Cultural Resource Insights of 2017

Posted in: Cultural Resources

(l-r) Amy Squitieri, Liz Boyer, Dianna Litvak and Christina Slattery – Members of the Mead & Hunt Cultural Resources team wishing you and yours a happy New Year!
(l-r) Amy Squitieri, Liz Boyer, Dianna Litvak and Christina Slattery – Members of the Mead & Hunt Cultural Resources team wishing you and yours a happy New Year!

Season’s greetings! As we close out 2017 and get ready to welcome a New Year, this post looks back at issues affecting cultural resources in the past year.

Uncertainty in Washington

2017 was a year of legislative and regulatory uncertainty. One bright spot late in the year was the renewal of the historic tax credit for rehabilitation projects. Our posts provided information on the many benefits of the historic tax credit to economic development and neighborhood revitalization.

Christina Slattery presented the results of an industrial building survey of Milwaukee – a project to facilitate the application of the historic tax credit. Throughout the year we provided updates on proposed legislation and regulatory changes from Congress, federal agencies and the Trump Administration.

Climate threats

The year also brought numerous natural disasters. As I observed the flooding in California that resulted in the failure of the Oroville Dam, I posted that America’s aging dams are in need maintenance and repair nationwide. Rick Mitchell also discussed the need to address dam safety while recognizing that certain historically important resources need consideration by preservation professionals.

Hurricanes and fires also dominated the news. Dianna Litvak posted her thoughts on climate change and cultural resources. Inspired by the author of the National Park Services’ report Cultural Resources and Climate Change Strategy. Dianna discussed her takeaways and how climate change can reach us to tell a better story.

Because the effects of natural disasters on cultural resources will continue, both Emily Pettis and Dianna Litvak posted valuable information on pre-disaster planning by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They also shared recommendations from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Department of Homeland Security on historic preservation and community resilience.

The Recent Past

The tremendous construction that occurred in the immediate post-World War II period represents a “baby boom” of resources coming of age for National Register eligibility. We are bringing our expertise in the architecture of this period to the increased need to evaluate and consider buildings of the 1940s to 1970s.  Christina Slattery’s exploration of notable modern airport design very informative for others addressing this era. This year Liz Boyer embarked on a series discussing architecture of the recent past. A post on Googie, one of California’s signature styles was contributed by Chad Moffett. Chad discusses an example Mead & Hunt nominated for listing as a local landmark for the City of Sacramento.

In 2018, our team will continue to bring the past into the future. Mead & Hunt watches trends affecting cultural resources and continues our tradition of providing experts with deep knowledge in current cultural resource topics to deliver sound solutions for your projects.

As always, if you have ideas about what you would like to read, please send an email or give us a call.

Have a great New Year!

Amy Squitieri

About the Author

Amy Squitieri, an expert in historic bridges, helps states and bridge owners balance engineering needs for safety and good function with interests to preserve the legacy of the past. “Success is when an owner can reuse their existing infrastructure in a way that’s both functional and retains important aspects of engineering heritage,” says Amy. She leads Mead & Hunt’s Environment and Infrastructure Group.

Read more posts by Amy Squitieri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *