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McMurdo Station, Antarctica & Preservation

  • 1.  McMurdo Station, Antarctica & Preservation

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hello! I was doing some research the other day and came across the news that McMurdo Station in Antarctica is getting a major overhaul and redesign over the next ten years or so. From what I've researched this seems very necessary and timely for the efficient function of the station, but I began to wonder what exactly was being done in regards to the documentation of the historic buildings at the station?

    The first buildings were constructed at McMurdo as early as 1955 and while many of those buildings are no longer extant on the site, from as far as I can tell there are still a number of historic buildings still standing at the base. The new development looks like it will be demolishing many of the current buildings at the station.

    Does anyone know how something like Section 106 applies to a place like McMurdo? The design and construction is being contracted by a company called Stantec in Colorado. McMurdo is supported by the National Science Foundation which is a federal agency. I don't know enough about the intricacies of the law to know if they would even be required to do in-depth documentation of the current site plan and historic buildings at the station since I don't think the land the station is on is technically considered federal land?

    Here are some the articles I was reading about the plans and history of McMurdo:

    https://www.stantec.com/en/news/2019/stantec-designing-antartic-infrastructure-modernization-for-science

    https://www.architectmagazine.com/design/buildings/a-new-master-plan-for-the-mcmurdo-research-station-in-antarctica_o

    https://www.usap.gov/news/documents/McMurdoMasterPlan_2.1.pdf

    If anyone has any insight in to the obligations that might be in place for this kind of project I would be very interested! From what I have read it sounds like the restructuring and redesign of the station is very necessary for the scientific research being done there, but I hope someone versed in historic architecture and preservation is documenting the buildings and historic development of the site for future use.

    Thanks!



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    Caitlin Plesher
    Architectural Historian
    Suwanee GA
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  • 2.  RE: McMurdo Station, Antarctica & Preservation

    Ambassador
    Posted 8 days ago
    I think you may well have a point. And the FPO for the NSF is not easy to find. All I could find is 3-yr old letter to them from Puerto Rico SHPO...
    https://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/env_impact_reviews/arecibo/section106/shporesponsetonsfletter08082016.pdf

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    Tim Askin
    City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission
    Milwaukee WI
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  • 3.  RE: McMurdo Station, Antarctica & Preservation

    Posted 6 days ago
    Thanks for the response! I tried sending a general email about the situation to see if there was any kind of documentation about it, but have yet to hear anything back. Definitely going to check out the FPO site a little more and see if anything comes up.

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    Caitlin Plesher
    Architectural Historian
    Suwanee GA
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