First Annual National Park Service Historic Preservation Conference
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Bob Utley and Hank Judd

Bob Utley laid the groundwork for this session by reviewing the policies and standards for the List of Classified Structures.

The revised management policies now on the verge of approval and distribution say this about the List of Classified Structures:

"The National Park Service shall maintain a central list of classified structures identifying all historic structures within the units of the National Park System that meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places or are elements of sites, districts, or structural complexes meeting the National Register criteria. The LCS shall fix the order of significance and level of treatment (preservation, restoration, reconstruction) for each structure and shall provide a basis for programming and executing the prescribed level of treatment."

The LCS is thus supposed to be an inventory of all historic structures in the National Park System of such significance in terms of National Register criteria as to warrant preservation. It tells us what historic structures we have, how important they are, and how much they will cost to restore or stabilize. It is thus the basic tool for assessing priorities and programming funds.

The activity standards further define the LCS as including all historic structures in the areas of the National Park System which:

a. are recorded on the National Register of Historic Places inventory form.

b. have been assigned a name and number.

c. have been assigned an order of significance - first, second, or third.

d. have been assigned a level of treatment - preservation, restoration, reconstruction.

e. are entered in the National Register.

Provision is made for deleting structures which:

a. are so altered as to destroy the values and elements of significance that led to entry in the LCS.

b. are approved for removal upon recommendation of the Regional Director.

c. are correspondingly deleted from the National Register.

Bear in mind that the policies define structures broadly as not only buildings but all other works of man, such as: dams, canals, bridges, stockades, forts, and associated earthworks, Indian mounds, fences, gardens, roads, and millraces.

As the National Park Service moves rapidly toward a heavy emphasis on preservation of historic fabric, the LCS takes on fundamental importance. Until we know what structures we have that should be preserved, what we want to do with them, and how much it will cost, we can scarcely communicate our needs to the Department, OMB, and the Congress. A completed LCS is essential for this purpose.

The Director has recognized the key role of the LCS to his preservation emphasis and has further indicated a receptivity to devoting special funding to a major effort in FY 1976 to complete the LCS. Thus we should be ready to go with a major preservation proposal beginning in the 1977 fiscal year. Regional estimates indicate a need for an additional 29 man-years to complete this task Systemwide in FY 1976. By memorandum of April 9, the Deputy Director asked you for a program proposal to carry out this effort in your Region. Prospects for additional funding are bright. Please take this matter seriously, and let us have your best thought as soon as possible.

Mr. Judd stated that we do not really have any idea of the number of historic structures that we have, and the estimates keep going up. A conservative estimate is about 10,000. We have less than 500 structures listed because very few have been submitted by the regions: more than half of those received are from the Southwest Region. The information on the LCS, according to our policies and administrative standards, contain order of significance, level of treatment, cost estimates, etc., and should cover also class VI land which form part of the environment of each structure.

For programming purposes, all the information in the LCS is being fed now into a computer, including everything that has happened to the structures in the past, reports that we have dealing with the structures, and any other information that becomes available.

A lengthy discussion followed Mr. Judd's talk about the use of the new forms that were being prepared for the completion of the LCS, separate from National Register Forms. One of the problems discussed was that of recording archeological sites, especially in areas where hundreds of sites are concentrated, like Pueblo Bonito and Chaco Canyon. Very little data is available about the individual sites and very little remains are standing. How do you determine their significance, unless the sites are excavated? There is no systematic way or mechanism for recording these sites for LCS purpose. Mr. Judd suggested that the LCS should contain identifiable remains. Once you identify a site, it should go into the Register. At the end of the discussion period, many questions dealing with archeological sites remained unanswered. Archeological sites represent highly complex problems of historic preservation much different from that of historic buildings.

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Last Updated: 14-Jul-2009