Preserve America News from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

In this Issue

Summer Internships Available at the ACHP – Apply Now!
Current Contact Information Needed for All Preserve America Communities
Grant Funding and “Heads Up” on an Upcoming Opportunity
Preservation50
First Lady Designates New Preserve America Communities
First Lady Designates Four New Preserve America Stewards
Reaching Out to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, American Latino and Hispanic Communities
Section 106 Training Available
ACHP Sends Report on Federal Historic Property Management to President
HUD Webinar on Historic Preservation and Disaster Resilience
The Future of the Federal Historic Preservation Fund
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Preserve America News |April  2015



Summer Internships Available at the ACHP – Apply Now!

Are you, or do you know of, a student interested in the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources? The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in Washington, D.C., has internship opportunities available for undergraduate or graduate students, as well as individuals at an early stage of their career and professional development. The ACHP is looking for candidates with an interest in historic preservation who may come from a wide variety of disciplines. Click for more details


Current Contact Information Needed for All Preserve America Communities

So, it’s been a while since your community was designated a Preserve America Community? Have you elected a new mayor? Has your contact person moved on to a new job? Have email addresses changed? In order to stay in the loop about funding opportunities, model programs, and other resources for Preserve America Communities, please update the following information and send to Judy Rodenstein:

Community name
Congressional district
Name of chief elected official, email address and phone number
Name of best contact person, email address and phone number


Grant Funding and “Heads Up” on an Upcoming Opportunity

Information on some currently available historic preservation grants can be found on the Web site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In FY 2014, $500,000 in matching grants was competitively awarded to State/Tribal Historic Preservation Offices by the National Park Service (NPS) to help fund 13 projects across the country. These projects will increase the number of listings in the National Register of Historic Places associated with communities currently underrepresented, including African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and LGBT Americans.

The NPS will award additional grants in FY 2015, and a call for applications has just been issued. 2015 Award Applications are posted on grants.gov, under funding opportunity #P15AS00078. The due date is June 15, 2015. Eligible applicants this year are State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native Organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations, and Certified Local Governments. Those with questions may wish to contact their SHPO for more information on the application process; a longer press release and announcement from NPS is expected soon.

News on the grants and descriptions of the grants awarded in 2014 can be found here.


Preservation50

2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)–the country’s most important preservation law. Among other things, the law established the National Register of Historic Places as the nation’s official list of historic resources worthy of preservation. The Register now has more than 90,000 entries with nearly 1.8 million historic districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. The law also provided for state and tribal preservation offices, certified local government programs, a planning and review process to take into account the harm that federally supported projects might have on historic properties, and a preservation fund derived from proceeds of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leases. More recently, related programs like Preserve America, Save America’s Treasures, Main Street, historic tax incentives, and the National Heritage Areas (among others) have added additional dimensions to the preservation and enhancement of our history and culture.

A Preservation50 Web site is up and has anniversary logos, a prospectus, a list of partners, a survey, and other information available for downloading. Or check things out on on Facebook  or Twitter (#preservation50).

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will help kick off the anniversary year with its November 2015 National Preservation Conference, “PastForward 2015,” in Washington, D.C.


First Lady Designates New Preserve America Communities

Three new Preserve America Communities–Woodstock, IL; Middlesborough, KY; and Matthews, NC–have been designated by First Lady Michelle Obama, raising the total nationwide to 895.
Read more.

Also designated since the last e-newsletter are Albany, NY and Collierville, TN, which also won recognition as “America’s Best Main Street” in a Parade magazine contest last summer. Half of the outstanding finalists--Placerville, CA; DeLand, FL; Rockland, ME; Corinth, MS; Greenville, SC; Georgetown, TX; and Montpelier, VT-- were also Preserve America Communities! Read about the contest finalists.

Apply for designation.

Middlesborough, KY theater restoration


First Lady Designates Four New Preserve America Stewards

In February, First Lady Michelle Obama signed designation letters for four new Preserve America Stewards, bringing the total nationwide to 47. The newest to join the honor roll are the Glendale Historical Society; the City of St. Augustine, Florida; the Historical Society of Saginaw County; and the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Read more about them.

Last October, the First Lady designated HistoriCorps, a nationwide program that helps agencies preserve historic properties on public lands; Diving with a Purpose (Florida), which provides volunteers working with underwater preservation efforts; and the Effingham County (Illinois) Cultural Center and Museum Association, which helped save a county courthouse and repurpose it as a museum. Read more.

Apply for designation.

Historical Society of Saginaw County, MI


Reaching Out to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, American Latino and Hispanic Communities

In order to advance its initiative begun in 2012 to build a more inclusive preservation program, last year the ACHP began an effort to reach out to Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). An initial planning session took place in Boston in October 2014.  This was followed by a listening session with several ACHP members and staff as well as representatives of the Boston area Asian American community in January 2015 at the historic Old South Meeting House (1729). The meeting focused especially on the adjacent Boston Chinatown neighborhood. ACHP Member Terry Guen has been involved in guiding this effort.

As part of its regular business meeting in March 2015, the ACHP had a second listening session on AAPI heritage at Angel Island State Park in San Francisco Bay, the western counterpart to Ellis Island. From 1910 to 1940, the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island processed (and often detained) hundreds of thousands of immigrants; the majority of these immigrants came from China.

ACHP staff is now working to analyze the issues emerging from Angel Island and Boston, and follow-up with recommendations on possible ACHP or ACHP member agency actions. 

A second effort will get underway in 2015 to reach out to American Latinos and Hispanic Americans (ALH) with similar listening sessions. Working with a number of partners and guided by ACHP Member Teresa Leger de Fernandez, ACHP members and staff will meet with Latino community representatives and civic activists to gain insight into their experience with historic and cultural preservation in their communities. As with AAPI, two listening sessions are being planned in two different parts of the country.

Chinese characters etched into the wall at Angel Island Immigration Station


Section 106 Training Available

Registration is open for Section 106 courses in Scottsdale, AZ; Pierre, SD; Seattle, WA; and Washington, D.C., throughout the summer and fall. Sign up now to receive training taught by preservation experts on how the historic preservation review process known as Section 106 offers opportunities for stakeholder input into federal project planning. Read more about the Section 106 Essentials and the Advanced Section 106 Seminar.

The ACHP’s Section 106 Webinar Series of hour-long, interactive online training programs will resume in late summer 2015. These programs are suitable for Section 106 users ranging from beginners to experts. Email us to be added to the contact list or watch the Web site for updates.


ACHP Sends Report on Federal Historic Property Management to President

The ACHP submitted its fourth triennial report In a Spirit of Stewardship: A Report on Federal Historic Property Management, to the President on February 17, 2015. The report, required by Section 3 of Executive Order 13287, "Preserve America," summarizes the progress reports submitted in fall 2014 by federal departments and agencies responsible for the stewardship of historic properties on federal lands. The report addresses current opportunities and challenges and makes recommendations to improve federal historic preservation outcomes in the context of footprint reduction, energy efficiency and sustainability, climate adaptation, and resiliency initiatives. Read the report here.


HUD Webinar on Historic Preservation and Disaster Resilience

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has posted a webinar on YouTube on Historic Preservation in the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). The NDRC will award $1 billion for projects that address unmet disaster recovery needs and enhance resiliency in communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years. The webinar offers guidance on assessing the risk of disasters to historic resources and provides examples of practical ways to make historic buildings and areas more resilient to various types of disasters.


The Future of the Federal Historic Preservation Fund

The federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) provides funding to support the work of State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), and more than 2,000 Certified Local Governments. The President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2016 would continue essentially level funding for SHPOs and THPOs compared to this year and would fund a new initiative to preserve and celebrate places associated with the fight for African American civil rights. Congress will be considering both this budget request and (since authorization for the HPF expires in September) the fate of the HPF itself.

The President has asked Congress to appropriate $89.9 million for the HPF in FY 2016. This would provide level funding of $46.9 million for SHPOs and $10 million for THPOs (a $1 million increase). It also would continue a current $500,000 grant program to help broaden the inclusion of underrepresented communities in statewide historic property inventories and in the National Register of Historic Places. Under a new proposed program, $30 million in competitive historic preservation grants would be available to help preserve the stories and sites associated with the Civil Rights movement.

Money in the HPF comes from annual deposits into the fund from Outer Continental Shelf revenue from oil and gas leases. Congressional authorization for the HPF expires on September 30, 2015. This won’t have dire results immediately since a large balance remains in the fund against which Congress can continue to appropriate money. But the long-term survival of the HPF is dependent upon its congressional reauthorization.

The ACHP supports reauthorization of the HPF and has called for its “full” funding. While the HPF has been authorized at $150 million annually in recent years, appropriations usually have been less than half that amount. This level of funding has seriously impacted the ability of both SHPOs and THPOs to effectively participate in federal agency planning processes and provide expert advice on historic properties affected by energy development and infrastructure improvement projects, disaster recovery efforts, and a host of other important national priorities.


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Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation
401 F Street NW, Suite 308
Washington, DC 20001-2637