Forum Journal & Forum Focus

Protecting Historic Resources Through Partnerships 

12-09-2015 17:35

The National Trust has been the National Park Service’s principal private sector partner in historic preservation for more than half a century. It is a partnership with a great history and a greater future.

Historic places show what America has been and what it can be. The National Park Service has responsibility through our grants, tax incentives, and National Register programs for generating support for protecting streetscapes, whimsical architecture, and sites associated with critical events and central people in our history because all of these things have influenced the character of this great nation.

We also manage important properties. The theme of the summer 2002 issue of National Trust’s Forum Journal was preserving historic structures in our national parks. Contributing authors addressed the challenges and the multiple partnerships that have made effective solutions possible. Most immediately of interest is an article that documents the outstanding Countryside Initiative at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where I’ve just been and hope you will find time to go. Other articles addressed concerns for battlefield preservation relating to all wars on American soil, to recovery of historic structures at McGraw Ranch in Rocky Mountain National Park, and to creative adaptive uses for Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook in Gateway National Recreation Area. The journal confirms that preserving the historic and natural wonders entrusted to us is a challenge.

President Bush pledged to end the maintenance backlog, committing $440 million yearly to help fund the preservation of historic resources in our national parks. The work will protect irreplaceable structures from Independence Hall to the still-new Oklahoma City National Memorial to the rural cabin where a young Booker T. Washington grew up.

Last month Congress held a rare session outside of Washington to honor the legacy of September 11. It was held in Federal Hall National Memorial in New York, another property that will benefit from this program.

Yet the message in Forum Journal is important in another way: The need is greater than federal resources can handle alone. We’re fortunate to have so many partners already active in historic preservation. Yet we need to be diligent and keep steadily recruiting more to our mission.

Publication Date: Winter 2003

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Author(s):Fran P. Mainella
Volume:17
Issue:2

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