|In this issue:
-The Ranch House in Georgia
-Moving historic buildings
-Georgia Sea Island Festival
-Georgia State Historic Preservation Office timeline, Part 10
-Ask the SHPO
-Staff Profiles: Jennifer Bedell
The Ranch House in Georgia
by Dr. Richard Cloues, Historic Resources Section Chief & Deputy State Historic Preservation OfficerThe Ranch House in Georgia: Guidelines for Evaluation is now available in digital form on HPD's website. Printed copies will soon be available through a on-line on-demand publisher. Originally intended for use in Section 106 environmental reviews, the Guidelines can also be used for National Register nominations, field surveys, and other historic preservation activities.
In a lavishly illustrated format, The Ranch House in Georgia provides practical guidance on identifying, documenting, and evaluating Ranch Houses in Georgia. Chapter 1 introduces the guidelines and explains how and why they have been developed. Chapter 2 contains a summary of HPD's history of the Ranch Houses in Georgia. Drawing on the information in Chapter 2, Chapter 3 provides a visual guide to the types and styles of Ranch Houses in Georgia, their character-defining features, and their construction materials; it also notes architectural features that are distinctive to Georgia's Ranch Houses. The geography of the Ranch House in Georgia--where Ranch Houses were built, and how their locations factor into evaluating their significance--is discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 provides nuts-and-bolts guidance for research, fieldwork, photography, and mapping, and it identifies the factors that should be taken into account when evaluating the significance of Ranch Houses and assessing their integrity. Chapter 6 suggests associated historic contexts that might also be useful for evaluating Ranch Houses--for example, a mid-20th-century Ranch House built to replace a turn-of-the-century farmhouse should be considered as an integral part of the historic farm as well as for its architecture. Case studies, a glossary, an initial listing of architects, designers, and builders associated with Georgia's Ranch Houses, and a bibliography round out the report.
The Ranch House in Georgia: Guidelines for Evaluation is the latest development in HPD's five-year Ranch House initiative. Previous steps have included documenting the history of Ranch Houses in Georgia, presenting information to a variety of audiences, holding workshops, and contributing to the work of an interagency workgroup formed by HPD, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Transmission Corporation, the University of Georgia, and historic preservation consultants. The findings and recommendations of the interagency workgroup were consolidated into The Ranch House in Georgia by New South Associates under contract with the Georgia Transmission Corporation. Visit HPD's Ranch House webpage for more information.
Moving historic buildings
by Bill Hover, Tax Incentives & Rehabilitation Guidance Program Manager and Architectural ReviewerThe question of moving historic buildings occasionally arises as a preservation issue. Typically, this occurs when an old building is in the way of new development and moving it is proposed as an alternative to demolition. Before a historic building is considered for relocation, the impact of the move should be determined.
The guiding principles about the appropriate treatment of historic buildings comes from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, associated Guidelines, and the National Register of Historic Places Criteria for Evaluation. These publications point out that the relationship between a historic building and its surroundings is integral to defining the historic character of the property. In other words, the historic character of a historic property is defined by the intactness of the association of the historic building with its setting, which includes other related buildings, landscape features, and even archaeological resources.
If buildings are moved, they lose the context of their historic setting, lose any related archaeology, and are ineligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places except under certain, limited circumstances. Because of these reasons, relocating historic buildings is rarely a preservation recommendation.
When is moving a historic building appropriate? Only when all of the following circumstances occur:
1. Relocating the building is the only means to avoid its demolition…moving it is the last resort. And, moving it can be accomplished with minimal physical impact or damage. Guidance for moving historic buildings is provided in the Department of the Interior, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (HCRS) Publication No. 9, Moving Historic Buildings.
2. Thorough documentation of its historic setting, including archaeological investigation and recordation can and has been undertaken and completed before the move.
3. The building can be relocated to a new site that closely replicates its historic setting.
While moving historic buildings may seem to be the way to “save” them, this approach only accomplishes partial preservation. Most often the context of a building’s setting is equally important. So, clustering a group of relocated historic buildings taken at random and historically unrelated will seldom be successful, as it is difficult to recreate their contexts accurately, even with interpretation.
Georgia Sea Islands Festival
by Jeanne Cyriaque, African American Programs Coordinator
The Georgia Geechee Gullah Shouters performed the ring shout at the festival. St. Simons Island was the site for the 2010 Georgia Sea Islands Festival at Pier Village on June 12-13. The St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition has sponsored this annual festival since 2002.
Members of the coalition are descendants of families who worked and lived on Cannons Point, Hamilton and Retreat plantations. By the 19th century, both the Georgia and U.S. Constitutions prohibited the direct importation of slaves from Africa, but it continued to flourish in the rivers and isolated marshes near St. Simons Island. In 1803, a ship named the York landed at Dunbar Creek with 75 Igbo (Ibo) tribesmen who walked back into the creek in defiance of slavery. At least 13 Ibos drowned in this act of defiance at Ibo Landing. As late as 1858, the Wanderer, another slave ship, brought Africans to St. Simons Island.
When enslavement ended in 1865, coalition members’ ancestors lived in three historic communities on St. Simons Island: Jew Town, South End and Harrington. While First African Baptist and Emanuel Baptist Church still exist from the 19th century, few landmark buildings have survived in these communities due to development pressures. The coalition is currently pursuing the preservation of the Harrington School that was built in the 20th century to educate African American residents on the island. Amy Roberts, executive director and Ron Upshaw, board chair, also want to preserve the culture associated with these communities, and they have led the effort to sponsor the annual Georgia Sea Islands Festival.
The festival featured traditional Gullah/Geechee arts and crafts, food and musical performances. Henry Wilson, a coalition member who is known as “the chip,” served as master of ceremonies for the entertainment. Michael Huelett performed as a soloist, playing both the saxophone and trumpet. Numerous choirs from local churches performed gospel music.
The Georgia Sea Island Singers were the top musical performers at the festival. The group performs African-influenced plantation slave songs. Lydia Parrish, a white St. Simons resident, preserved this music in her 1942 book entitled Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands. In 1948, Alan Lomax, filmmaker and folklorist, organized the Georgia Sea Island Singers, who were led by Bessie Jones, a Georgia native. The group achieved national acclaim with appearances at the Newport Festival and Carnegie Hall. Bessie Jones died in 1984, but Frankie Quimby continues her legacy, preserving sea island music into the 21st century. In 2004, the Georgia Sea Island Singers performed for the president and other international leaders at the G8 Summit, held on Sea Island.
The Georgia Geechee Gullah Shouters performed the ring shout, a religious tradition that evolved from former enslaved Africans who lived and worked on Georgia rice and cotton plantations. The tradition has been passed down to current generations who help to keep it alive. The group members are from Darien. In 2010, the group was incorporated and performed in the Georgia State Capitol rotunda for Governor Sonny Perdue.
Gullah/Geechee crafts were exhibited in the vendor section at the festival. Sweetgrass baskets were on display, and Stanley Walker of Sapelo Island demonstrated his skills in net making. Hungry festival visitors sampled smoked mullet, deviled crabs, other seafood and confectionary items.
by Michelle Volkema, Environmental Review Specialist
A balloon test was conducted for a proposed cellular tower in Acworth. HPD uses several tools to assess effects to historic resources when reviewing federal or state projects. These tools can be photographs, maps, construction plans and elevations, or archaeological shovel tests. Balloon tests are also one of these tools. A balloon test is essentially flying a large, brightly colored balloon high up in the air, typically 100-200 plus feet, in order to see effectively how tall and visible a proposed structure will be. Balloon tests are almost exclusively used to realize how visible proposed cell towers will be and in this regard, they are very effective.
Cellular antennas use a public utility that is a radio frequency, which is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Therefore, the construction of cellular towers that hold the antennas is considered a federal undertaking or project subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) compliance. In this respect, HPD typically reviews several dozen cell tower projects each month and in some instances, where there are significant historic properties near the proposed cell tower, we may request that the FCC applicant conduct a balloon test to better assess how the proposed cell tower may or may not affect those nearby historic resources.
Balloon tests are best conducted in calm clear weather. As you can imagine, if there is a lot of wind, low clouds, or rain it is very difficult to get a balloon to fly straight or be visible where it should be. The balloons used for these tests are usually a fairly thick rubber and range from five to eight feet in diameter when filled. They are filled with helium and flown to the height of the proposed tower in the spot the tower will be constructed. Then views back to the balloon are observed and photographs are taken from the nearby historic properties that could be affected by the proposed cell tower. This allows the FCC applicant to document any potential effects their proposed cell tower may have on historic resources and allows HPD staff to better review and comment on these projects. Visit HPD's Section 106 webpage for more information.
Georgia State Historic Preservation Office timeline
compiled by Helen Talley-McRae, Public Affairs Coordinator
Part 10: 2008-2010 - Historic Preservation Division; Department of Natural Resources
A 2009 staff photo. 2008
- HPD's annual report and congressional report for sfy 2007 are produced.
- State Income Tax Credit (amended 2008); 48-7-29.8
Provides a state income tax credit up to $300,000 for historic income-producing properties and $100,000 for historic private residential properties that undertake a substantial rehabilitation and are listed in the Georgia Register, either individually or in a Georgia district. Visit HPD's historic preservation tax credit web pages.
- The Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network (GAAHPN) is the recipient of a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for its quarterly publication, Reflections. Reflections editor, Jeanne Cyriaque, is HPD's African American programs coordinator.
- GPB's Georgia Outdoors "Monuments of the Past" episode originally aired Friday, October 31, 2008. This episode featured HPD archaeologists discussing the significance of historic cemeteries and archaeological sites to tell the full story of Georgia's history.
- HPD's sfy2008 annual report and congressional report for sfy 2008 are produced.
- Ray Luce, division director & deputy SHPO, retires.
- State Archaeologist David Crass is named division director and deputy SHPO.
- HPD offices moved back to state building at 254 Washington Street. Completed in 1955, the Labor Building is a seven-story office building designed in a modern classical style and clad in white Georgia marble, which is similar to buildings in the surrounding state capitol complex.
- HPD is restructured.
- In March, HPD held a statewide conference, History and Heritage Tourism: Discovering Georgia’s Community Landmarks, in Warm Springs as part of Georgia’s Community Landmarks Heritage Tourism Initiative. This initiative is a partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development's Tourism Division and is funded by a Preserve America grant received by HPD. The initiative also produced the Heritage Tourism Handbook: A How-To-Guide For Georgia. A preservation primer for local communities interested in preserving their historic properties will also be produced using this grant funding.
- Articles and publications posted on HPD's Web site - www.gashpo.org
- Overview of Georgia Trust GAPA State Advocacy Efforts
Part 1: 1951-1973, Georgia Historical Commission appeared in the September 2009 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 2: 1973-1978, Historic Preservation Section, Office of Planning and Research, Department of Natural Resources appeared in the October 2009 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 3: 1978-1986, Historic Preservation Section appeared in the November 2009 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 4: 1986-1990, Historic Preservation Section; Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division; Department of Natural Resources appeared in the December 2009 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 5: 1990-1994 - Historic Preservation Section, appeared in the January 2010 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 6: 1994-1998 - Historic Preservation Division, appeared in the February 2010 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 7: 1999-2001 - Historic Preservation Division, appeared in the March 2010 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 8: 2002-2004 - Historic Preservation Division, appeared in the April 2010 edition of Preservation Posts
Part 9: 2005-2007 - Historic Preservation Division, appeared in the May 2010 edition of Preservation Posts
Ask the SHPO
Do you have a burning question about our office or one of our programs? Do you ever wonder where our logo came from, what does "SHPO" stand for, or what kind of research materials we have? In this issue of Preservation Posts, we are introducing a new column called Ask the SHPO. Here's your opportunity to email us your questions about HPD and our programs. We will answer at least one of these questions in each edition of Preservation Posts. To start us out, we picked out a fairly common question for our Environmental Review Program.
Q. When should I hire a preservation professional/consultant for one of my projects?
A. First off, we must disclose that as an office, HPD cannot recommend a particular preservation or cultural resource management consultant. However, we do maintain a Consultants Directory on our website for professionals who are qualified in the disciplines of Archaeology, Architectural History, Engineering, Historic Architecture, Historic Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, Historic Preservation Planning, and History.
We recommend, for compliance with Section 106, that the Federal Agency or applicant hire a professional to prepare the information for our review, when the proposed project is large and/or complex, has several historic resources in the project area, when an archaeological survey should be conducted, or for a project that will have ground disturbing impacts (like a road project). Hiring a professional for any project, however, will most likely ensure a timely HPD review and turn around time, as the information is more than likely complete, with the expertise of a professional making recommendations for National Register eligibility. These professionals typically have expertise in all aspects of the Section 106 process, and will be able to assist you in identifying the area of potential effects (APE), in the identification of historic structures and archaeological resources, and in assessing project effects to National Register eligible or listed properties. Visit the Environmental Review section of our website for more information and who to contact.
This question was answered by Jackie Tyson, Environmental Review Historian.
Please send your questions to Helen Talley-McRae at email@example.com. We'll include your name, organization affiliation, and location along with your question (unless you prefer to remain anonymous).
Jennifer Bedell, Staff Archaeologist
Staff Archaeologist Jennifer Bedell (center) assists with the Archaeology Field Experience on Sapelo Island (part of the annual Weekend for Wildlife event) as Division Director Dave Crass observes. What are the main duties of your job?
I provide support for DNR concerning cultural resources to make sure we are compliant with state laws. As DNR provides greater services to the citizens of Georgia, I help to keep an eye out for any significant cultural resources that might be harmed in the process. I review any construction proposals that might cause ground-disturbing activity (new hiking/biking trails, timbering activity, new boat ramps, etc.). If necessary, I’ll conduct a site assessment to determine if any archaeological sites are present in the area that may be disturbed. This includes researching the previous land-use history, researching any known sites or surveys in the area, conducting an on site visual inspection and shovel testing. Based upon what I find, I will then make recommendations as to whether the project is cleared for construction or whether more work may be necessary to determine whether an archaeological site is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and thus needs to be avoided.
Why is archaeology important?
Archaeological sites are a non-renewable resource. That means once they are destroyed, they can never be recovered or duplicated. The same archaeological site will never grow back in its place. Although the act of digging is in itself destructive, keeping exacting records of the relationships of artifacts and features can help future generations answer questions that we might not presently have thought to ask. An artifact removed from the ground that you can hold in your hand is pretty neat but only answers the question “what” it is. However, an artifact that has been documented in relation to the site around it can help answer the question “why” it is.
What do you like most about your job?
There are almost too many reasons to list. One day is rarely the same as the next, and that usually means each day brings new challenges. I love having the opportunity to think outside the box to get the job accomplished with the limited resources we have. I also get to work in some of Georgia’s most pristine and beautiful places. Georgians have some pretty incredible resources at the tips of their fingers, and if I can help to bring more opportunities for the people to enjoy their own land, then that makes me feel pretty good at the end of the day.