In this issue:
-National Trust Presents Honor Award to HPD’s Jeanne Cyriaque
-Nonprofits Meet in Macon for Preservation Summit
-The National Register of Historic Places in Georgia, Part One
-The State Agency Historic Preservation Stewardship Program and the University System of Georgia
-A Quick Look at Historic Building Rehabilitation Issues: Plaster
-Staff Profiles: Bryan Tucker
National Trust Presents Honor Award to HPD’s Jeanne Cyriaque
By Denise Messick, National Register Historian
HPD's African American Programs Coordinator Jeanne Cyriaque was honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation at its 2010 National Preservation Awards ceremony, held October 29th as part of the organization's annual conference in Austin, Texas. Jeanne was the recipient of an honor award for her work as part of a team that developed the Initiative to Save Rosenwald Schools. Other team members who received the award include Peter Ascoli and Alice Rosenwald (grandchildren of Chicago philanthropist Julius Rosenwald), Teresa Johnson (representing Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation), and Karen Riles for her pioneering work with Texas Rosenwald schools. Jeanne has been the African American Programs Coordinator for HPD since 2000. Her activities have included identifying and advocating for Rosenwald schools in Georgia, but she is also involved in a larger national effort to help preserve these historic schools throughout the South. Jeanne is one of the founding members of the National Trust’s Rosenwald Initiative. Partners in this collaborative program have activated grassroots support, raised funds, prepared National Register nominations, written books, and contributed in various ways to returning these schools to useful roles in their communities.
Members of the Rosenwald Initiative receive their award. HPD's Jeanne Cyriaque is second from the right.
The Rosenwald School Building Program, which began in 1912, was a major effort to improve the quality of public education for African Americans in the early-20th-century South. It was made possible by the generosity of Julius Rosenwald, then president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Initially Rosenwald worked in partnership with African-American educators at the Tuskegee Institute to build a number of schools in Alabama. In addition to providing funds for the construction of new schools, the program also produced plan books to aid local communities with constructing cost-efficient, architect-designed school buildings. Rosenwald officially established the Julius Rosenwald Fund in 1917 to provide administrative and financial support for the construction of new black schools all over the southern United States. In 1920 he transferred the administration of the fund to a new headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. By 1932 the Rosenwald Fund had assisted with over 5,300 schools in 15 states at a total cost in excess of $28.5 million. The majority of Georgia’s 259 Rosenwald schools were built during the mid-1920s.
After segregation ended, most Rosenwald schools were closed, and many were either demolished or forgotten. Jeanne Cyriaque has worked tirelessly to identify remaining schools in Georgia, and has now found approximately 50 schools through her travels and contacts with local communities. As a result of her efforts, HPD was able to complete a National Register Multiple Property Nomination for Rosenwald schools in Georgia, and to begin the process of nominating individual schools. The most recent listing was the Eleanor Roosevelt School (1936) in Warm Springs, which was the last Rosenwald school constructed in the nation. Jeanne’s work in Georgia has also made her an expert on the national stage where she has assisted other individuals and organizations through her ongoing involvement with the National Trust’s Rosenwald Initiative.
Friends of the Rosenwald Initiative attended the awards program and a breakfast session at the National Trust’s annual conference in Austin. Peter Ascoli, author of Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South, acknowledged the tremendous efforts underway in 15 states to save the remaining schools. Alice Rosenwald, who established a fund with the Rosenwald Initiative to aid in planning and rehabilitating the schools, also attended the breakfast wrap-up. The award presentation and accompanying slide show can be viewed on the National Trust's website.
Nonprofits Meet in Macon for Preservation Summit
By Mary Ann Eaddy, Special Assistant to the Director
Summit participants listen as Mark McDonald describes current activities of The Georgia Trust.
On October 6, nonprofits from across the state gathered at Macon’s historic Hay House for what was billed as a "Preservation Summit." Cosponsored by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) and The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, this one-day meeting brought together representatives from Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, Historic Augusta, the Buckhead Heritage Society, Historic Columbus Foundation, the DeKalb History Center, Historic Macon Foundation, and Historic Savannah Foundation. Also attending were representatives from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Middle Georgia Regional Commission, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Southern Office, located in Charleston. The summit provided a forum for these groups to share information on what is occurring within their individual organizations as well as to gain a greater perspective on what is happening in preservation across the state. A common thread among many was the challenge of dealing with this economy and the need to respond creatively to loss of revenue. Organizations are facing this head on, focusing on outreach and increased visibility. Their programs and special events stress more involvement with issues directly confronting local communities. Many are actively working toward recruiting a more involved membership, especially among younger constituents.
Presentations from each organization highlighted the innovative and varied work being done across the state. Historic Macon’s support of a tree nursery program in a once blighted area is a complement to its housing rehabilitation project that encourages neighborhood revitalization. Increased educational programming and promotion of a Ranch House initiative are interests of the DeKalb History Center, and Historic Columbus plans to expand consulting services for projects using preservation tax incentives. Athens-Clarke Heritage’s popular walking tours encourage awareness of historic neighborhoods, and support for a special Girl Scout badge introduces the importance of preservation to a new generation. Restoration of the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Atlanta along with educational programming related to Civil War battle sites and 20th century history are some of the activities of the Buckhead Heritage Society. Historic Augusta emphasizes preservation tax incentives through its successful Preservation for Profit workshops and reaches new audiences through interesting Web-based tours of historic neighborhoods. Community involvement is a priority of Historic Savannah, as seen both through the organization’s workday to assist elderly and low-income property owners in rehabilitating their historic houses and through its involvement with the MASHH program (Mayor’s Alliance to Save Historic Houses).
Statewide and regional organizations emphasized the importance of partnerships and constituent involvement. The Georgia Trust updated everyone on its Places in Peril and Revolving Fund programs and mentioned its ongoing interest in promoting the ties between sustainability and preservation. HPD discussed its recent reorganization and the state budget situation along with the division’s plans to strengthen relationships with its preservation partners. Both organizations invited the nonprofits to attend the upcoming Statewide Preservation Conference to be held in Macon on March 31-April 1, 2011. The Department of Community Affairs provided updates on Main Street and Better Hometown – programs encouraging economic development and preservation in 100 designated Georgia communities. DCA also stressed the importance of partnering with other agencies and finding committed volunteers. The Department of Economic Development described the impact of heritage tourism on the state’s economic recovery and mentioned the upcoming 150-year anniversary of the Civil War and the recent publication of Crossroads of Conflict; the growing importance of partnerships among agencies to accomplish mutual goals was reiterated. The Middle Georgia Regional Commission promoted the importance of regional preservation advisory committees and the role of regional planning while the National Trust encouraged meeting participants to look into their Partners in the Field program and ongoing planning grants.
Feedback from the summit has been quite positive. Participants found this a welcome opportunity both to network and to hear about initiatives being undertaken by peers across the state. Based on positive comments from participants, possibilities for future Preservation Summits are being discussed. A list of preservation nonprofits is available on our website.
The National Register of Historic Places in Georgia
By Gretchen Brock, National Register & Survey Program Manager
Part One: Where to Start
Our National Register staff reviews your preliminary information during an in-house meeting, generally within 30 days of receiving the information.
This is the first in a series of articles about the National Register process in Georgia.
The National Register of Historic Places establishes a uniform standard for evaluating and documenting historic places that are worthy of preservation. The process for listing a property or district in the National Register begins with the state historic preservation office (SHPO). Each SHPO administers the National Register program for their state and each SHPO may have a different process for submitting proposed nominations to the National Register. As Georgia’s SHPO, the Historic Preservation Division has a user-friendly process for submitting proposed nominations to our office. We are continually revising and updating the process for efficiency and clarity. Information about the National Register in Georgia including forms and guidance material is available on our website.
The first step is to determine what historic property you want to nominate. “Historic property” is a general term for historic places listed in the National Register. For this purpose, a "property" is a building, site, structure, object, or district. The National Register lists individual historic properties such as a building (e.g. a house, school, or courthouse), site (e.g. a cemetery or battlefield), structure (e.g. a bridge, tunnel, or bandstand), or object (e.g. a monument, fountain, or sculpture). The National Register also lists historic districts. A district is defined as a concentration of historic buildings, sites, structures, and objects in their historical setting (e.g. neighborhoods, downtowns, large farms, or whole cities). "Historic" in terms of the National Register is generally 50 years old or older, although there are exceptions. For districts, a majority of properties within the district are 50 years old or older, and again, there are exceptions.
Historic properties listed in the National Register must have historic significance and integrity. Significance is defined by the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. A property must meet at least one of the four National Register Criteria: association with historic events or activities; association with important persons; distinctive design or physical characteristics (architecture, landscape architecture and/or engineering); or the potential to provide important information about prehistory or history (usually through archaeological investigation). Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its significance through its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. In a short version: integrity = retains historic character.
To assist you in determining whether your historic property has historic significance and integrity and might qualify for listing in the National Register, we encourage you to send preliminary information to our office. Our National Register staff will review the preliminary information and give you guidance on the next step in the process. Guidelines for preparing the preliminary information are available on our website.
Please send the information in hard copy format with clear, well-focused, well-lit photographs printed on photograph paper. At this time, our email server does not allow for large files so unfortunately we are unable to electronically review preliminary information.
If your historic property appears to be eligible for listing, we will send you a letter along with suggestions for research, sources of information, or examples of similar properties already listed in the National Register. If the property does not appear to meet the National Register Criteria, we will send a letter of explanation. We may also send a letter requesting clarification, additional information, or a site visit to the property.
Next month in Preservation Posts: Part Two: Application Forms
For questions or more information about the National Register process, please contact:
Gretchen Brock, National Register & Survey Program Manager at 404.651.6782 or email@example.com.
Lynn Speno, National Register Specialist at 404.651.5911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The official National Register of Historic Places website is www.nps.gov/history/nr/index.htm.
The National Register of Historic Places has a series of publications and guidelines for evaluating, documenting, and listing different types of properties available at www.nps.gov/history/nr/publications/index.htm.
The State Agency Historic Preservation Stewardship Program and the University System of Georgia
By Dr. Karen Anderson-Cordova, Environmental Review and Preservation Planning Program Manager
The South Georgia College campus in Douglas (Coffee County) was listed in the National Register in May.
The State Agency Historic Preservation Stewardship Program (Georgia Code 12-3-55) was enacted by the Georgia legislature in 1998. Created as the state equivalent of Section 110 of the federal National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, it requires all state agencies that own properties to survey their holdings and identify any resources that are eligible for listing in the Georgia Register of Historic Places (the state version of the National Register of Historic Places). The law also requires that agencies develop management plans for identified historic properties in accordance with the Georgia Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Through this legislation, the State of Georgia articulated a policy that acknowledges the state agencies’ responsibility to identify the historic properties under their purview, and consider their preservation in agency management and planning processes. Historic properties include buildings, structures, landscapes and archaeological sites. HPD’s role under this program is to provide technical assistance and general guidance to state agencies on the identification and protection of historic properties, including the review and comment of state projects that may affect historic properties.
The University System of Georgia, which includes the Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) and all the public higher education campuses across the state, owns a considerable number of historic properties. Many of these properties, in addition to their architectural significance, hold institutional significance for the role they played in the founding and development of a particular campus. For the past ten years, the BOR Office of Facilities has been directing campuses to develop preservation plans for their historic properties and to consult with HPD as they develop these plans and as they carry out specific construction or rehabilitation projects. The "preservation template" developed by the BOR to guide the campuses in this process is aimed at establishing preservation as an integral part of the larger campus management plans, so that historic properties can be adequately considered in wider campus planning. Through their leadership and commitment, Linda Daniels, Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Michael Miller, Project Manager and Historic Preservation Officer for the BOR, and Alan Travis, Facilities Planning Director, have been instrumental in making this possible.
As of November 2010, the following institutions have completed campus historic preservation plans:
-South Georgia College, Douglas, Coffee County
-Augusta State University, Augusta, Richmond County
-Fort Valley State University Campus Preservation Plan, Fort Valley, Peach County
-Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Bulloch County
-Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Fulton County
-Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Lowndes County
-North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County
-Savannah State University, Savannah, Chatham County
-Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton, Tift County
-Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Baldwin County
-Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus, Sumter County
-Gordon College, Barnesville, Lamar County
This illustrates the variety and geographical scope of colleges throughout the state that have made the commitment to include historic preservation in their campus planning process. There are many advantages to having a preservation plan in place. For instance, by acknowledging the historic properties they own and determining their condition and preservation potential, campuses can better allocate scarce resources for their protection and long-term use. For example, Fort Valley State University has focused its facilities planning on the rehabilitation and re-use of existing historic properties in addition to the construction of new buildings. Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville has also placed an emphasis on its historic buildings. By considering historic properties within the context of campus master planning, a preservation plan can provide the framework for decisions relating to the preservation of historic properties. It is important that evaluations of what properties are eligible for the Georgia Register not be tempered by plans that a campus may already have, to insure that historic properties are genuinely considered in campus planning. This will then facilitate HPD's review of individual projects, including agreement on measures to mitigate the impact of what the campus determines, in consultation with HPD, to be unavoidable demolitions or alterations to historic properties.
As part of the state stewardship program, in 2002 HPD instituted an awards program to acknowledge individual contributions of state employees to the preservation of historic properties. Of the 30 awards given out from 2002 to 2008, 20 have gone to individuals working in Georgia’s university system including the Board of Regents; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus; Augusta State University; Georgia State University; Medical College of Georgia; Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville; Columbus State University; University of Georgia, Athens; Valdosta State University; South Georgia College, Douglas; and College of Coastal Georgia, Savannah.
The University System of Georgia has made great progress in integrating historic preservation into the master planning process. In addition to campus preservation plans, campuses have rehabilitated many historic properties, nominated properties to the Georgia and National Registers, constructed new buildings that are compatible with their historic surroundings, and, when demolitions or major alterations to historic properties have occurred, mitigated the impact of these actions by providing archival documentation, historic structure reports, exhibits and other written material about the properties. HPD will continue to work with the BOR and campuses across the state to promote the preservation and adaptive re-use of historic properties in campus planning.
A Quick Look at Historic Building Rehabilitation Issues: Plaster
By Bill Hover, Tax Incentives & Rehabilitation Guidance Program Manager & Architectural Reviewer
This decorative removal of plaster significantly alters the room's historic appearance and does not meet the Secretary's Standards.
One of the underlying principles of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and preservation in general, is maintaining a historic building’s physical authenticity. Physical authenticity is a component of a property’s historic integrity and is demonstrated by retaining character-defining features. Loss of character-defining features diminishes historic authenticity and integrity and should be avoided.
A frequent issue that comes up in historic building rehabilitation is the treatment of plaster finishes. Plaster has a long and successful track record as a durable interior wall, ceiling, and decorative finish material. It is a historic, character-defining material and feature of historic buildings and should be retained where possible in a rehabilitation project. In most cases, it is also readily repairable.
However, because of its default function as herald of leaks, structural issues, and other hidden problems, aspects of its natural aging characteristics, and its conspicuousness, it is often perceived as the problem and replaced by modern materials.
So what are the frequent issues that come up when dealing with plaster? Generally they are related to (1) the perception that it’s beyond repair because of cracking or other signs of damage, (2) intention to replace electrical wiring and insulate walls, and (3) decorative or aesthetic choices.
Don’t shoot the messenger. Cracked plaster is not necessarily a sign that it can’t be repaired; cracks can be caused by a number of reasons, most of which have little to do with the quality or durability of the plaster itself.
Typically, cracks are indicators that there are issues with substrate framing or building settlement. In these cases, it is important to determine whether the hidden problem is active or not. If the underlying problem is building settlement, once settlement has concluded the crack can be filled with the expectation that it won’t open again. Active hidden problems generally fall in two categories: structural or cyclical. A structural problem is something like missing or undersized framing that causes localized overstressing in live load conditions. In this type of hidden problem selected areas of plaster may need to be removed, the problem fixed, then the plaster replaced. A cyclical problem is something like seasonal changes of the interior environment where different materials expand/contract at different rates causing a crack where they join. This type of problem can often be repaired with an elastic filler.
Fine surface cracking in plaster is likely not the result of a hidden problem, but is also not a sign of distress, pending failure, or poor quality. It generally occurs over a long period of time and is easily fixed by filling for cosmetic purposes.
Other plaster damage is typically the result of water infiltration and can include cracking and plaster separating from its substrate. For this type of damage, like structural issues, the source problem needs to be addressed before repairing or replacing the plaster, including roof and gutter repairs or fixing leaking water pipes.
Also important to note: plaster damage is often localized. As such, even if there are areas that have to be replaced, that doesn’t mean all the plaster has to be.
Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. While upgrading electrical wiring, plumbing, and other systems hidden in wall cavities are expected rehabilitation objectives and making historic buildings more energy efficient is a reasonable goal, sacrificing intact and repairable plaster finishes is not appropriate.
One could be inclined to remove all existing plaster and other interior finishes because of the perceived need to have everything exposed in order to install new wiring, plumbing, insulation, and other building system components. While it would make it easier for the contractors doing that work, it doesn’t mean it can’t otherwise be achieved. Other approaches that retain plaster finishes or minimize its removal are available and can include snaking wiring through walls, finding alternate routes, making small access holes, removing selected areas of walls, such as individual stud pockets, and, for wall insulation, using blown-in insulation.
Another of the Secretary’s Standards principles is maintaining visual authenticity as a component of a building’s historic integrity. This concept comes into play when a known historic character-defining feature is missing, in whole or in part.
Don’t be a slave to the fashion police. An ongoing interior decorating trend for historic buildings is to have exposed brick walls. As much as everybody might love the aesthetic effects of exposed brick, it is only an appropriate preservation treatment when it’s the historic wall finish, such as is typical for industrial buildings. When exposed brick is a treatment for buildings that had or has plastered walls or walls that were otherwise covered, it does not meet the Secretary's Standards. Similarly inappropriate is a treatment where brick has been partially exposed because plaster been intentionally removed in random shapes and locations or has failed and fallen off.
The appropriate treatment of plaster in the rehabilitation of a historic building is to retain existing plaster, repair it when necessary, and replace it appropriately when it is damaged beyond repair or missing. This approach should also be readily achievable because repairing plaster is relatively straightforward. To learn more about its repair and related issues, refer to Preservation Brief No.3: Conserving Energy in Historic Buildings, Preservation Brief No.21: Repairing Historic Flat Plaster – Walls and Ceilings, and Preservation Brief No.23: Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster.
Bryan Tucker, Archaeology Section Chief & Deputy State Archaeologist - Terrestrial
What made you choose archaeology as your profession?
On a bad day I often ask myself this question, but the truth is I love what I do. In the United States, archaeology is a subfield of anthropology and the training anthropologists receive reaches well beyond the classroom. An anthropological worldview recognizes, embraces, and questions the diversity present around us every day - people don't just do things, they do them for a reason. An anthropologist wants to know that reason. It probably takes a certain type of person to embrace this type of worldview but if it fits you, it really fits.
In addition to the more academic aspects of the job, I’ve had several blue-collar jobs and I enjoy working outside. I have spent a lot of time in the woods and I am very comfortable there. Archaeology provides an opportunity to work outside and to use my brain at the same time and that really attracted me to the profession.
What do you do on a typical workday?
My favorite days are the ones I spend in the field. The State of Georgia owns or manges some incredible properties and I love having the opportunity to visit them while locating and assessing the archaeological sites they contain. I also work closely with other state agencies, including the Georgia Department of Transportation, to advise them on archaeological management issues and compliance with federal laws.
What is the coolest thing you have ever found?
Archaeologists are frequently asked what the coolest artifact they have ever found is. The non-archaeologist often envisions arrowheads or pottery sherds but the truth is that those are pretty common finds for an archaeologist. The artifacts that provide the most information and are the coolest to us often don’t look like much, just a dark or light stain in the ground. The coolest thing I ever found was like that. I was working in Portugal on a site that dated to the Upper Paleolithic period, about 22,000 years ago, when I found the remains of a campfire. They normally don’t preserve in the sandy soils and it just looked like a very faint patch of darker sand, but the carbon in the sand allowed us to date that portion of the site. It was one of the oldest and most informative things I have found.