Last week, New Orleans played host to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Board of Trustees. I had an opportunity to talk to them about some of the successes and challenges of our work. I've posted the text of my remarks below.
Welcome to New Orleans. Whether this is your first visit or a return visit, you will probably agree that this remains a distinctive city—a city apart in so many ways, capable of inspiring a fierce loyalty and determination from those who were born and raised here—but also from those who come here from somewhere else and are pulled into its powerful orbit.
You’ve already seen and heard a lot about the city and our work here, I know, but I want to just quickly fill in a few more details on the advocacy side.
We started out, as Peter Brink, Dick Moe, and Kevin Mercadel told you, essentially working to save one house at a time, figuring if you can show you can save one, you can save many, many more.
Here, after the disaster, when FEMA entered the picture as the agency paying the tab on so much of the recovery, we had another legal hook to try to help us do that—the federally-mandated Section 106 consultation process. Whenever you have federal involvement of any kind (money, licensing, construction) and resources that are listed—or are eligible for listing—in the National Register of Historic Places, Section 106 consultation must take place, according to the National Historic Preservation Act. It grew out of national concern by the 1960’s that federal projects—like the National Defense Highway System and urban renewal projects were tearing the heart out of the older neighborhoods of our cities and towns.
... Read More →