Contributing property

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Thomas T. Gaff House, a contributing property to the Dupont Circle Historic District in Washington, D.C. Thomas T. Gaff House - Dupont Circle.JPG
Thomas T. Gaff House, a contributing property to the Dupont Circle Historic District in Washington, D.C.

In the law regulating historic districts in the United States, a contributing property or contributing resource is any building, object, or structure which adds to the historical integrity or architectural qualities that make the historic district, listed locally or federally, significant. Government agencies, at the state, national, and local level in the United States, have differing definitions of what constitutes a contributing property but there are common characteristics. Local laws often regulate the changes that can be made to contributing structures within designated historic districts. The first local ordinances dealing with the alteration of buildings within historic districts was in Charleston, South Carolina in 1931. [1]

Historic district section of a city which contains older buildings considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons

A historic district or heritage district is a section of a city which contains older buildings considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons. In some countries or jurisdictions, historic districts receive legal protection from certain types of development considered to be inappropriate.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

A local ordinance is a law for a political division smaller than a state or nation, i.e., a local government such as a municipality, county, parish, prefecture, etc.

Contents

Properties within a historic district fall into one of two types of property: contributing and non-contributing. A contributing property, such as a 19th-century mansion, helps make a historic district historic, while a non-contributing property, such as a modern medical clinic, does not. The contributing properties are key to a historic district's historic associations, historic architectural qualities, or archaeological qualities. A property can change from contributing to non-contributing and vice versa if significant alterations take place.

History

According to the National Park Service, the first instance of law dealing with contributing properties in local historic districts occurred in 1931 when the city of Charleston, South Carolina, enacted an ordinance that designated the "Old and Historic District." [1] The ordinance declared that buildings in the district could not have changes made to their architectural features visible from the street. By the mid-1930s, other U.S. cities followed Charleston's lead. An amendment to the Louisiana Constitution led to the 1937 creation of the Vieux Carre Commission, [1] which was charged with protecting and preserving the French Quarter in the city of New Orleans. The city then passed a local ordinance that set standards regulating changes within the quarter. [1] Other sources, such as the Columbia Law Review in 1963, indicate differing dates for the preservation ordinances in both Charleston and New Orleans. The Columbia Law Review gave dates of 1925 for the New Orleans laws and 1924 for Charleston. [2] The same publication claimed that these two cities were the only cities with historic district zoning until Alexandria, Virginia adopted an ordinance in 1946. [2] The National Park Service appears to refute this. [1]

National Park Service United States federal agency

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 136,208 in 2018. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 787,643 residents as of 2018, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

French Quarter New Orleans neighborhood in Louisiana, United States

The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. After New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city developed around the Vieux Carré, a central square. The district is more commonly called the French Quarter today, or simply "The Quarter," related to changes in the city with American immigration after the Louisiana Purchase. Most of the extant historic buildings were constructed either in the late 18th century, during the city's period of Spanish rule, or were built during the first half of the 19th century, after U.S. annexation and statehood.

In 1939, the city of San Antonio, Texas, enacted an ordinance that protected the area of La Villita, which was the city's original Mexican village marketplace. [1] In 1941 the authority of local design controls on buildings within historic districts was being challenged in court. [3] In City of New Orleans vs Pergament (198 La. 852, 5 So. 2d 129 (1941)) Louisiana state appellate courts ruled that the design and demolition controls were valid within defined historic districts. Beginning in the mid-1950s, controls that once applied to only historic districts were extended to individual landmark structures. [3] The United States Congress adopted legislation that declared the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. protected in 1950. [1] By 1965, 51 American communities had adopted preservation ordinances. By 1998, more than 2,300 U.S. towns, cities and villages had enacted historic preservation ordinances. [1]

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality, having celebrated its 300th anniversary on May 1, 2018.

An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. Appellate courts nationwide can operate under varying rules.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.

Definition

Plaque acknowledging Little Red Schoolhouse as a contributing property to Newberry Historic District in Newberry, Florida Newberry Hist Dist School plaque01.jpg
Plaque acknowledging Little Red Schoolhouse as a contributing property to Newberry Historic District in Newberry, Florida

Contributing properties are defined through historic district or historic preservation zoning laws, usually at the local level. [4] Zoning ordinances pertaining to historic districts are designed to maintain a district's historic character by controlling demolition and alteration to existing properties. [5] In historic preservation law, a contributing property is any building, structure, object or site within the boundaries of the district that contributes to its historic associations, historic architectural qualities or archaeological qualities of a historic district. [6] It can be any property, structure or object that adds to the historic integrity or architectural qualities that make the historic district, either local or federal, significant. [6] Definitions vary but, in general, they maintain the same characteristics. [6] [7] Another key aspect of a contributing property is historic integrity. Significant alterations to a property can sever its physical connections with the past, lowering its historic integrity. [8] Contributing properties are integral parts of the historic context and character of a historic district. [9] A property listed as a contributing member of a historic district meets National Register criteria and qualifies for all benefits afforded a property or site listed individually on the National Register. [10]

Contributing building

A building within a historic district that contributes to the historic character of the district. See Building property type of NRHP listing.

Contributing object

An object within a historic district that contributes to the historic character of the district. See Object property type of NRHP listing.

Contributing structure

A structure within a historic district that contributes to the historic character of the district. See Structure property type of NRHP listing.

Contributing site

A site within a historic district that contributes to the historic character of the district. See Site property type of NRHP listing.

Contributing versus non-contributing

This medical clinic building in the East Grove Street Historic District in Bloomington, Illinois is an example of a non-contributing property. Bloomington Il EGHD1 noncontributing.JPG
This medical clinic building in the East Grove Street Historic District in Bloomington, Illinois is an example of a non-contributing property.

The line between contributing and non-contributing can be fuzzy. [8] In particular, American historic districts nominated to the National Register of Historic Places before 1980 have few records of the non-contributing structures. [8] State Historic Preservation Offices conduct surveys to determine the historical character of structures in historic districts. Districts nominated to the National Register of Historic Places after 1980, usually list those structures considered non-contributing. [8]

As a general rule, a contributing property helps make a historic district historic. A 19th-century Queen Anne mansion, such as the David Syme House, is a contributing property, while a modern gas station or medical clinic within the boundaries of historic district is a non-contributing property. [11] [12]

Historic buildings identified as contributing properties can become non-contributing properties within historic districts if major alterations have taken place. Sometimes, an act as simple as re-siding a historic home can damage its historic integrity and render it non-contributing. In some cases, damage to the historic integrity of a structure is reversible, while other times the historic nature of a building has been so "severely compromised" as to be irreversible. [11]

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Sycamore Historic District United States national historic site

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References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Early Models," Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts, National Park Service. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  2. 1 2 "The Police Power, Eminent Domain, and the Preservation of Historic Property (in Notes)," (JSTOR), Columbia Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 4. (Apr., 1963), pp. 708-732. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  3. 1 2 Pyke, John S. Jr. "Architectural Controls and the Individual Landmark," (JSTOR), Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 36, No. 3, Historic Preservation. (Summer, 1971), pp. 398-405. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  4. For a catalog of early historic district zoning ordinances, see "Further reading" number one, Morrison, J. Historic Preservation Law, pp. 6-9, 12-15, 126, 1965 ed.
  5. Hughes, L. Keith. "Use of Zoning Restrictions to Restrain Property Owners from Altering or Destroying Historic Landmarks (in Notes)," (JSTOR), Duke Law Journal, Vol. 1975, No. 4. (Sep., 1975), pp. 999-1019. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  6. 1 2 3 Historic and Scenic Preservation Local Option Property Tax Reimbursement, Maine Historic Preservation Commission. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  7. ORDINANCE NO. 2001-02, (PDF), Danville, California ordinance, California Office of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  8. 1 2 3 4 National Register Historic Districts Q&A, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  9. Iowa City Historic Preservation Handbook Archived 2006-12-23 at the Wayback Machine , (PDF), Iowa City Urban Planning Division. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  10. Historic Districts Archived 2007-08-10 at the Wayback Machine , Town of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Official site. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  11. 1 2 East Grove Street District Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine , (PDF), National Register Nomination Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  12. "Sycamore Historic District Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine ," (PDF), National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved 23 April 2007.

Sources

  • Morrison, Jacob H. Historic Preservation Law, New Orleans: Pelican Pub. Co., 1957. Further editions published in 1965, 1972 and 1974. ISBN   9780891330196, ISBN   0891330194.