Readers may submit letters to the editor (see contact information on page facing table of contents). The letters should include the writer's name, address, and daytime telephone number for confirmation. Letters may be edited for publication, and not all letters will be published. If a letter pertains to an article or review, the editor may forward the letter to the author for reply.
Origins of the Title "State Historic Preservation Officer"
Your interview with Russell Keune (CRM Journal, Fall 2003) brought back almost-forgotten names and memories from the early days of the federal historic preservation program. When I opened the western office of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the state liaison officer for historic preservation in California was William Penn Mott, then director of the state's Department of Parks and Recreation. He was also the state liaison officer for the then Bureau of Outdoor Recreation grants program. He had a large staff administering the millions that the state received for the bureau, but only a three-person staff administering the state's historic preservation program.
Any letters that I wrote to Bill Mott as state liaison officer for historic preservation would be first sent to the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation program head and eventually, several weeks later, get to the state's historic preservation program staff. I experienced similar problems in other states where no one seemed to know who the historic preservation officer was. In February 1973, I traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual meeting of the historic preservation officers. I told the National Park Service officials of the problem I had encountered with the title and recommended that they consider changing it to "State Historic Preservation Officer." The next morning, the title was recommended to the gathering and they voted for the change. Those were the days.
Louis S. Wall
Engineering Field Activity West
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Daly City, California
Mission 66 Initiative
As both a former student and graduate architect employed by the National Park Service during the late 1950s and early 1960s, I read the article, "Mission 66 Initiative" (CRM Journal, Fall 2003) with interest. While this article focused primarily on the buildings and related facilities produced by Mission 66, there is another historical dimension to be considered—the people employed during Mission 66.
Mission 66 made a significant contribution to the development of the professional disciplines of architecture, archeology, and history as they related to historic preservation. During its 10-year history, it probably represented the largest and most significant national employment opportunity for individuals pursuing their interest in historic preservation.
The expanded Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) afforded a generation of undergraduate, graduate, and architecture students a broad array of work experience with a wide range of buildings and structures in national parks. Many of us went on to professional careers with the National Park Service after graduation. HABS also attracted university faculty members who served as team supervisors and became founders of university degree programs in historic preservation. Several became leading administrators of public agencies and private organizations.
Mission 66 also led to the hiring of highly specialized craftspersons in the traditional building arts. I recall attending the summer "Carpenter Carnivals" held at Independence National Historical Park in the early 1960s. The hands-on demonstrations brought together craftspersons, architects, and architectural historians for a shared learning experience.
Many National Park Service professionals from this period were later the founders of today's Association for Preservation Technology International. Much of the research on early American buildings and building technology found its way into the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and other periodicals.
My first introduction to Mission 66 occurred during a 10-week period in the summer of 1958 at the then Harpers Ferry National Monument. As a young student architect, my time at Harpers Ferry was an important introduction to how historians, archeologists, architects, and building craftspersons were integrated into a large-scale preservation project. It was an enriching educational experience that could not have been provided in an academic classroom.
Russell V. Keune
Comments on the inaugural issue of CRM Journal
I just wanted to congratulate you on the new look for CRM. I've been a longtime reader, though I'm not in the cultural resources business (just an interested layman), though I guess my own magazine counts as a cultural resource of some kind. Anyway, good luck with the new enterprise.
The Atlantic Monthly
I wish to congratulate you on the first issue that is most impressive both of its content and its appearance. With best wishes for what is going to follow this promising beginning.
Eduard F. Sekler
Professor of Architecture, Emeritus
Graduate School of Design
On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon, I wish to thank you for our copy of the inaugural issue of CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship. This journal will be a great addition to our library and, I'm sure, enjoyed by many. Great job!
Robert Z. Melnick
School of Architecture and Allied Arts
University of Oregon