Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA © 2008 NTHP

In June 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for widening Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, despite significant objections from the National Trust and other preservation organizations. Significantly, FHWA invoked a new optional short statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, which allows only 180 days from the decision to file suit – a provision added in the SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization legislation passed in 2005. Following an unsuccessful attempt to persuade FHWA to withdraw its shortened statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, the Trust opted to join a lawsuit, which was filed by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Shenandoah Valley Network, Scenic Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in December 2007.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Caution! Tulsa Blogging Ahead!

Posted on: June 12th, 2008 by Lori Feinman

 

FIVE burgers for $1?!  Intriguing, and yet disgusting.For some people, the holiday season is their favorite time of year - the presents, the aroma of artificially scented candles, an overabundance of baked goods....not me (except for the baked goods, they're keepers). My favorite time of year is DRY RUN TIME. The conference staff leaves this Sunday for Tulsa to dry-run all the field sessions being offered at the Conference. Hopefully, by now you've received your preliminary program and have looked at what is being offered - a wonderful variety of experiences in a state that has yet to see a National Preservation Conference. In addition to experiencing Tulsa in-depth, we'll visit Oklahoma City, the Cherokee Nation, Bartlesville, Muskogee, Sapulpa, Ponca City, Guthrie, east-bound and west-bound on Route 66, and dozens of other places quirky and wonderful (keep an eye out for the next issue of Preservation, it's all about Tulsa, too).

Our first day includes dry runs of the Tulsa Downtown Safari Walking Tour and the Candlelight House Tour in Maple Ridge. Watch this space for frequent updates, and to whet your appetite for all things Tulsa.

And if I'm wrong and you haven't yet received your Preliminary Program, go to the conference page or see a PDF right away.

Thanks to the National Park Service for this and other great photos of Route 66.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Advocacy Updates

Posted on: June 9th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY © 2008 NTHPThe Law Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is excited to begin posting National Trust Legal Defense Fund (LDF) advocacy updates to the PreservationNation blog. In the past we have published a newsletter several times per year that describes various projects we are working on in the Law Department. Our initial posts to the blog, which will begin appearing over the next few days, will come directly from our most recent May 2008 LDF Update Newsletter with the expectation that future updates will be posted as developments on existing and new advocacy issues occur.

For those who are who are unfamiliar with the LDF, it is the legal advocacy arm of the organization. Through the LDF, the National Trust carries out litigation and legal advocacy to ensure the effectiveness of preservation laws at the federal, state, and local levels. LDF staff lawyers respond on many fronts to help communities around the country protect their heritage, their homes and businesses, their neighborhoods, and their history.

The LDF’s first goal is to avoid the need to go to court at all by using advocacy to encourage better government decisions that protect historic sites, neighborhoods, and landscapes. But when it becomes necessary, the LDF is prepared to litigate to protect the nation’s historic resources.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Demolition in the Name of Preservation

Posted on: May 30th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna

 

roman-theatre-sagunto.jpgI was banished to my sofa this week by an Emergency Room doctor who declared that my overtraveling had taken a toll on my health (hence my visit there when I fainted in the middle of one of the busiest avenues in DC! oops).  Deciding that I would use the time to catch up on the many piles of magazines surrounding my apartment, I came across a very curious news article in March's Architectural Record about a ruling that a 1993 "restoration" (really an interpretive recreation) of the Roman theatre in the coastal city of Sagunto must be removed because it violated Spain's Law of Historic Patrimony, which forbids the reconstruction of listed structures except to assure their stability and maintenance. 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: May 29th, 2008 by Walter Gallas 1 Comment

 

img_1038.JPG1205-07 Felciana is a double shotgun house in a section of the Bywater National Register and local historic district. It is considered a contributing building in the district, but has serious roof damage and other structural damage, which have placed it on the city's demolition list. Its demolition was approved at the staff level by the Historic District Landmarks Commission in September 2007 for structural reasons and because it posed a health hazard. This is one of the first properties to be demolished by the new city-hired contractors as part of the continuing agreement under the National Historic Preservation Act, whereby "selective recoupment of character-defining elements" must be done before a historic contributing property is demolished.

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Recently, the two of the FEMA historic preservation staff (pictured here from the left, Gail Lazaras and Adrian Seward) spoke to the contractor about the procedures for the selective recoupment and how they will monitor the process for the upcoming 200 or more properties. In this property, the chief items removed were door frames and a few windows. These will go to the Preservation Resource Center's warehouse for resale at reasonable prices, or for use in PRC or National Trust-supported projects. What was painfully obvious, though, was that the intact bargeboards and beaded boards which make up so much of the house's construction would not be saved under the definition of "character-defining elements." Neither is the city requiring salvage in any of the demolitions it initiates. We therefore began discussions with the contractors, who seem to be willing at least to talk about the possibility of crews from the Preservation Resource Center's Rebuilding Together program stepping in and removing more reusable building materials prior to total demolition. This would be a big step.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.