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2022 January Preservation ePost

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The OHP in 2021 - a Look Back


The end of 2021 marked almost two full years of dealing with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, for all the challenges the pandemic wrought, the work and mission of historic preservation moved forward in 2021 with as much dedication as ever from grass roots to the national level. That dedication inspired and fueled the work of our own office and we wanted to share some of the highlights from this past year at the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP): 


  • Instituted new electronic submission guidance for those needing to submit documents and project requests to our office.
  • State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco represented the OHP and cultural heritage at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Worked with community partners to develop two new historic context statements that will help to tell a fuller story of California.
  • Reviewed 44 Federal Historic Tax Credit projects with seven completed projects certified as meeting the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
  • Worked with multiple federal, state, and local agencies consulting on and reviewing over 5,251 projects for purposes of Section 106.
  • Signed 22 Memoranda of Agreements and Programmatic Agreements between the OHP, tribal communities, and other preservation partners.
  • Brought before the State Historical Resources Commission 34 nominations, encompassing nearly 1,000 individual resources. The Commission approved the nominations for forwarding to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for final determination of eligibility.
  • Awarded Certified Local Government (CLG) grants to six CLG communities, and co-hosted with the cities of Glendale, Riverside, Sacramento, and San Jose four highly successful CAMP preservation trainings conducted by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC).
  • Continued the ongoing work of digitizing all forms of preservation documentation for transfer to the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). Upwards of 4,000 reports and records were processed in 2021.


We look forward to the coming year and to hopefully seeing the pandemic finally wane. Most of all, we look forward to working for, educating about, and celebrating historic preservation and California's heritage. Happy New Year!



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From the SHPO


State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco shares some thoughts on last year’s UN Climate Change Conference, and California’s focus as climate goals move forward into the new year:


In November of 2021, I was honored to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland as an official observer. As a member of the Climate Heritage Network delegation and an official representative of California, participation included several speaking engagements, attending sessions, and meeting with partners. It was two weeks of ongoing activity as I listened to and learned from the multitude of sessions taking place both virtually and in person.


Topics covered included, among others, regeneration, rehabilitation, and resource efficiency in the built environment, carbon calculators for heritage buildings, and engaging vulnerable front-line communities in valuing cultural heritage as part of a larger landscape to create sustainable solutions. In addition to moderating sessions, I presented on topics such as our efforts to create a climate vulnerability index (CVI) assessment tool that is inclusive of the values of tribal and local communities to provide for greater stewardship of cultural heritage in climate change solutions. Simultaneously, the high-level government delegates were meeting to discuss the broader concepts for global consideration–all in an effort to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.


I left Glasgow saturated with ideas, concepts, and actions to carry forward. Collaboration with partners such as Historic Environment Scotland, ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), the American Institute of Architects, and the Climate Heritage Network, made California and the OHP’s role in climate efforts seem more connected and possible.


Beyond the reported outcomes of COP26, I believe the real progress and success of the conference was in the collective efforts of people at the local, state, and regional levels understanding the immediate threats to their way of life and looking for ways to collaborate for greater climate ambition.

 

That ambition is present as well in Governor Newsom’s recently proposed budget, where climate change is front and center. The proposal emphasizes that climate action and economic growth go hand in hand, and the cost of inaction is too high. The focus for California is to lead, learn from, and benefit from collaborations with partners, seeking adaptation and mitigation solutions and integrating equity into all climate efforts. It is a bold and important budget proposal that is situated to meet the urgency before us.


Tackling the climate crisis, centering on equity and justice, involves cultural values, human values. Cultural heritage actors play an immense role in integrating natural and cultural values in ways that move communities toward a low carbon and resilient future. The time to act is now; I hope you will join us! Further, faster, together!


Visit the OHP Climate Action page to learn more about the work of the OHP and California in addressing the climate crisis.



Image: SHPO Polanco and Dr. Ewan Hyslop, Historic Environment Scotland, moderate the COP26 session, "A Culture of Resilience: Launch of the Climate Heritage Network Race to Resilience Campaign." Jordi Pascual, United Cities and Local Governments, is onscreen.

Designating California!

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During his short lifetime, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made several trips to California, including two to Friendship Baptist Church in Pasadena. Designed by architect Norman F. Marsh in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the church was constructed in 1925 to provide a permanent home for the African American Baptist congregation established in Pasadena in 1893. Friendship Baptist Church is the first and oldest African American Baptist church in Pasadena and has been an active part of the civic and cultural life of the city.


Dr. King visited and spoke at the church in 1960 and again in 1965 at the invitation of the church’s pastor Marvin Robinson with whom King had established a correspondence and friendship. Mrs. Coretta Scott King returned to speak at the church in 1966.


Friendship Baptist Church is designated a Pasadena Cultural Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Photo courtesy of Adrianne Wadewitz/Creative Commons.

State Historical Resources Commission Meetings for 2022:


January 21

April 29

July 29

TBA


The SHRC meets quarterly each year. Commission meetings are open to the public and live-streamed through the Cal-Span network and on Zoom. Viewing instructions, and meeting dates, times, and agendas are posted to the SHRC Meeting Schedule and Notices page of the OHP website.

 

For upcoming nominations, visit the Pending Nominations page. Nominations already heard by the Commission are listed on the Actions Taken page, and video recordings of SHRC meetings are posted to the Meeting Recordings & Summaries page.

 

Learn more about the responsibilities and role of the SHRC.

News, Education, & More

Grant Opportunities

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting applications for the next cycle of their National Trust Preservation Fund grants. Dedicated funding is available for California.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2022.


The National Park Service Tribal Heritage Grants Program is now accepting applications for grants to support the preservation of tribal cultural resources and traditions.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022.

Summer Internships with the ACHP

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is once again offering summer internships to students of historic preservation. Interns will have the opportunity to learn the work and mission of preservation and the ACHP. Projects can be tailored to earn academic credit and a stipend is provided.

Application Deadline: February 11, 2022.

Members Sought for New Reconciliation Committee

The Department of the Interior is accepting member nominations for the new Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names. The committee will identify geographic names and federal land unit names that are considered derogatory and solicit proposals on replacement names.

Historic Preservation Degree Program

For those considering a graduate degree in preservation, the University of Oregon is still accepting applications for the Master of Science in Historic Preservation, a two-year program with an emphasis on history, cultural resource management, and cultural heritage preservation. To learn more about the program, please contact Jessica Wu at jwu21@uoregon.edu.



Application priority deadline: January 31, 2022.

Rolling Admissions deadline: August 1, 2022.

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