout program which paid farmers not to grow tobacco. Using
SAT and other funds we created a tobacco barn restoration that provided
grants to private owners to rehab their barns. After three rounds of
grants the funding ran out and is not likely to be replenished. We also
completed a historic context report, multiple property NR nomination,
and measured drawings of the most significant barns.
The Maryland General Assembly established an agricultural
buildings grant fund several years ago, but it has never been funded.
While barns are surveyed as part of our general historic sites survey
program, there is no separate effort to document barns or agricultural
Contact the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.
Their website is http://www.mibarn.net/.
Here is a link to their barn and farmstead survey page http://michiganbarns.org/
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While we gnash our teeth over inaccurate reports,
I want to talk about baseball. And fields that have been listed, their integrity
and association with players. I visited yesterday the field Stan Musial
played on when he started in minor league in Williamson, WV. By googling,
I found a mention that Stan the Man stayed at the Frederick Hotel in St.
Louis, but that wasn't the specific reason for listing, so what examples
can folks share with me about minor league baseball - what gets listed for
association with early players. Many thanks, and let's eat some Cracker
Lamar Porter Athletic Field Lamar Porter Athletic
Field (Little Rock - Pulaski County)
W. 7th & S. Johnson Sts.
1936 Works Progress Administration-built baseball field
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 12/6/1990.
Taylor Field Taylor Field (Pine Bluff - Jefferson County)
1204 E. 16th Street
1939-1940 Works Progress Administration-built baseball field.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 1/21/2010.
Calfee Athletic Field is one of our most intact
1930s minor league stadiums (listed).
Carson Park Baseball Stadium in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Associated with Hank Aaron, who played there in the minors in 1952.
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Arches | Eligibility | Preservation
We are debating the eligibility of a bridge. We are
reviewing the replacement (demolition) of a truss bridge in which some of
the truss members have been replaced. According to the highway dept., the
appearance matches the original to the “untrained eye.” Essentially,
to me this is replacement in kind. So is the integrity compromised?
What do you look at regarding integrity issues when reviewing bridge projects?
I suggest that you apply the rehabilitation standard
and consider the preservation brief that allows for substitute materials
that are acceptable, primarily on the basis of the visual characteristics
associated with size, materiality, color, etc.
We had this question come up a little while back
for several bridges in Florida. We talked to the "Bridge Guy"
with the National Register office in DC and he agreed that as long as
it is replacement in-kind over time, not a wholesale non-historic reconstruction/rehabilitation,
the integrity of a bridge is not compromised, like any other type of historic
property. If the rehab/reconst work on a bridge is now 50+ years of age,
etc., it could be possibly eligible in its current state. A bridge over
water (particularly saltwater) or an environmentally wet setting especially,
has to be be repaired frequently and metal or wooden members must often
be replaced over time.
Owned by the city of Madison, IL, the Chain of Rocks
Bridge (1929) connects Missouri and Illinois over the Mississippi River.
Located just north of St. Louis, the bridge closed to auto traffic several
years ago. Trailnet leased the bridge beginning in 1997 and raised funds
to restore and maintain the bridge for use as a pedestrian/bike trail.
Trailnet also uses the site educational programs. More information on
this bridge can be found at: http://www.trailnet.org/p_ocorb.php.
In 1982 a flood on Apple Creek in southeast Missouri
swept the 1879 pin connected Pratt through truss off its piers and into
the creek. The town salvaged the bridge trusses, storing them until funds
could be raised to restore and rebuild the bridge in its original location.
The bridge was stored and reopened as a pedestrian/bike crossing in 2006
or 2007. This is a very small community who now use the bridge as a tourist
attraction and center piece. More information on the bridge restoration
project can be found at: http://oldappleton.com/bridge.asp.
The towns of Boscawen and Canterbury New Hampshire
share a 1907 Parker high truss metal bridge, designed by the outstanding
NH engineer John W. Storrs. The bridge was closed to traffic several years
ago. The bridge crosses the Merrimack River in a rural area; in the past
there was limited interest in rehabbing it for bike / pedestrian and snowmobile
use, but none is evident now. The towns consider the bridge to be a safety
hazard (an "attractive nuisance" to adventurous swimmers) and
are asking the NH DOT to help them demolish it. There appear to be no
Corps of Engineers or other federal permits required and therefore no
Section 106 review, although the state-level review procedure of RSA 227-C:9
-- is applicable. The consulting engineers assert that there is a 40%
section loss, but it is mostly in the floor beams, stringers, and joists,
which could be replaced, along with the deck, without substantially affecting
the bridge's historical and structural significance.
Raritan Borough & Hillsborough Township,
County Bridge No. EO 801 is commonly called the
Nevius Street Bridge over the Raritan River. It is an example of a publicly
funded project that owes its success to creative minds who were willing
to grapple with a problem until the solutions became simple and obvious.
Constructed in 1886, the Nevius Street Bridge
is the oldest metal highway bridge in the County and ranks as one of
the oldest and most complete examples of its truss design in the entire
State. Individually listed in the New Jersey and National Registers
of Historic Places, the bridge served for many years as a link connecting
River Road in Hillsborough to Nevius Street in Raritan Borough. But
after numerous repairs, it was not possible to strengthen the existing
structure to continue to carry vehicular loads or provide sufficient
width for current traffic volumes. Replacement of the crossing on an
alternate alignment was recommended. The bridge was rehabilitated for
pedestrian use and a new bridge was constructed as the replacement crossing
for vehicle traffic.
This project cost slightly over $8M and took over
a decade from the initial scoping phase. Recognition went to the County
of Somerset - and its Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The Elm Street Lenticular Truss Bridge
Additional info: http://setmar.com/Bridges/Elm/Elm.htm
for Concrete Arch Maintenance
Emmons, Peter H.: Concrete Repair and Maintenance
Illustrated: Problem Analysis, Repair Strategy, Techniques
Taylor, Frederick W. and Sanford E. Thompson:
A Treatise on Concrete Plain and Reinforced
Tilly, Graham: Conservation of Bridges
Portland Cement Association
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of Colorado (Denver)
University of Delaware
University of Georgia (Athens)
(New York City)
North Carolina State University (Raleigh)
Peace College (Raleigh)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
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I am working with a friends group on the restoration
of a 1882 conservatory that was remodeled in the early 1930's with new technology.
There has been talk that it is the oldest western greenhouse/conservatory
still extant west of the Mississippi but have nothing to confirm this so
I am looking for historic extant greenhouses in the Western States.
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Rise Buildings (Modern)
We have a mid-1960s apartment building in Omaha
that has been vacant for a number of years. It is truly different from any
other buiding in Omaha, both in terms of its architecture and the people
it served versus other high rise apartment buildings in town. Where the
others were all low income housing, this one was market rate and a bit pretentious
at that. The architecture defies description to a point, but it is ten stories
over a concrete piered plinth, shall we say? It is enveloped in white asbestos
panels that apparently weren't watertight from the moment they were installed,
according to records of a lawsuit with the manufacturer. It was constructed
to complement a slightly earlier building, also not yet 50 years in age,
that was a rehabilitation of an old 1919 Sears warehouse. They are attached
by the second floor, but the south building is condos and therefore has
multiple owners. We have thus far only been discussing eligibility with
the owner of the north tower, but clearly their stories are linked.
The north tower is about five or six years under the fifty year cut off,
and we are trying to consider what an argument for exceptional significance
might be? Have any of you successfully listed any mid-1960s highrise apartment
buildings in the National Register? What were your arguments?
The other issue is that its owners have applied for a HUD-FHA secured loan.
Do your offices consider federally secured loans to be enough of a federal
hook to trigger Section 106 Review?
Michigan: One NR example from Michigan
would be the Lafayette Park complex in Detroit with buildings by Mies. The
period of signficance is 1956-1963 and it was listed as a district in 1996.
Michigan has asked HUD this question about FHA before
and the answer has consistently been no. We do not review FHA-secured loans.
I would encourage you to contact your regional HUD office and confirm this,
since it is the fed agency that needs to determine whether a particular
action is an undertaking. I'll add one little disclaimer - HUD has required
us to review mulitfamily projects that receive HUD loan insurance, but not
individual-owner FHA-insured properties. Definately check with either your
local HUD field environmental officer or the HUD-ACHP person on that.
Oregon: I would talk to your NR reviewer
about it. If there is sufficient context, you may not need to make the case
for exceptional importance. Five years is close enough to 50, in some cases.
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In Charles Town, West Virginia, the Jefferson
County Jail was rededicated on September 20, 2008 after a multi-year
effort to save the building. Designed by A.B. Mullett, the jail is most
noted for its role in the coal mine wars. After the Battle of Blair
Mountain in southern West Virginia, miners arrested for treason were
held in the jail during their 1922 trial.
The County Commission had decided upon demolition
of the jail. The building was considered structurally unsound and inappropriate
for reuse. Local citizens opposed this decision and the WV SHPO commented
according to a state review process. The matter ended up at the WV Supreme
Court. County Commission membership changed; the public continued to
support reuse of the building. A second structural opinion was more
positive than the first. The WV SHPO provided a state development matching
grant ($42,000) to replace the roof. The County invested considerable
funding and decided to adaptively reuse the building. Having toured
the building both before and after, it is a beautiful project. The portion
of the building once used as the jailer’s residence is now office
space. The majority of the cells were removed. There is a courtroom
and record storage space also.
For more information, check out
http://www.savethejail.org/index.html and the following local news
Frances Morgan is the current President of the
Commission. Their contact information is found at http://www.jeffersoncountywv.org/jcc.html
Boston's Charles Street Jail, is now the Liberty
Hotel, a luxury hotel. The article indicates it received state and federal
tax credits. In a nod to the building's past, jail cells were preserved
within areas now housing the hotel's restaurants/bars, named "Clink",
"Alibi" and "Scampo" (Italian for "escape").
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New Mexico SHPO received an inquiry about National
Register eligibility for the Union Hall of the International Union of Mine,
Mill and Smelter Workers Local 890 in Hanover, NM. Events related to the
Empire Zinc Mine Strike from Oct 1950 - Feb 1952, took place at the Union
Hall. The strike was the subject of the 1954 movie Salt of the Earth. NM
SHPO is looking for National Register nominations for properties related
to labor strikes, to assist the property owner and our office in determining
eligibility and advising on an approach for a National Register nomination.
Montana: Butte-Anaconda NHL is a
labor history landmark too. Here's the NPS link: http://www.nps.gov/history/nhl/designations/samples/mt/Butte-Anaconda.pdf
New Jersey: The Pietro and Maria
Botto House in Haledon, NJ is a National Historic Landmark associated with
the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike. It is also the current home of the American
Labor Museum. Here are some links to more information on the resource:
Nevada: Consider looking at the
National Historic Landmark nomination for the Ludlow Massacre site (it has
a good context). Also, NPS has a Labor History theme study for the Landmark
Virginia: We have recent nomination
that focuses on the 1917 Women Wage Earner’s Association (WWEA) strike
at the American Cigar Company (stemmery) in Norfolk.
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I am curious as to how other State Historic Preservation
Offices record linear features/properties. Are you recording them on archaeological
site forms, historic site forms, or do you have special forms for linear
features? Do you divide them by type e.g. railroads - historic form, prehistoric
trails - archaeological site form? Is it based on current use verses abandonment?
What if a linear feature is both archaeological and historic? Abandoned
irrigation ditches verses those in use? We would like to know more about
your system for recording linear features/properties. when you record linear
features, how far do you measure out the width of the linear feature from
its centerline? For example, West Virginia has a rail road line that was
determined eligible, but the official DOE did not identify clearly the boundary.
the line is now within an area of a Section 106 undertaking. The federal
agency is trying to assess the area of potential effect.
Arkansas: We have done a lot of surveying
of road segments in Arkansas, and they have been recorded on our regular
resource form. One road segment I recorded also had an archaeological component,
and I completed one of our resource forms plus one of the state archaeological
site forms for that one. In Arkansas, it has depended on the width of the
resource. The pavement on some of our early highways was only about ten
feet wide, but by the late 1920s the pavement was 18 feet wide. In the road
segments we have listed, the distance from the centerline has included the
pavement plus some buffer on each side, so it would depend on the width
of the pavement.
California: In California we use a primary record
(DPR 523A) to record basic information about the property along with a linear
feature record (DPR 523E). These forms are on our website at http://www.ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1069.
Florida: Florida incorporates most
linear resources into our Resource Group Form, which was originally designed
to handle districts. This allows us to designate contributing resources
to things like a rail corridor district. We do note the type of linear resource
on the form (generally Road, Rail or Canal). That’s the easy part,
now… the rest of the story. If a linear resource is in ruinous condition
or abandoned, it may get recorded on an archaeological form (much the same
way a building may deteriorate into an archaeological site at some point).
This call is made on a case by case basis. For some resources, such as prehistoric
canals (of which there are a number in Florida), we generally use archaeological
The bottom line is that these resources do not fit
neatly into our categories. Until recently these resources were ignored
in some CRAS’s so we are just happy to get them recognized. We advise
folks to focus on just getting the resources recorded and not worry too
much about which form (we can edit them after we receive the info, if need
Idaho: Linear sites (1/2 mile or
more long) must be recorded on archaeological site forms or historic site
forms depending on the type of resource. Trails, old wagon roads, mining
features, livestock trails, and timber harvesting features (including logging
railroads) must be recorded on archaeological forms. Main (named) agricultural
canals and primary laterals, named roads and highways, and railroads and
railroad grades must be recorded on historic site forms. Legal descriptions
and attached maps for all linear sites must include all sections crossed
by the site in that county whether field checked or not.
New York: In New York, the documentation
for eligibilities are somewhat "flexible," by which I mean it
will vary depending on the resource and the staffer. We have the Erie/NYS
Barge Canal System which has been determined eligible in it's entirety (including
feeder canals, impoundments, etc.) but has not been comprehensively surveyed
and inventoried. Similar features would likely be entered on our Historic
District Inventory Form rather than our Building/Structure Inventory form.
New elements come in for review under state or federal regs and are then
NR listing is a different issue for which sections of canal systems, roads
and railroads are fully documented. Generally the legal boundaries of rights-of
way are the NR boundaries. The only extra step that I can think of was for
the nomination of the historic route of the Watkins Glen Grand Prix, a six-mile
loop of public roads raced on from 1948-1952. In addition to the usual information,
I added the UTM coordinates of where I stood as I took photos at intervals
around the course.
Oregon: Oregon SHPO has had an interesting
time dealing with this issue over time. Historically, we have addressed
all above ground linear features (railroads, canal systems, roads, trails)
as historic resources and have filled out above-ground historic resource
forms. This process went through much debate a number of years ago and we
have since changed our minds and record such features using the form more
appropriate to the resource use. For example, derelict canal, water line
and irrigation systems and recorded on archaeological site forms. Canals
that are still in use are recorded on above-ground historic forms. The same
goes for railroads and old segments of historic roads. However, some linear
features (e.g., historic trail systems like the Oregon Trail and Barlow
Road) are recorded on both types of forms. This is due to the high probability
of associated historic archaeological sites and features being found along
such trails and the importance of such historic trails to current historic
planning efforts. Not the easiest solution to the problem but it appears
to be working much better for us then the earlier historic resource form
Utah: Linear features have always
been a bit of a problem in Utah. A few years back the Utah Professional
Archaeological Council (UPAC) formed a committee to develop guidance on
how to record and manage this type of resource. Since that time, Utah SHPO,
and agencies within Utah have adopted the UPAC Linear Sites Guidelines (available
at this URL http://www.upaconline.org/files/UPACLinearGuidance2008.pdf ).
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We have received a preliminary application to determine
NJ and National Register eligibility for an 1820s medical clinic. The building
was constructed circa 1823 specifically for use as a medical clinic for
the doctor (not his residence). It was surveyed by HABS and identified as
being unique in their survey as the earliest purpose-built medical clinic.
Are any of you familiar with a building specifically built for use by a
doctor as a clinic--from an earlier period?
The Montgomery County (MD) Historical Society
owns a medical office used by Dr. Stonestreet in the later 1800s. They
now use it as a medical museum. See http://www.montgomeryhistory.org
Castleton Medical College in Castleton, Vermont
was founded in 1818. After outgrowing temporary quarters in a commercial
building, the College built a new two-story building with a skylight,
an anatomical theater, a medical laboratory, lecture halls and a medical
library. It was completed and occupied in September 1821, and is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places.
Castleton Medical College closed in 1862, but
the Medical Building is now part of the Castleton State College campus.
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Greek Amphitheatre Greek Amphitheatre (Magnolia
- Columbia County)
Junction of East Lane Drive, East University Street and Crescent Drive
1936-1955 example of a collegiate amphitheatre with Classical Greek
influences built by the National Youth Administration.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 6/1/2005.
Chi Omega Greek Theater - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Chi Omega
Greek Theater - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (Fayetteville -
Dickson St. at the University of Arkansas
ca. 1927 outdoor amphitheater
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 9/4/1992.
The Grandview Park facility is in process of being
nomnated. A somewhat smaller facility he designed in Fort Dodge called
the Karl King Bandshell is listed on the NRHP at national level of significance.
It is being renovated with Save America's Treasures (SAT) funds.
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Are there any states that have listed quarries
to the National Register within the last 10 years?
Arkansas: We do have a quarry listed
in Arkansas, but it was done in 1975.
Lake Catherine Quarry Lake Catherine Quarry (Restricted
- Hot Spring County)
Prehistoric site of aboriginal mining of black novaculite
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 9/11/1975.
California: In 1977, California listed
the Griffith Quarry, a late 19th century granite quarry.
Maine: In late 2005 Maine listed
an archaeological site, the Gaunt Neck Site Coomplex, that was a Native
American quarry site.
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We would appreciate comments from other states
with experience and opinions in the following areas:
1. Compatibility of streetscape changes with historic
districts and conformity with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.
2. “Bulb-outs” or “Bump-outs”
3. Widening of sidewalks, introduction of street plantings, "period"
light fixtures, medians within streets as pedestrian refuge
5. Arches, gateways to downtown commercial areas
6. Pedestrian malls and the associated changes to traffic patterns and streetscapes.
(A one-block pedestrian mall was recently proposed for a small city in NM,
for a small but important feeder street.) Are there examples of successes,
failures, and removals of pedestrian malls in other states? Were any of
them one-block projects?
New York: Some thoughts from a cultural
- Compatibility of streetscape changes with historic
districts and conformity with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards:
The key is whether or not the configuration and details of the public
realm contribute to the historic resource. Street pattern; road and sidewalk
alignment, dimensions and materials; street furnishings, etc. can be evidence
of important historic events, the influence of important historic individuals,
a/o the result of intentional historic design a/o style. If so, then changes
to the streetscape should be considered in the same light as changes to
other historic features, and the Standards can and should be used in such
reviews. Most older nominations, however, do not specifically identify
such features as contributing to a resource’s significance—nor
are they evaluated in terms of integrity. And unfortunately many recent
nominations are not much different. Therefore reviewers must often make
such assessments on-the-fly. It’s arguably “better”
if from first writing the historic record recognized these features as
contributing, but that’s another discussion. The comments below
are based on the assumption that the “streetscape” is determined
to be contributing to the historic resource.
- “Bulb-outs” or “Bump-outs”:
Re-configuration of street pattern, alignment and dimensions such as bulb-
or bump-outs can inappropriately alter the physical relationship of vehicular
and pedestrian spaces, as well as that of buildings to the public realm.
Additionally these modifications can inappropriately change visual relationships
along a corridor by truncating a/o obscuring views down the centerline
as well as in perspective, giving a decidedly 21st century aesthetic to
resources that likely gain their significance from earlier time periods.
- Widening of sidewalks, introduction of street
plantings, "period" light fixtures, medians within streets as
pedestrian refuge: Of these changes, medians are the most likely
to inappropriately alter historic character—particularly if they
contain stuff [e.g., trees, lights, signage]—in that they also foreshorten
views down the street centerline as well as across the travel path. Modest
changes in sidewalk or roadway width [i.e., up to 10% of the historic
dimension, whether an increase or decrease] have little effect on historic
character and therefore can be appropriate. However the major increases
often proposed as part of “traffic calming” projects [e.g.,
doubling sidewalk width] definitely alter the relationship between vehicular
and pedestrian space and buildings to roadways, and consequently can diminish
Traditionally commercial main streets [at least in the Northeast] had
little if any vegetation, offering unobstructed views of building facades—and
particularly business signs. Over time, however, they became cluttered
with hitching posts, carriage steps, telegraph poles and lines, directional
signs—leaving little room for trees. As contemporary cultural phenomena
then, street trees should be treated as new additions to the historic
resource [like traffic signals]—and decisions about location, frequency/number,
and species should be considered to limit impacts to historic character.
Lastly, highly stylized street furnishings—from lights to benches,
trash receptacles to bike racks—should be based on documented historic
counterparts, or if none existed [there aren’t many historic trash
cans I know of] then the design of the new features should be based on
current stylistic trends that will compliment overall historic character
of a district.
- Rotaries: Like bulb-/bump-outs and medians,
rotaries alter both physical and visual relationships in overall street
pattern and individual street alignment and dimensions. If these characteristics
are historically significant then obliterating them to create a rotary
- Arches, gateways to downtown commercial areas:
Like other street furnishings these entry features are most often
new additions to an historic resource and therefore should be contemporary
in style—compatible with the historic character of the district,
but distinguishable as a product of current times. If an arch or other
gateway feature existed historically then reconstructing it based on photographic,
graphic or written documentation is appropriate.
- Pedestrian malls and the associated changes
to traffic patterns and streetscapes: Removing or limiting vehicular
traffic from a street in itself isn’t necessarily inappropriate.
Concern lies with the physical changes employed to accomplish the change.
For example, prohibiting vehicles simply by posting signs involves virtually
no physical change and therefore results in no impact. But constructing
a physical barrier at the ends of the block to prevent thru-circulation
has the same negative effect on views/vistas as the other alignment changes
discussed above. Similarly adding walls, raised or sunken plazas, fountains,
band stands, etc. mid-block within the traditional vehicular travel lanes
grossly changes the physical character of a street from a corridor to
a nodal space [not much different than blowing out the walls between a
central hall and its flanking parlors to create an open floor plan].
Oklahoma: The City of Oklahoma City
returned to a one-way system through two of our largest historic residential
districts in the 1990s. Just last year, the City eliminated the one-way
system for most of our downtown core.
Pennsylvania: There have been plenty
of state or federally funded streetscape improvement projects in Pennsylvania
as well. While we always ask for full information on the proposed changes,
generally, the finding is either no effect or no adverse effect when historic
districts are involved. Unless the design and configuration of the streets
or sidewalks are considered to be contributing resources within the historic
district (and mentioned in the historic district NR evaluation), I think
the usual assumption is that the changes to the streetscape will not adversely
effect the qualities that make the historic district eligible for the NR.
Also, historic districts often have lengthy periods
of significance, so the street amenities (curbs, sidewalks, traffic signals)
may have experienced significant change over time, so which configuration
is the “right’ one? Only dramatic changes which directly effect
significant features of the historic districts would arouse great concern
As for the pedestrian mall question-- I don’t
think we have reviewed many of them, because it is not a currently popular
trend. Generally, I have read that pedestrian malls are successful only
in set circumstances-- perhaps in college towns and tourism based resort
communities. I would think that the lack of vehicles in the street itself
would not have an effect. Many historic districts might date from the pre-auto
era anyway. Most of the pedestrian malls I can think of are of the one or
two block variety. I know there have been communities that have re-introduced
vehicle traffic after stores failed to thrive with closed off streets--I
am struggling to remember examples. Allentown, maybe?
Virginia: Regarding the treatment
of urban historic districts and historic streetscapes, I would appreciate
hearing anyone’s thoughts or comments on the impact of one-way street
systems in traditional neighborhoods and central business districts.
Installing one-way systems, of course, was a widespread
practice in the 1950s and ‘60s when our highest priority was to get
traffic in and out and through traditional neighborhoods as quickly as possible.
The consequence was the turning historic streets and avenues into speedways
and the elimination of the slower-paced, neighborly coming and going on
old streets. With the subsequent creation of expressways and the interstate
system, traffic congestion in older areas has become less of a problem.
Moreover, with our efforts of make our urban cores more livable it would
seem that accommodating suburban commuters at the expense of the ambience
historic districts is counter-productive.
This is certainly true in Richmond. We have a one-way
system installed in the 1950s to facilitate rush-hour traffic. The suburban
sprawl of recent years has caused the volume of such downtown rush-hour
traffic to decrease significantly. In any case, commuters can now use expressways
and interstates that didn’t exist in the 1950s. Interestingly, there
is a proposal in Richmond’s new downtown master plan to undo the one-way
system but I’m sure the traffic engineers will do all in their power
to oppose it.
Sadly, in Virginia most of our historic small cities
and towns have instituted one-way systems that have destroyed the genteel
pace and character their historic streets once had. This has happened in
Winchester, Fredericksburg, Staunton, Petersburg, Lynchburg, Lexington,
Manassas, and Fairfax to name a few. Is such unimpeded traffic flow really
necessary or the most important aspect of city life?
Outside Virginia I’ve noted historic residential
avenues in Baltimore, Raleigh, and Savannah made into speedways—no
place to have a family or a pet. On the other hand, driving both up and
down Meeting Street in Charleston is always thrilling.
For many years the residential portion of one of Richmond’s
historic streets, Grace Street, was one-way, and used as a quick exit from
downtown. Many of street’s stately town houses had fallen into decrepit
condition. Some twenty-five years ago, a group of residents was successful
in getting the two-way system restored. Since then, the street has experienced
a renaissance and once again has become a fashionable address, paralleling,
just one block away, Richmond’s famous Monument Avenue.
I was told this was one of the first instances in
the country where a one-way system was undone. Does anyone know were else
one-way systems have been undone or are planned for reversal?
Admittedly, there are some places where one-way systems
are essential, such as Manhattan; however, I strongly suspect that many
one-way systems are unnecessary and are doing more harm than good.
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The Magee Farmhouse, in rural Mobile County, is
the location where terms of surrender for Alabama, Mississippi, and Eastern
Louisiana Confederate forces were negotiated on April 29, 1865. Local experts
say this is the only such building still standing on it’s original
site. Are there other buildings associated with the negotiation or surrender
at the close of the Civil War standing on their original sites?
American Battlefield Protection Program:
The McClean House at Appomattox was dismantled at some point between 1891
and 1893 and was not reconstructed until 1949. The Bennett Place in Durham,
NC burned down in 1921 and was reconstructed in the 1960's. Kirby Smith
surrendered what was left of the Department of the Trans-Mississippi on
board the USS Fort Jackson in Galveston Harbor. Kirby's surrender was merely
a formality however as Buckner had surrendered the Trans-Mississippi in
Kirby's place a week before in New Orleans, no information regarding the
surrender sight there can be found. Buckner had the unfortunate distinction
of surrendering the Confederate Army at Fort Donelson in 1862 as well and
the Dover Inn at the NPS site there I believe is the original and on its
original site. Stand Watie surrendered near Doaksville, OK but the town
no longer exists.
There are a few other large surrender sites to consider
as well. On May 10th Major General Samuel Jones commanding the Confederate
Department of South Georgia and Florida surrendered his department in Tallahassee,
I've not been able to find where exactly this occurred. Another example
is the surrender of Brigadier General Wofford's forces in North Georgia
on May 12th, 1865 at the Rev. Charles Wallace Howard House. A Georgia state
marker designates where the house once stood.
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Does anyone know of a movie palace or theater
that was rehabbed as part of an approved tax credit project (or otherwise
deemed as meeting the Secretary of Interior's Standards) and as part of
the project took out the seats on the main level to gradually step the floor
down with terraces. The goal is to be able to use the main floor for either
seating or table seating. FYI: Unfortunately, the theater in question is
very water damaged and deteriorated; the seats will all need to be completely
replaced anyway. They will retain the seat end-standards and match the historic
seating on the large balconies. I know of a number of theaters that have
done this for dinner theater, etc., but I do not personally know of examples
that were certified projects.
California: La Loma Theater (circa
1920s) over near NTC on Rosecrans, SD was a Bookstar bookstore for many
years before it was again converted to a gym. Several large windows were
cut into the concrete walls, platforms and stairs, ADA ramps added to accommodate
the floors, etc.
Colorado: This is Colorado's version
of the same theater-to-bookstore conversion. The Bonfils Theater was originally
built for stage plays. It was turned into a bookstore in 2006. In this case,
the architects leveled the sloping theater floor and created two main spaces-
a large flat area where the seats were, and a smaller and higher flat area
where the stage used to be. This project received NPS certification for
rehab tax credits.
Texas: A few years back the National
Park Service sent us some photographs of a theater-to-bookstore (Alabama
Theater) conversion project in Houston, where they divided the sloping main
floor into several levels connected by a step or two. I believe this project
was approved for federal rehab tax credits.
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Trailer Parks and Mobile
It’s the Monterey Trailer Park and is a
Los Angeles landmark. Here is a link to an LA Times article about it.
I have done some surveys of vintage mobile homes
around Arkansas, and our office has determined one eligible. We haven’t
nominated any yet, but give me time… Most of the ones we have
surveyed have been from the mid- to late-1950s, although we have documented
one that may date from the late 1940s. One great website that I use
is below. It has great vintage ads for mobile homes and travel trailers
starting in the early 1930s.
Moving Home: Manufactured Housing in Rural America.
published by the Housing Assistance Council in December 2005. By Lance
George and Milana Barr. ISBN 1-58064-141-5
Wheel Estate: The Rise and Fall of Mobile Homes
by Allan D. Wallis (Oxford University Press, 1991).
Check out http://www.uvm.edu/histpres/HPJ/phinney/index.html
for a research project on a mobile home park in Burlington, Vermont.
It contains good information about the history and development of mobile
homes, trailer parks, and how they have evolved throughout the years.
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