Section 110: An Introduction

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by Special Contributor No Comments


By John H. Sprinkle, Jr., Ph.D.

As we approach the 50-year mark of the enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Preservation Leadership Forum has enlisted the help of preservation practitioners to take a close look at how the NHPA is used to protect historic places. Earlier this year we took a look at Section 106, and today we're kicking off a series on Section 110, a provision that requires federal agencies to establish a historic preservation program for the identification and protection of historic properties under their direct control or ownership. In this first post, John Sprinkle, describes the origin of Section 110 and its impact on historic preservation practice since its implementation in 1980.

The St. Louis Post Office took center stage during the discussions surrounding the creation of Section 110. It was a critical example of what should be done with surplus federally owned, historically significant buildings that are proposed for sale, transfer or demolition. | Credit: Matthew Black via Flickr under Creative Commons.

Nixon's Executive Order 11593 directed federal agencies to inventory and evaluate their historic properties, since many agencies were unaware of the historic significance of the buildings they occupied.  The proposed demolition of the federally owners St. Louis Post Office took center stage during the discussions surrounding the creation of Section 110. | Credit: Matthew Black via Flickr under Creative Commons.

It started with a memo:

Ernest: Attached are my thoughts about the bill I’m concocting ... you may recognize a few pilfered phrases. Best, Loretta.

In early 1976, Loretta Neumann, Congressman John Seiberling’s legislative director, sent Ernest Connally, the head of historic preservation programs at the National Park Service, a two-page list of ideas for amending the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).1 While the “new preservation” envisioned in 1966 was still partially under construction, Neumann and Connally sought to improve the NHPA by:... Read More →

Why Do Old Places Matter: Get Inspired by Multi-media Content from the Spring Journal

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by Preservation Leadership Forum Staff No Comments


00_29.3Cover_smallForum Journal is a benefit to members of Preservation Leadership Forum; however, this particular journal is available to the public. If you are a member you can download the issue from Forum Online. If you are not a member learn more about this issue and how to download it here

What gets your creative juices going? A walk in the woods? The peace and quiet of a library reading room? Several contributors to the spring issue of the Forum Journal credit old places as their source of inspiration. Two musicians in particular talk about how old places encourage creativity. In case you missed it, you will want check out the multi-media content from the Spring Journal:... Read More →

Preservation Legal Tools: Receiverships

Posted on: June 30th, 2015 by Special Contributor No Comments


The vacant and deteriorating Emerson mansion in Baltimore is the subject of a current receivership action." | Credit:  Baltimore Slumlord Watch

The vacant and deteriorating Emerson mansion in Baltimore is the subject of a current receivership action.
| Credit: Baltimore Slumlord Watch

By Lane Pearson

It is a familiar problem encountered by preservationists: A historic building is deteriorating due to neglect, and for various reasons—a stubborn property owner, clouded title, feuding heirs—no responsible party is willing or able to address the problem. The situation may arise in the context of a property owner who refuses to uphold the requirements of a preservation easement, or it could be the result of an abandoned property where the owner cannot be identified or located.

In cases like these, traditional legal remedies may be inadequate, requiring communities to explore other solutions. Enter the concept of receivership1 an equitable remedy that temporarily transfers possession of real property to a court-appointed receiver for the purposes of enforcing preservation easement obligations or abating building code violations.

A receiver is an officer of the court, appointed by the court in equity. The distinction between “law” and “equity” is a vestige of English common law, which recognizes that the interests of fairness and justice may be better served when the court can offer a discretionary, “equitable” remedy, like an injunction or an order for specific performance, rather than a remedy “at law,” which is generally limited to monetary damages. While title to a property in receivership remains with the owner, legal possession is held by the court; thus any interference with the receiver’s control of the property is treated as contempt of court, not mere trespass against the receiver personally.... Read More →