Public Notice from the Paul Revere House Memorial Association: In preparation for the second phase of construction on Lathrop Place and as required by the $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, public comment is invited as per the following notice:
Regarding the Initiation of Section 106 Review of 5/6 Lathrope Place
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has provided the Paul Revere Memorial Association (PRMA) with a challenge grant to renovate 5/6 Lathrope Place, an 1835 National Register-eligible structure that is part of a larger historic complex owned by the PRMA.
NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. This public notice is issued as part of NEH’s responsibilities under 36 C.F.R. Part 800, the regulations which implement Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. § 470. NEH, as a funding agency, is required by regulation to identify and assess the effects of any proposed actions on historic properties. If any proposed action will have an adverse effect on historic resources, NEH works with the appropriate parties to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects. Additionally, the Section 106 regulations require NEH to consider the views of the public on preservation issues when making final decisions that affect historic properties.
5/6 Lathrope Place occupies land originally owned by Paul Revere and sits in close proximity to the Paul Revere House (ca. 1680) and the Moses Pierce-Nathaniel Hichborn House (ca. 1711), both of which are listed on the National Register and are National Historic Landmarks. The PRMA proposes to transform 5/6 Lathrope Place into a 3,600 square foot Education and Visitor Center, while also retaining the structure’s significant historic, character-defining features. Renovations to the structure will consist of new utilities, exterior work, program spaces, orientation areas, a museum shop, exhibits on the midnight ride and on Revere silver, several offices, a staff library, an elevator, and accessible restrooms.
The PRMA also proposes to improve exterior access from 5/6Lathrope Place to the Paul Revere House by replacing the existing stairway with an elevated walkway to allow for handicapped access and by re-grading the courtyard to provide for better 1st floor access. Further, the PRMA plans to lower the basement floor of 5/6 Lathrope Place to provide access and drainage to this part of the house, and also to allow archaeological investigations of this part and a common passageway used from the 17th through early 19th centuries by the then local community.
At this juncture in the Section 106 process, the PRMA is developing the construction and design plans for the proposed project. NEH, based on its Section 106 obligations, is also consulting with the Massachusetts Historical Commission State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), who has made a no adverse effect finding for this project provided that the PRMA consults with the SHPO as the project plans develop and evolve. NEH is in agreement with this finding and the agency is now drafting an agreement that will outline the specific efforts that NEH, the PRMA, the SHPO, and other signatories to the agreement will take to ensure that the project complies with Section 106 and its implementing regulations.
In this public notice, NEH is providing information about the renovations to 5/6 Lathrope Place and its effects on historic properties. We are also seeking public input on the project, and would appreciate comments identifying any concerns or issues pertinent to the project by March 22, 2011. Comments may be submitted to the NEH via e-mail at email@example.com or by regular mail to: National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of the General Counsel 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 529, Washington, DC 20506.