Historic Assessments

HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEY

Identifying, analyzing, and documenting the historic and architectural resources of a community is the first step towards preserving those buildings that distinguish our communities.  Spencer has conducted a variety of historic inventories of downtown business districts, historic neighborhoods, and statewide property types.  Historic inventories are typically the foundation of a local or National Register historic district and result in a determination of eligibility for each individual resource within the district.  Typically surveys are funded through local municipalities with assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service.  In Kansas, surveys are entered into the state’s computerized database – the Kansas historic resources inventory which includes a brief architectural description and history of the building, a determination of its historic significance, and photographs.  Survey projects typically include a report summarizing the survey findings and recommendation for future actions. 

Spencer has surveyed over 2000 resources in Kansas.  She has completed historic surveys in the Kansas communities of Council Grove, Ellsworth, Garden City, Hiawatha, Wilson, and Wichita and conducted statewide surveys of historic public schools and historic barns and other ag-related resources for the Kansas State Historical Society. 

Section 106 Consultation

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires that all federally funded or permitted projects be reviewed for impacts to cultural resources. Section 106 and related procedures together, known as the Section 106 process, must be followed and permits provided by respective federal agencies.  A summary of Section 106 regulations can be found here.  Spencer Preservation understands the requirements and has ample experience helping clients to navigate the process through the Section 106 Review Process.

Spencer Preservation has served in an on-call capacity for the Kansas Department of Transportation since 2009 to conduct Activity II & III assessments.  These projects typically include historic survey and preliminary determinations of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Determinations of Eligibility (DOE)

Eligibility for listing on state or national historic registers is the basic threshold for many preservation incentive programs and a determining factor in certain government programs.  Prospective property owners and developers may want a DOE to make decisions on whether to purchase a property.  In some localities, private building owners need this information for building permits, zoning appeals, or access to local revitalization programs.  The process for determining the historic significance of a property requires knowledge about the history of the property and the historic integrity of the property – the degree to which a property conveys its original design and character.  DOEs are similar to historic resources surveys but the information may or may not be entered into online databases.  Spencer Preservation can assist you in this process through research on your historic property, an analysis of its architectural character, former alterations, and existing conditions.  She has a good working knowledge of state and federal programs and procedures requiring determinations of eligibility.