Members of the ACHP met October 4 at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. for their fall business meeting. In the midst of a busy day in the Senate and at the Capitol, members engaged in a wide-ranging group of topics. In addition to awarding the ACHP-HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation to the Rosenwald Courts Apartments in Chicago, Illinois, members also discussed their upcoming strategic planning and procedural changes regarding unassembled meetings, and the confirmation of the new chairman.

They discussed Section 106 issues surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs Program Comment on Underutilized Properties, which was not ready for a vote at the meeting but will be decided within two weeks. They also discussed concern with the Program Comment on the Exemption Regarding Railroad and Rail Transit Rights-of-Way in how states and tribes are engaged in the consultative process. They commented on the need for a digital library of historic sites across the country, which would help in the current push for infrastructure initiatives. The ACHP remains an active member of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, part of the Administration’s infrastructure initiatives.

Members also participated in a rousing discussion on the ACHP’s Touching History project, in partnership with Morgan State University, National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The Initiative’s Executive Director Johnathan Holifield spoke to the group, along with Morgan State graduate Taylor Proctor. Both showed their excitement for the project noting it was a model and a career-changing experience that should be replicated at other HBCUs.

Next year’s calendar of business meetings has not yet been announced, pending confirmation of the new chairman and her goals for the agency.