Draft Environmental Assessment for the Shirley House
Contact: Patty Wissinger, Acting Superintendent, 601-619-2902
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
November 2, 2009 (601) 636-0583
The public is invited to review and provide comments on the Environmental Assessment for the proposed Rehabilitation and Restoration of the Shirley House, Vicksburg National Military Park. The Shirley House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of only two remaining antebellum structures in the park.
Since the early 1900s, the Shirley House has undergone several episodes of restoration and rehabilitation. A substantial portion of the interior finishes were gutted during the first phase of a remodeling project in the 1960s but were never replaced, resulting in missing, damaged, or weak support beams and framing members. Emergency stabilization measures have been implemented in recent years, however, the building remains closed to the public.
The purpose of the Environmental Assessment is to analyze potential impacts to the human environment arising out of the proposed rehabilitation and restoration project. The Environmental Assessment examines three alternatives for addressing conditions at the Shirley House, including taking no action.
Under the National Park Service’s preferred alternative, the exterior of the house would be rehabilitated, and damaged or missing historic fabric would be replaced to match its 1860’s appearance. The main level of the house would be restored to its 1860's appearance to the greatest extent practical and opened to the public. The rooms of the first floor would be opened to viewing and used to house exhibits on themes approved in the park’s Long Range Interpretive Plan. The attic and basement of the house would be preserved as-is and used for mechanical equipment, but would not be open to the public. No heating or cooling system would be installed in the structure. Only ventilation via ducts (no cooling) would be available in summer. Additional modifications would include installation of mechanical, security, fire detection, and fire suppression systems. These modifications also would provide for a safe means of visitor egress, and would help ensure the health, comfort, safety, and security of visitors and park staff. All work will comply with applicable building and safety codes.
The Environmental Assessment for this project can be viewed at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website:
It is also available through the park website at:
Copies can also be obtained by calling the park.
The public is invited to comment on the Environmental Assessment. The public comment period will remain open until December 3, 2009. The National Park Service prefers that comments be provided online at the PEPC site. However, comments can also be sent via e-mail to e-mail us, or by writing to: Superintendent, Vicksburg National Military Park, 3201 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183-3495 .
Public involvement is critical to the support and development of important resource protection efforts at Vicksburg National Military Park.
Did You Know?
Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.