Sunday, May 10, 2009

National Historic Register Nominations: Dickinson District Expansion & new Depot District

Article 18 M: Historic Register District Nomination (Dickinson District Expansion & new Amherst Depot District): $ 10,000

Nominations of either individual properties or entire areas to the National Register of Historic Places are one of the most common and important preservation practices. They ensure that historic resources are thoroughly and professionally documented, and they actively protect them by raising public awareness and, in some cases, forestalling certain types of state or federal action.

Amherst already has 9 NHR's, and the Preservation Plan (pp. 36, 38-39) calls for continuation of this work:
"Complete National Historic Register work [nominations] for . . . Railroad Depot Area . . . [and at least 15 other potential NHR districts."
In this particular case, the goal is to acknowledge the importance of the areas neighboring and east of the grand and imposing mansions: the houses where resided the laborers--including the new Irish immigrant community--who worked in the homes and factories of the wealthy. One measure extends the boundaries of the existing Dickinson District. Another creates an entirely new district in the vicinity of the current Amtrak station. In this way, we acknowledge the social diversity and industrial heritage of the town.

The funds pay for professionally rigorous research and recording of data from the area, and development and submission of the detailed rationale and documentation required for the new designations.

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