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Endangered History
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GSA Redevelopment Plan Threatens St. Elizabeths Historic Campus
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - General Services Administration, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Capitol Planning Commission, National Trust’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

The General Services Administration (GSA) will present its plan for redevelopment of the St. Elizabeths campus in Washington, D.C. for the construction of the Department of Homeland Security’s new headquarters to the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) on November 1st. The National Historic Landmark mental asylum, which was named to the National Trust’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites in 2002, is one of the premier historic landmarks in the Nation’s capitol and contains a large number of historic buildings that are in need of rehabilitation.

The National Trust has opposed the GSA’s plans for the campus from the very beginning of the controversy and has urged the agency to review its plans for building its headquarters on the site and instead consider the following alternatives: 1) reject the proposed scheme for a 6.4-million-square-foot facility which would irrevocably “gut” the National Historic Landmark; 2) reduce the size of the Department of Homeland Security proposal for St. Elizabeths considerably or find an alternate site; and/or 3) adopt a preservation-based redevelopment concept for St. Elizabeths that would retain the site’s treasured historic assets while benefiting neighboring local communities and providing first-rate new office space for the right mix of federal agencies.

To learn more about the threats to St. Elizabeths and its listing on the National Trust’s 2002 Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites List, please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org/11Most/list.asp?i=49.

In addition, to read themost recent findings of the St. Elizabeths working group and its recommendations for securing a high security federal tenant on the West Campus, visit http://www.nationaltrust.org/11most/docs/St_Elizabeths_Working_Group_0807.pdf.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: General Services Administration, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Capitol Planning Commission, National Trust’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites

Posted: November 5, 2007
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
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