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Home arrowNews arrowJune 7 , 2012

National Trust Most Endangered List Highlights Importance of Section 106

Historic post officeEvery year the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Trust) highlights the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, historic properties that the organization wants to bring to public attention out of concern that their existence or historic integrity are threatened.

At least five of the places on the 2012 list released on June 6 by the Trust (see entire list here) involve sites where Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) is, or may be, a key factor in the property’s fate. This is an indication of how important Section 106 is to preservation of the nation’s important historic places.

Administered by the ACHP, Section 106 is invoked whenever a federal undertaking poses the potential of an adverse effect on a property listed on, or considered eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Under the NHPA, if the potential for adverse effects exists, federal agencies must consider how to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the impact on historic properties in consultation with key stakeholders including the public.

Section 106 is a critical public tool for persons concerned with saving historic properties. See here for the Citizens Guide to Section 106 which explains how people can share in this process.

The five prominent examples on the current 11 Most Endangered list in which Section 106 has played or may play a critical role are the following:

There are also connections between places on the list and the Preserve America program run by the ACHP. Many of the Texas courthouses are central historic features of Preserve America Communities in that state, and Joe Frazier’s gym in located in Philadelphia, a Preserve America Community. The Preserve America Community program recognizes and honors communities that use their historic resources as essential components of their economic development efforts and to promote civic pride and enhance livability.

While the chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the 23 members of the ACHP, the purpose and actions of the two organizations are quite different. The Trust is the nation’s foremost private, non-profit membership historic preservation organization, and the ACHP is an independent federal agency that oversees the Section 106 process, advises the President and Congress on historic preservation policy and issues, and accomplishes various other preservation activities involving the federal government. Look here to see what organizations and individuals are ACHP members.)

Posted June 7, 2012

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