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NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s:
Administrative History

Chapter Five: New Initiatives in the Fields of History, Historic Preservation and Historical Park Development and Interpretation
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K. Adoption of Code of Procedure for Implementation of Historic Sites Act

By September 1935 the National Park Service was actively engaged in framing a code of procedure to serve as a guide in directing the varied activities under the Historic Sites Act. The code was designed to include basic regulations and policies that were to be followed in carrying out the provisions of the act and governing its enforcement. [73]

By this time Schneider had submitted his study entitled "Report to the Secretary of the Interior on the Preservation of Historic Sites and Buildings," and his research was used in formulating the directives to put the Historic Sites Act into operation. The report consisted of three parts:

I--A review of progress in historic preservation in the United States at the federal, state, and local government levels as well as that by private organizations.

II--Discussion of the legislative history and administrative organization for the preservation of historic sites and buildings in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland, Ireland, and Sweden.

III--Detailed analysis of the Historic Sites Act and conclusions and recommendations for the administration of the national historic preservation program.

It was this latter section that was used to draft the code of procedure. [74]

In February 1936 the Branch of Historic Sites and Buildings, in cooperation with the legal staff of the Department of the Interior, finalized and issued the code of procedure. The three individuals who were most responsible for the code's contents were Chatelain, Merritt Barton of the department's legal staff, and Lee. The regulations in the code included an account of each step to be taken before bringing an area into the National Park System as a National Historic Site, which was an entirely new type of area designation. The procedure for designating such a site included six steps:

a. Study of the site by the National Park Service and a determination of its national importance within the scope of the Act.

b. Preparation by the National Park Service of a memorandum for the Secretary's approval, including a map of the recommended boundaries and descriptive material of the site to be designated. The memorandum shall include recommendations as to the official name of the site and the method of administering it if and when accepted. The justification must show that the recommended site is of national significance.

c. Approval by the Secretary of the memorandum and preparation by the National Park Service for the approval of the Secretary of appropriate contractual agreements with Federal departments or agencies, state or local governments, or private owners, when necessary to facilitate the administration of areas under the scope of the Act.

d. Examination and acceptance of the necessary deeds by the Secretary, if title to the area or any part of it is to be vested in the Federal Government.

e. Approval by the Secretary of the contractual agreements, where necessary, and preparation of the order for the signature of the Secretary designating the area as a National Historic Site.

f. Filing of the original and two duplicate originals of certified copies of the signed departmental order with the Division of the Federal Register, National Archives, upon which the area is then to be considered a National Historic Site. [75]

Chapter Five continues with...
Appointment and Early Activities of the Advisory Board


Last Modified: Tues, Mar 14 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

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