The mission of the Historic Resources Committee (HRC) is to identify, understand, and preserve architectural heritage, both nationally and internationally. HRC is engaged in promoting the role of the historic architect within the profession through the development of information and knowledge among members, allied professional organizations, and the public.
The National Park Service (NPS) has proposed to make substantial revisions to the rules that govern the nomination process for the National Register of Historic Places. The AIA Historic Resources Committee feels that these changes are detrimental to the protection of our cultural heritage and deviate from the intent of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
The new regulations allow federal agencies to block national register nominations of federal buildings and districts where the federal agency is a significant land owner. The State Historic Preservation Office - the Keeper of the National Register - would no longer be able to make eligibility determinations about federal properties without a specific request from the federal agency, restricting the Keepers role and the public's voice.
For National Register historic district nominations, the proposed regulations revise the current terminology for majority private property owners in regard to filing objections. Under existing regulations a proposed district nomination can be defeated by a majority of private property owners within the limits of the proposed district - one vote per land owner. The proposal redefines majority to be based on land area thereby granting greater voting power to larger land owners. Not only is the definition of land area not well defined - which in itself is problematic - it allows a minority of property owners to block designation.
This proposal could affect access to federal historic tax credits and other funding dependent on National Register eligibility, significantly impair revitalization efforts and provide a roadblock to the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Make your voice heard!
The NPS is soliciting public comments on this proposed rulemaking until April 30.Regards,The 2019 Leadership of the AIA Historic Resources Committee