T. 8-10-94 DJ 202-PL-819 AUG 30 1994 State of Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks P.O.

Box 176 Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0176 Dear Mr. Miles: This is in response to your letter regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the context of the preservation of historic buildings. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. Pursuant to that authority, this letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a legal interpretation of the statute and it is not binding on the Department. Your letter indicates that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Program is developing a method for addressing accessibility requirements in historic buildings. As you are aware, title III of the ADA does apply to qualified historic buildings that constitute places of public accommodation or commercial facilities. Section 4.1.7 of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (Standards), 28 C.F.R. part 36, Appendix A, specifically addresses alterations to historic buildings. The ADA Standards, which were adopted as a final rule on July 26, 1991, are based on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) initially published by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Section 4.1.7(1) of the ADA Standards provides that, when an alteration is made to a qualified historic building, the alteration must fully comply with the requirements of the ADA Standards. Only in special circumstances may an alteration to a historic building be done according to a less accessible standard. Such special circumstances may be found to exist only

if, upon completion of the applicable process outlined in section 4.1.7(2), the State Historic Preservation Officer finds that full cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard, Hill, FOIA, Friedlander n:\udd\hille\policylt\miles2.ltr 01-03409 -2compliance with the ADA Standards would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building. Only if such a finding is made may the alternative requirements of section 4.1.7(3) be used. See also 28 C.F.R. S36.405. Your letter also raises the application of the ADA to historic buildings temporarily owned by the State of Missouri through its Historic Preservation Revolving Fund program, when no programs are being offered in those facilities. Title II of the ADA addresses the services, programs, and activities of State and local governmental entities and instrumentalities. For existing buildings, to which no alterations are being made, title II requires that programs, services, and activities be operated so that, when viewed in their entirety, they are accessible. This standard of program accessibility does not necessarily require a public entity to alter its existing facilities if program accessibility can be achieved through other means. 28 C.F.R. S35.150. If the State of Missouri does not operate any program, service, or activity in the historic buildings it owns, title II may not require any changes to those buildings. If, however, the State undertakes an alteration to a qualified historic building, title II may require that, to the maximum extent feasible, the altered portion of the building comply with either section 4.1.7 of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), 41 C.F.R. part 101, or section 4.1.7 of the ADA Standards. For your further information, I am enclosing copies of the regulations implementing titles II and III of the ADA. I hope that this information is helpful to you and that this letter fully responds to your inquiry.

Sincerely, John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section 01-03410