This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA-1603/1607/1786/1792-DR-LA Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office FEMA Mail Center 1st floor Environmental/Historic Preservation 1 Seine Court New Orleans, Louisiana 70114
December 29, 2009 Reid Nelson, Director Office of Federal Agency Programs Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Old Post Office 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 809 Washington, D.C. 20004 RE: Section 106 Review Consultation, Hurricane Katrina Undertaking: Purchase of the Chevron building (935 Gravier St) to house the City of New Orleans’ operational and administrative functions resulting in the abandonment of New Orleans City Hall (1300 Perdidio Street) Applicant: City of New Orleans Determination: Adverse Effect to Historic Properties Dear Mr. Nelson: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated Section 106 review for New Orleans City Hall in accordance with the “Programmatic Agreement among FEMA, the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Caddo Nation, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation” dated August 17, 2009 (2009 Statewide PA). The City of New Orleans (Applicant) intends to use FEMA Public Assistance Program funding to purchase the Chevron building resulting in the abandonment of New Orleans City Hall (Undertaking).. The scope of the FEMA undertaking includes the purchase of and potential interior renovations to the Chevron building, located at 935 Gravier Street. The City of New Orleans would move all of the city’s operational and administrative functions to this new facility which would result in the abandonment of City Hall, bounded by Perdido, LaSalle, Poydras Street and Loyola Boulevard. The applicant intends to make the current City Hall building safe and secure, however it is unclear at this time what steps the applicant intends to make to ensure this action. The Area of Potential Effects (APE) is determined to be the footprint of the Chevron Building and the footprint of City Hall and its garage. The Civil Courts Building, which is attached to the City Hall, is not included in the APE and will remain occupied by the Civil Court function. There are no ground disturbing activities proposed for the undertaking at this time. Should the undertaking change, this APE may be modified based upon any new, submitted scope of work.
Page 2 of 3 12/29/2009 Historic Properties Adversely Affected Purchase of the Chevron Building resulting in the abandonment of City Hall Orleans Parish
FEMA has determined that the Chevron building is not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) individually or as part of a listed or eligible National Register Historic district. The Chevron building does not meet the 50-year-criterion nor criteria consideration G of the National Register guidelines to be considered eligible for the NRHP. In a previous Section 106 consultation dated November 12, 2005, FEMA determined that City Hall was eligible for the NRHP under criterion A and C. SHPO responded on December 8, 2005 stating that City Hall was potentially eligible for the NRHP under Criterion A but not under Criterion C. In 2009, for purposes of this consultation, FEMA has undertaken additional research necessary to determine that City Hall is eligible under Criteria A and C. FEMA has formally consulted with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and requested SHPO’s comments on its adverse effect determination in a letter dated December 29, 2009. FEMA applied the criteria of adverse effect, pursuant to 36 CFR 800.5(a)(1), and determined that the abandonment of City Hall has the potential to cause an adverse effect to New Orleans City Hall that is reasonably foreseeable and may occur later in time or be cumulative. In accordance with 36 CFR part 800.5(a)(2)(iv), the removal of the operational and administrative functions from City Hall constitutes a change in the character of the property’s use that contribute to its historic significance. Additionally, 36 CFR part 800.5(a)(2)(vi), states that the neglect of a property which causes its deterioration is also an example of an adverse effect. Since the applicant has not yet indicated what actions it intends to take to make City Hall safe and secure, FEMA will take steps to consider the effects of the abandonment of the building through the development of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for this Undertaking. This letter, pursuant to 36 CFR §800.6(a)(1), is intended to notify the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) of the adverse effect. We have enclosed maps and photographs required by 36 CFR §800.11(e). FEMA is inviting the ACHP to participate in this consultation pursuant to 36 CFR §800.6(a)(1)(i)(A). In addition FEMA has reviewed Appendix A to Part 800, Criteria for Council Involvement in Reviewing Individual Section 106 Cases, and suggests that the involvement of the ACHP is warranted because the undertaking has the potential for presenting procedural problems. Please advise FEMA by January 14, 2010 if the ACHP intends to participate in this consultation. FEMA will provide a reasonable opportunity for Indian tribes to identify concerns about historic properties that may be affected by this Undertaking and to advise FEMA on the identification and evaluation of historic properties, including those of traditional religious and cultural importance. FEMA will provide these Indian tribes with the opportunity to participate in the resolution of adverse effects. FEMA will also notify potential Consulting Parties of this adverse effect consultation by e-mailing them a copy of this letter and the background information. We propose to send future notices, draft agreements, and other background information to the SHPO and Consulting Parties by e-mail to minimize communication delays and expedite the