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Selected Section 106 Cases, 1986-1996: Midwest

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Flood Control levee repairs, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1993. In response to catastrophic flooding in the Midwest in 1993, the Corps, the Council, and SHPOs negotiated and executed a Programmatic Agreement to streamline Section 106 review for the repair of Federal levees. Developed by the Corps' Rock Island District, the alternative approach relies heavily on the inhouse expertise of each Corps District to assess the potential for archeological resources and to conduct identification without SHPO consultation. The evaluation process was greatly simplified; in most cases, a standard treatment was implemented. Feedback from both Corps districts and SHPO staff has been quite positive.

Homan Square Housing Project development, Chicago, Illinois, City of Chicago-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 1993. Chicago's appropriation of HUD funds to the Westside Affordable Housing Partnership for the development of affordable housing on the site of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. National Historic Landmark site, located in one of the City's declining neighborhoods, met widespread community support. The project's proposed design, however, required demolition of significant buildings within the former headquarters complex. The Council used the Section 106 review process to ensure that redevelopment of the site would preserve and reuse core buildings, as well as provide new housing opportunities in a declining neighborhood.

Midwest Flood disaster relief, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 1994. The Council met with FEMA officials immediately after the summer 1994 flood and, shortly afterward, with FEMA and affected SHPOs in conjunction with the NCSHPO meeting in Chicago, Illinois, to negotiate the Midwest Flood Programmatic Agreement. This multi-State approach streamlined Section 106 compliance and capitalized on the Stafford Act's provisions for reimbursement of States for assistance in disaster relief.

Circle Centre Mall, Indianapolis, Indiana, City of Indianapolis-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 1989. As it was originally designed, the Circle Centre Mall, a $500 million redevelopment project in downtown Indianapolis, had the potential to raze a substantial number of the Central Business District's historic properties. The Section 106 review gave the Council, the Indiana SHPO, and a consortium of local preservationists the opportunity to preserve significant buildings and facades and retain the downtown's historic character. National department stores have agreed to locate in parts of the mall that have historic facades to maintain the pedestrian scale and rhythm of the urban area.

St. Clair River Railroad Tunnel replacement, Port Huron, Michigan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1993. The Detroit District of the Corps used a permit application for construction of a new railroad tunnel to negotiate the preservation and maintenance of the historic St. Clair River Railroad Tunnel, an engineering landmark and NHL. The Corps' resolution differed substantially from the treatment the National Park Service had suggested to the permit applicant: filling the tunnel with sand. While this solution would have preserved the tunnel, it would have made it inaccessible to the public. Instead, the Corps and the applicant agreed that the tunnel should remain open and maintained according to the Secretary's Standards.

Federal Reserve Bank construction, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Federal Reserve, 1993. The construction of a new Federal Reserve Bank Building within the Minneapolis Warehouse and St. Anthony Falls Historic Districts required the demolition of several vacant historic buildings. Since the loss of these properties threatened the integrity of these historic districts, the Section 106 review process focused on the long-term protection and preservation of remaining portions of the district. The Section 106 review process ultimately was credited with the creation of a revolving loan fund to assist in preserving historic buildings; the development of a historic preservation plan for the districts; the coordination of a local design review group with the National Park Service during project design; and the creation of an interpretive exhibit to be housed within the new building.

Section 404 Flood Protection Buyout Program, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 1994. Ste. Genevieve's buyout proposal demonstrates why going beyond the expedited procedures established by the Midwest Flood Programmatic Agreement was sometimes warranted. Placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the Nation's 11 most endangered historic sites and included within the National Park Service's report on threatened and endangered National Historic Landmarks before the flood, Ste. Genevieve attracted even more public--and congressional--attention afterward. Fearing that its multitude of historic properties might jeopardize its bid for the State's buyout funds, the city proposed only one alternative: acquisition and demolition of properties at risk. The proposal avoided all properties contributing to the qualities of the NHL, because of a mistaken notion that such an approach would avoid effects to historic properties. These and other factors demanded special sensitivity to a variety of social and civic issues in order to avoid discrimination or the appearance of discrimination against historic property owners. Resources made available through the National Trust and the Missouri SHPO under a National Park Service appropriation for flood relief in historic areas helped craft a network of technical assistance and other efforts on behalf of the community and its unique resources. The final buyout plan included appropriate alternatives for historic properties where demolition may be neither necessary nor in the public interest.

Johnson's Island residential development, Sandusky Bay, Ottawa County, Ohio, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1991. The Corps received three Section 404 Permit applications for development of a subdivision on Johnson's Island, a 268-acre National Historic Landmark which served as a Federal prison for Confederates during the Civil War. There has been residential development on the island since the turn of the century, but residents and Civil War enthusiasts objected to further development on the island. Since the developer determined that developing his parcel with docks was critical to the viability of the proposed subdivision, the Council was able to negotiate a comprehensive mitigation plan related to the Section 404 permit which commits the developer to coordinate phases of development with the Ohio SHPO; develop and implement a research design for the site; protect portions of the site from ground disturbance; and develop a landscaping plan to buffer the prison site from the proposed subdivision.

U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building historic building preservation plan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, General Services Administration (GSA), 1990. This Programmatic Agreement was the first to utilize GSA's Historic Building Preservation Plan as a management tool for the long-term preservation and maintenance of a historic property. Once the plan was approved by the SHPO and Council, authority was formally delegated to the SHPO to review and approve subsequent maintenance, repair, and remodeling activities adhering to the Secretary's Standards. Such streamlining of the Section 106 review process expedited reviews and ensured that GSA's staff was educated about the historic significance of the Milwaukee Federal Building and Courthouse and the requirements of the Standards.

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