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Department of Veterans Affairs
Historic Preservation Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is organized into three main subdivisions, known as Administrations: the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is responsible for providing health care services; the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), which is responsible for burial and memorial benefits and maintenance of all VA cemeteries, and grants funding to develop and maintain Tribal and State veteran cemeteries; and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which is responsible for the management of programs that provide financial assistance to Veterans.

VA administers to more than 2,000 historic properties in the United States and Puerto Rico. It maintains the fourth-largest inventory of historic buildings among land-owning federal agencies. Most are affiliated with the VHA and NCA. Many VA Medical Centers contain historic districts, individually eligible historic buildings, landscapes, and archeological resources. NCA maintains more than 131 national cemeteries and 33 affiliated soldiers’ lots in the United States and Puerto Rico.

VA is responsible for a broad array of historic properties - districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects - as well as other kinds of heritage assets (collections, documents, etc.) - in a range of conditions. Many of these have been identified, documented, and sometimes included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); 17 are National Historic Landmarks (NHLs). Notably, in 2011 the National Park Service issued a determination that identified all national cemeteries as eligible for the NRHP regardless of age.

VA’s official policy for management of cultural resources and compliance with Section 106 is established in VA Directive 7545: Cultural Resource Management, which is implemented in accordance with VA Handbook 7545: Cultural Resource Management Procedures. The handbook requires the designation of Cultural Resource Management Officers at the regional level and encourages Medical Center Directors to appoint cultural resource managers. Many VA facilities also develop and implement Historic Preservation Plans to assist in the management of their historic properties.

Federal Preservation Staff

The VA Federal Preservation Officer is the contact for the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Additionally, NCA employs an historic architect to serve as point of contact for all the administration’s related actions.

Douglas Pulak, Federal Preservation Officer
Office of Construction and Facilities Management
Tel: 202.632.5462

Héctor M. Abreu, AIC PA, Senior Historic Preservation Specialist
Office of Construction and Facilities Management
Tel: 202.632.5775

Mailing Address:
Historic Preservation Office (003C2)
Office of Construction & Facilities Management
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
Ed Hooker, III, NCA Historic Architect

NCA Design and Construction Service
Tel: 202.632.6631

Agency Related Links & Documents

Program Comment on Vacant and Underutilized Buildings and Structures
The Department of Veterans Affairs is formulating its plan for reduction of its capital asset inventory which includes sales, public benefit conveyances, demolition, and deconstruction. Leases and exchanges to non-federal entities are also being considered for potential reuse of vacant and underutilized buildings and structures. VA intends to request the ACHP to consider a Program Comment for the entire program of reduction of vacant and underutilized properties.

Section 3: Improving Federal Agency Planning and Accountability, Executive Order 13287, “Preserve America” — Reports
The VA, along with other federal agencies with real property management responsibilities, submitted a baseline report on internal regulations, management policies, and operating procedures for compliance with Sections 110 and 111 of NHPA (16 U.S.C. 470h-2 & 470h-3) and continues to submit subsequent progress reports to the Chairman of the ACHP and to the Secretary of the Interior per Section 3(b) and (c) of EO 13287.

Office of Construction and Facilities Management - Historic Preservation
This link connects to the VA's Historic Preservation Office main page. The page provides detailed information about the program and the VA's inventory of historic properties.

VA Cultural Resources Management Checklist
VA has developed an interactive Cultural Resources Management Checklist to assist in maintaining compliance with the federal laws, rules, and regulations designed to protect cultural resources.

VA Historic Property Highlights
The page highlights the diverse range of historic properties administered to by VA and includes a variety of photographs and historic as-built drawings.

NPS Travel Itinerary - National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
This link connects to travel itineraries developed by the National Park Service for the 11 branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. The site provides background information and recommendations on how visitors can experience these historic properties.

NPS Travel Itinerary - Civil War Era National Cemeteries
This link connects to a NPS travel itinerary that offers several ways to discover and experience the historic places connect with the National Cemetery system.

Department of Veterans Affairs - History
This link connects to a general history of VA, which details the complex evolution of the agency over time dating back to the Revolutionary War.

National Cemetery Administration - History Program
Links to NCA historic preservation projects, outreach activities, and historic-resource information as generated or managed by NCA Historians, a program established in 2001. Content is added and revised regularly. The pages provide information on recent and ongoing research, research and documentation, and historic preservation projects.

VA Section 106 Success Stories

Zablocki VAMC Restoration

"Veterans Landmark Preserved Through Consultation, Partnerships" - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Veterans Commons

"Public-Private Partnership Rehabs Historic Building for Homeless Veterans" - San Francisco, California

West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

"Rehabilitation of Historic Hospital Creates Housing for Homeless Veterans" - Los Angeles, California

Togus Monument

"Reconstruction of Cemetery Monument Preserves Legacy for Future Generations" - Kennebec County, Maine

32nd Indiana Infantry Monument

"Dedicated Stewards Re-Vision and Preserve Oldest Civil War Monument" -Louisville, Kentucky

Dayton VAMC Grotto and Gardens

“Creative Partnership Restores Healing Landscape for Veterans” -Dayton, Ohio

Mountain Home

"Complex VA Redevelopment Project Succeeds Following ACHP Comment" - Johnson City, Tennessee

Port Hudson National Cemetery, LAPort Hudson

"National Cemetery Expansion Avoids, Protects Significant Civil War Site" - Port Hudson, Louisiana

Eisenhower Vets HospitalEisenhower Vets Hospital

"VA Medical Center: consultation leads to innovative solution." - Leavenworth, Kansas

Florence Stockade

"Uncovering hidden stories in a Confederate prison." - Florence National Cemetery, South Carolina

Recently Executed Agreement Documents

Recently Executed Agreement Documents

VA Preservation News

Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center Historic Gardens Wins Chairman’s Award
The ACHP bestowed its Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation March 8 on a project at the Dayton, Ohio, Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Its historic Grotto and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark District, is being brought back to its former renown by a dedicated team of volunteers, veterans, and other partners. Read more here. Read the Section 106 Success Story about this project here.View a photo presentation of the award-winning Grotto project.

Updated April 25, 2018

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