Why Is The National Historic Landmark Program Renting A New Building Next To An Abandoned National Historic Landmark?
Perhaps the National Park Service could decamp from 1201 I Street, NW, Washington, D.C., a nasty “K Street-esque” office building, to restore its abandoned neighbor–the Franklin School. In Liz Farmer’s recent Examiner article highlighting the building and the state of Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., one can easily see the 19th century architectural wonder in the featured image. What one doesn’t see is that the “eyesore” next door is a protion of the building complex that houses offices of the National Park Service and its National Historic Landmarks Program. The Franklin School was made a National Historic Landmark in 1996 and is now abandoned. As yet another grotesque example of government accountability and hipocracy, the National Park Service, the Secretary of the Interior’s HISTORIC PRESERVATION representative, no doubt pays rent to some landlord, while buildings like the Franklin School sit not only empty, but threatened.
There should be no question about this matter. Organizations that proclaim Historic Preservation should be its exemplars in every possible way. When a National Historic Landmark is not being used, it is no-doubt vunerable. If we were to ask for a comment, no doubt the National Park Service and Secretary of the Interior’s leadership would claim that it is out of their control or that it’s a question of affordability, it’s a game set up so that not one soul can stand accountable. This is not only an issue for Historic Preservation, but throughout all of government. While the National Park Service preaches preservation and the promotion of historic sites, perhaps its first step should be renting this ABANDONED, NATIONALY SIGNIFICANT historic space!!!
Perhaps Ken Salazar, himself, can rectify the error, staying true to his motto: ”…U.S. Department of the Interior protects America’s natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures…,” its only a question….of integrity.!?