Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Author: Barbara Frederick (Page 1 of 2)

Barbara Frederick is a historic structures reviewer for the PHMC-BHP. She is responsible for reviewing project documents submitted in compliance with Section 106 and the State History Code for the eastern region of Pennsylvania.

The Elusive Historic Agricultural District

We had some fun recently during a site visit to identify the presence of a historic agricultural district for a solar project…

*Cue Sir David Attenborough’s voice*

Here we are searching for the elusive historic agricultural district. Often impossible to find, we are hoping to get a glimpse of it today, as whispers of its appearance have been heard. What vast expanses of agricultural land use and lack of modern residential development, perhaps we will get a sighting after all. But what is this that appears on the horizon? Large modern grain bins indicative of monocropping, followed by farmsteads lacking historic barns? Ah well, it would appear the earlier rumors of a visit from that elusive beast, the historic agricultural district, have been unfounded. Perhaps when we return to the hunt tomorrow, we may catch a glimpse.

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UPDATE: Local Landmarks For Sale

In our June 2013 post, we featured the upcoming sale of National Register listed state armories located in historic communities throughout the Commonwealth.  To date, eight of the armories marketed for adaptive reuse by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs have been sold to buyers who have agreed to purchase the buildings with a historic preservation covenant. The covenants will help to ensure future improvements to the buildings will be carried out in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. Continue reading

New Faces and Places in Environmental Review

Emma outside the East Shore YMCA (1932) on North Front Street in Harrisburg.

Emma outside the East Shore YMCA (1932) on North Front Street in Harrisburg.

As we are poised to ring in a new year, we wanted to make you aware of new developments in the review of state and federal projects that have occurred within our office over the past several months. In August, we said a fond farewell to Ann Safley who retired after 23 years of service. Ann most recently served as the above ground reviewer for projects in the western region of the state. Ann’s knowledge and expertise of state and federal projects and western Pennsylvania will be missed!

In October, we brought on our newest staff member, Emma Diehl, to serve as an above ground reviewer. Barbara Frederick subsequently shifted review responsibilities to the west, and Emma assumed review of projects affecting above ground resources in the eastern region. This map reflects the current regional environmental review assignments.

We are excited to add Emma as the newest member of our staff! To get to know her better, we asked Emma to share a bit about her past experience and personal interests as well as her perspective on her new job. Continue reading

Something About That Place…

Given I routinely speak to agencies, applicants, and the public about historic architecture, I was a bit surprised by the presence of sweaty palms and butterflies as I prepared to talk to a new audience, a group I assumed would exhibit short attention spans, emotional reactivity, and call-it-like-you-see-it attitudes while I struggled to make even the most basic architectural principles interesting. As is the case with much of life, reality provided distant from expectations, and I was reminded of a very basic but important principle I believe worthy of sharing in a blog posting: the connection between memory and place and identity. Continue reading

Section 106 Consultation: 5 Steps to Meaningful Mitigation Outcomes

Last month we discussed Section 106 consultation and how the outcome of the process is not predetermined but rather a result of the interaction among the participants, with the Federal agency making the final decision about how a project will proceed. Agencies in coordination with consulting parties are required to consider project design options that avoid or minimize effects to historic properties. However, it is not always possible to meet the needs of the project and simultaneously preserve a historic property. Continue reading

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