Chairman Bob Conte called the meeting to order, welcomed members and guests, and requested members to introduce themselves. In addition to Dr. Conte, voting members present were Margaret Brennan, Harold Forbes, Rebecca Frye, Victor Greco, Dr. Helene Jacobs, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Bill Richardson, Amy Haden Sorrells, Noel Tenney, and Dr. Joan Walker. Voting member absent was Dr. Charles (Chuck) Hulse. Ex officio voting members present were Dr. Bill Arnett, president, West Virginia Historical Association; and Michael Shock, president, West Virginia Historical Society. Ex officio non-voting members present were Fredrick Armstrong, secretary to the commission and director of Archives and History, and Susan Pierce, director of Historic Preservation. Ex officio non-voting members absent were Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Adam Hodges, Museums director; and Dr. Michael Hohn, director, WV Geological and Economic Survey. Also present were Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History (attending in the absence of Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith), and Chad Proudfoot, Capitol Building Commission vice chairman. Culture and History staff present were Pam Brooks and Erin Riebe, Historic Preservation; Nancy Waggoner, Archives and History; and Charles Morris, Museums. After recognizing several visitors, Chairman Conte, explaining that the vice chairman of the commission had not been reappointed, asked Secretary Armstrong for permission to move the election of vice chairman up to Old Business, immediately following section reports. Following a consensus from members to do so, Chairman Conte called upon Jacqueline Proctor to present the commissioner's report in his absence.
Ms. Proctor informed members that open bids for the construction of the museum had been moved to November 8, as the subcontractors had requested more time to make sure everything was in order. Culture and History began the Collegiate Series, consisting of seven lectures, on October 22 with a performance by the West Virginia University Steel Band Ensemble. Chairman Conte invited any questions or comments relative to Ms. Proctor's report from the commissioner. There were none.
Chairman Conte advised members that it had just been brought to his attention that he had not asked for approval of the 23 May 2007 meeting minutes, previously mailed to members. Dr. Ledbetter moved for approval and Dr. Arnett seconded. Motion carried.
Chairman Conte called upon Charles Morris, in the absence of Adam Hodges, for the Museums section report. A copy of the report was distributed to members (copy attached to official minutes). Chairman Conte called for any questions or comments concerning the report. Margaret Brennan asked about the progress at West Virginia Independence Hall in terms of the two contracts for the air conditioning system. Mr. Morris replied that he really did not know anything about it, as Adam Hodges deals with the sites, but added that he would make sure Mr. Hodges finds that out for her. There being no further questions with regard to the Museums report, Chairman Conte called upon Susan Pierce for the Historic Preservation section report.
Ms. Pierce handed out her report (copy attached to official minutes) and noted that it follows some of the different program areas, a few of which she addressed. At the conclusion of her report, Ms. Pierce asked if there were any questions. Ms. Sorrells and Mr. Richardson asked about the Heritage Tourism grant with respect to focus and funding intent. Ms. Pierce explained that the application gave two examples of thematic resources: CCC vintage resources, not just those associated with state parks but throughout the state, and theaters throughout the state. She noted that it hasn't been confirmed that these two will be the focus and added that a task force will develop the grant work. Ms. Pierce explained the money will not be for brick and mortar work, but rather to develop brochures and thematic connections between the resources. She offered to provide Sorrells and Richardson copies of the grant application.
She distributed to members the Conflict of Interest Statement (copy attached to official minutes), noting that all commission members are required by the National Park Service to complete for the files. She noted that members who have been serving for a while should complete the form as well, which would aid in keeping the files up to date. Secretary Armstrong asked for extra copies for members who were absent and commented on other documents that were provided to members, offering as a notary public to sign any that may require notarization. Chairman Conte, who is president of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, commented on the annual conference held in Wheeling and expressed his appreciation of the efforts of the State Historic Preservation Office. There being no further questions or comments, Chairman Conte called upon Fred Armstrong for the Archives and History report.
Mr. Armstrong reminded members that monthly reports had been mailed out in advance of the meeting and then updated them on various activities. He reported on the successful test on the granite panels of the Veterans Memorial and changes to the website and discussed the highway historical marker and Records Management and Preservation Board programs. At the conclusion of his report, Mr. Armstrong stated he would be happy to respond to any questions or comments anyone had relative to this report or any reports that were recently mailed to members.
Commission members raised the need for clarification regarding the commission's authority over the highway historical marker program in light of the opinion of a staff member of the Attorney General's office that the historical marker program is not an area of Archives and History Commission authority. Dr. Walker commented that if the commission had no authority over the markers, they should not be concerned with them. It was suggested a letter, under the signature of Dr. Conte, be sent to the commissioner of Culture and History seeking clarification as to the relationship between the commission, staff, and the commissioner with respect to the marker program. Ms. Brennan requested the letter include the fact that two markers that had been voted down by the commission were to be erected, which Dr. Conte agreed to address. There being no further questions or comments, Chairman Conte called upon Chad Proudfoot for the Capitol Building Commission report.
Mr. Proudfoot report that the CBC had approved the kitchen renovation project for the Governor's Mansion, the redesign of the Governor's Drive, security measures for gates at different entrances around the Capitol Complex, installation of security cameras in the Rotunda of the main Capitol building, General Services' plan to plant rose bushes in front of the retaining wall along the river in front of the Capitol to deter graffiti, and efforts to identify the original color scheme in some of the stairwells in the Capitol Complex in order to replicate. Mr. Proudfoot also informed members that the CBC had approved the renovation and update of the food court in the Capitol building. Other items being watched are light fixtures, renovation to Building 3, and the Veterans Memorial. He noted the appointment of Greg Barton from Ritchie County to the CBC. At the conclusion of his report, he asked if there were any questions or comments.
Ms. Brennen asked if murals would be involved in the Capitol renovation. Mr. Proudfoot responded that nothing has been brought before the CBC regarding murals in the main building but, if this matter does come up, it will have to go through the CBC and the Historic Preservation office. Ms. Brennan brought up the Cultural Center renovations, and Mr. Proudfoot advised that any changes on the Capitol Complex must go through the CBC, adding that there has not been anything done recently at the Cultural Center that would require CBC action. Dr. Jacobs asked about using the plant pyrocanthus at the retaining wall that is subject to graffiti. Mr. Proudfoot stated he would be happy to share this with General Services. There being no further questions or comments, Chairman Conte thanked Mr. Proudfoot for his report and moved on to Old Business.
The first item under Old Business was the need for a vice chairman nomination to fill the vacancy which occurred due to recent appointments and/or reappointments of the commission. Chairman Conte called for nominations. Dr. Ledbetter made a motion to elect Dr. Walker; however, she declined. Mr. Tenney made a motion to elect Dr. Ledbetter. Dr. Arnett seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Conte called for the commissioner's report on the Archives and History Commission appointments. Jacqueline Proctor, speaking for the commissioner, stated there was nothing specific to report. Chairman Conte noted that there is still one vacancy remaining.
The next item under Old Business was the Baker's Fort National Register nomination, which was tabled from the 23 May meeting. Barbara Rasmussen explained why they were not bringing the nomination forward under the criterion for archaeology and asked the commission to accept their finding that the nominated site was the historical site. Dr. Arnett moved that the commission approve the nomination, and Ms. Brennan provided the second. Ms. Pierce asked for clarification of the motion, and Secretary Armstrong asked for clarification as to whether Dr. Arnett's motion was to untable the motion or a motion to approve the nomination. Dr. Arnett stated it was to untable it and proceed with the process. Chairman Conte asked if the previous motion was to reject the nomination, and Secretary Armstrong asked that the motion be restated. Dr. Arnett moved that the previous motion be untabled and brought back into discussion. Ms. Brennan seconded the motion. Motion approved.
Then, Dr. Arnett made a motion to approve the nomination, and Ms. Brennan seconded the motion. A lengthy discussion ensued, with Dr. Walker expressing reservations about the nomination and Ms. Brennan stating her belief that the nominated site was the correct location. Dale Mauer, director of marketing for Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort, explained their interest in historical tourism. Dr. Rasmussen responded to questions from Dr. Ledbetter about significance and Mr. Forbes about the advantage of site recognition versus publication. Ms. Pierce stated her office's concern with the site's integrity, which is also a requirement of the National Register, and quoted from a statement from the National Register coordinator in New York that concluded a site similar to Baker's Bottom had "little integrity." Dr. Rasmussen responded that the asphalt is preservative and that expectations of integrity for a site are different than for a building, citing the John Brown hanging site as a local example of a compromised site that is a National Landmark. Dr. Walker expressed her concerns about integrity as did Ms. Sorrells, who asked about the massacre location. Dr. Rasmussen responded and stated that she was "dead certain" the nominated site was the place where the event occurred. In reply to a question from Ms. Sorrells about National Park Service requirements on integrity, Ms. Pierce quoted from comments she and Erin Riebe prepared in January (attached to minutes). Ms. Riebe added that it is their professional opinion that the site does not have integrity. Chairman Conte called for a vote on the motion to approve the nomination. Motion was defeated with three in favor, nine opposed, and one abstention from Ms. Brennan.
Chairman Conte continued with Old Business by addressing another item, History Day, tabled from the 23 May meeting. He noted that the commission, particularly former member Joy Stalnaker, was very involved in the event but wondered how to carry on. Secretary Armstrong explained the work involved with the event and named several sponsoring groups. He questioned putting sponsors on the program if all the work would be deposited on Archives staff, and also whether either Culture and History or the commission would want History Day to become an agency function. He noted that four commission members present represented four of the History Day sponsors. Chairman Conte stated they could talk at lunch and then asked if there was anything else before moving into New Business. At the request of Susan Pierce, Chairman Conte called for a five-minute break at 11:05 a.m.
At 11:20 a.m. the meeting reconvened. Under New Business, Chairman Conte called upon Erin Riebe for the National Register nominations. Ms. Riebe asked for permission to address the Baker's Fort nomination. She stated that a nomination opposed by both Historic Preservation and the Archives and History Commission generally would not be sent to the National Park Service; however, the preparer had asked if she could appeal to the Keeper and she does have that right. Ms. Riebe has offered to send that on for the preparer and ask for a substantial review by the Keeper, who has the final say, which will take about fifteen days longer than a regular review.
Ms. Riebe moved on to the National Register nominations and introduced the first presenter, Mr. Raymond Herlong, architect, along with his assistant Kim Herlong of Herlong Associates, Inc., who presented the nomination for Old Sweet Springs Historic District, Sweet Springs, Monroe County. The property had been nominated about 40 years ago, but there was a boundary amendment and additional information. The nomination, to clarify what the historic district is, was presented under Criterion A for health/medicine, entertainment/recreation, agriculture and C for architecture, with the period of significance being 1782-1957. Dr. Ledbetter moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Greco provided the required second. Motion carried.
The next nomination, Rock Spring, Jefferson County, was presented by Paula Reed, of Paula Reed and Associates, under Criterion C for architecture, with a period of significance of c. 1795-1900. Dr. Walker stated it was a well-written nomination and a wonderful property, but questioned the addition to the house that sticks out and the failure to address this in the text of the nomination. Ms. Riebe asked that this matter be addressed if the nomination is approved, which met with Dr. Walker's approval. Chairman Conte called for a motion. Mr. Tenney moved to approve the nomination. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion with the inclusion of Ms. Riebe's conditional changes. Motion carried.
Ms. Riebe introduced David Taylor who presented the West Martinsburg Historic District, Berkeley County, nomination under Criterion A for planning and development, as it was a planned, laid out residential suburb with restrictions typically seen in such suburbs, and Criterion C for architecture with Criterion Consideration G, having achieved significance within the past 50 years but of exceptional importance. The period of significance is circa 1900, the date of construction of the earliest building, until 1962. The area consists of about 75 acres with 205 resources, 171 contributing and 34 non-contributing. After Taylor responded to questions about a map slide and street names, Chairman Conte called for a motion on the nomination. Dr. Arnett so moved and Dr. Walker seconded. Motion passed.
The next nomination was Mount Saint Joseph, Wheeling vicinity, Ohio County. Ms. Riebe introduced the presenter, Rebecca Corelis, and Sister Mary Palmer. Before the presentation began, Victor Greco recused himself from voting on the nomination, as he is working on a new project on the site. This nomination was presented under Criterion C for architecture with a period of significance 1854, circa 1920, and 1956. Criterion Consideration A applies, as it is owned by a religious organization. There being no questions with regard to the nomination, Chairman Conte called for a motion. Ms. Brennan so moved. Dr. Ledbetter seconded. Motion passed, with Mr. Greco recusing himself.
Ms. Riebe presented the next nomination, Homeplace, Frankford vicinity, Greenbrier County, under Criterion C for architecture, with a period of significance being circa 1850. Chairman Conte called for a motion. Mr. Greco so moved. Dr. Walker seconded. Motion passed.
The final nomination, North Wheeling Historic District (boundary amendment), Wheeling, Ohio County, was presented by Ms. Riebe under Criterion A for community planning and development and C for architecture with a period of significance being circa 1850-circa 1920. She explained this nomination is just dealing with an amendment, as the original property was listed in 1988. Using slides, she showed the old and new districts, adding that this nomination was prepared by a local property owner as well. Chairman Conte asked about the location reference. Dr. Arnett made the motion. Mr. Greco seconded. Secretary Armstrong suggested that Ms. Riebe demonstrate how boundary lines are established for a district, as it had been brought up that this should have been included in the original. She stated that boundaries are drawn based upon historic significance and integrity, noting that there are several districts in the state that probably should be looked at with regard to boundary. Dr. Walker asked about two buildings with vinyl or aluminum siding. Ms. Riebe explained that, as a whole, the siding did not impinge upon the character and that there are seven aspects of integrity and it is on a case-by-case basis. Continuing with her comments, Dr. Walker then referred to 128 and 129, stating that there was a failure to say what the facade's composition was. Ms. Riebe agreed to add 128 and 129. There being no further questions or comments on the nomination, Chairman Conte called for a vote. Motion carried. As this concluded the presentations of the NR nominations, members turned their voting ballots in to Secretary Armstrong (originals attached to official minutes) and Chairman Conte declared a recess at 12:25 p.m. for lunch.
At 1:25 p.m., Chairman Conte reconvened the meeting, advising members that he had just provided them each with a copy of the current PAWV newsletter. He also informed members they could turn in their Conflict of Interest forms at this time. Ms. Pierce, on behalf of Ms. Riebe, reminded members that she had distributed a list of the National Register Bulletins and offered to provide a copy to anyone who wanted one. She also advised members how to contact staff and reminded them that listed nominations are available on the website. She then spoke to the Final Work Program, which, because the office receives federal funding, is an annual requirement of the National Park Service. The Annual Work Program (copy attached to official minutes) tells what the accomplishments of the previous year were and what is planned for the next year. The most important part of it is the program description for the grants. She explained to members that by approving the Annual Work Program, they will be indicating how the grants will be matched. With regard to the Survey and Planning Grants, the match, if a Certified Local Government (CLG) receives them, is twenty per cent, but is forty per cent if a non CLG organization receives a grant. The Development Grants are a fifty/fifty match. She briefly reviewed the Development Grant requirements and what is scored. Dr. Walker asked if the GIS computerization had a security device in giving out locations of the archaeological sites. Ms. Pierce replied that archaeological sites are not online right now, but there will be a password when this information goes online. There being no further questions or discussions with regard to the Annual Work Program, Chairman Conte called for a motion to approve. Mr. Forbes so moved. Dr. Walker seconded. Motion carried.
Chairman Conte began the discussion with regard to the next meeting, Friday, 22 February 2008, and Charleston, Cultural Center, location. He advised members that the Blair Mountain nomination will probably be brought before them again and noted the possibility that a larger meeting space may be required. Secretary Armstrong stated that the meeting could be moved either to the North Briefing Room or the Theater if needed. Mr. Tenney reminded members that the intent of the meeting location was so that it would be at the Cultural Center in Charleston following History Day. Following questions about the continuation of History Day, Secretary Armstrong commented that the commission has already voted to hold History Day 2008.
Ms. Sorrells asked about the status of the Blair Mountain nomination, whether they are anticipating another nomination vote, and whether property owners will be given the opportunity again to make public comment on the nomination. Ms. Pierce informed members the nomination would have been presented at today's meeting, but Historic Preservation was unable to complete the property owner verification. She noted that integrity was a major issue in the Blair Mountain nomination and provided some background on the issue. The nomination had gone to the Keeper, who made comments regarding issues with it, and had been worked on by the sponsors and by Erin Riebe and Lora Lamarre, senior archaeologist. The current draft includes Criterion D. Initially, Criterion A was the sole criterion, but Criterion D has been added. Historic Preservation checked with National Register staff, who suggested that it come back to the commission because of the addition to the nomination. The nomination was pulled from this meeting because staff wanted to double check property ownership in order to conduct the notification process correctly for the next meeting.
Ms. Sorrells asked for an explanation of the property owner notification requirement which Ms. Pierce provided. She explained that with the Blair Mountain nomination the first time, the office sent out a public notice as well as individual property owner letters of notification. She further stated that staff is learning by default in trying to be sure they complete the notification process as it is outlined. Ms. Sorrells asked how many property owners are involved, to which Ms. Pierce stated there are sixty some that have been determined so far. She noted that Historic Preservation hired an attorney, Kate Campbell, through the Attorney General's office. Ms. Pierce and Erin Riebe had gone to the county court house to meet with the attorney there, as recommended by Ms. Campbell. Chairman Conte asked if a new nomination would be presented with boundary changes. Ms. Pierce's response was that the nomination is public information, so anyone could look at it if they wanted. The boundary itself has not changed, rather Criterion D has been added, the statement of significance has been changed to reflect a justification for Criterion D, and, in Section 7, which identifies historic resources, locations of archaeological sites associated with the battle are outlined. The office has received requests for copies of that nomination, and Lora Lamarre has blacked out location information before sending it out. Chairman Conte stated that, for that reason, the winter meeting will be held in Charleston on Friday, 22 February 2008. Everyone was in agreement with the location.
Secretary Armstrong reminded members that, at the request of this commission, the Capitol is reserved for History Day for Thursday, 21 February 2008. Chairman Conte asked Ms. Pierce if there was some information on the spring meeting, and she explained that the meeting needs to be fit into a narrow time frame in order to allow staff enough time to look at the development grants, as well as afterwards to get ready for their award on 1 July. Chairman Conte asked members' suggestion for the spring meeting to be held in May. After much discussion among members, the date of Friday, 16 May 2008, was set with the location being the Shepherdstown area. Ms. Brennan expressed the opinion that the change in the lodging location from the Fairfield by Marriott to the Marriott for today's meeting was unnecessary and a waste of taxpayers' money.
Before adjourning the meeting, Dr. Jacobs asked about a paper that was distributed addressing the restaurant and gift shop issue at the Cultural Center and where that issue appears on the agenda, prompting a lengthy discussion. Chairman Conte stated the issue was not on the agenda, and Mr. Tenney noted that the only place it was addressed was Ms. Brennan's comments. Chairman Conte asked if this could be discussed after adjournment of the meeting, but Secretary Armstrong advised that if they were going to discuss something as a commission it would make it illegal. Ms. Brennan stated that the paper was from the Mining Your History Foundation people who had been in attendance at the meeting earlier. Secretary Armstrong stated it was not on the agenda and the MYHF is one of the sponsors of History Day. Dr. Jacobs asked if this matter was going to be on the agenda of the next meeting and if it is an issue that the commission addresses. Chairman Conte stated that this issue has not come before the commission, that commission members have asked the commissioner of Culture and History and gotten some information, that he did not know of any action on the matter, and that it has not formally been brought before this commission to review. Dr. Walker questioned the commission's place to have any group opinion on it. Chairman Conte explained that presentations were made at the Moorefield meeting, but the commission simply was thanked and told their concerns were appreciated. Ms. Brennan asked Ms. Proctor if she knew the status of plans to redo the Archives Library to put in a cafe, to which Ms. Proctor replied that plans are being looked at regarding the two library reading rooms, but there are no plans to move the collections in any way, just a reallocation of space for the reading rooms. Dr. Ledbetter expressed his disappointment with the proposal that had been presented last time because of what he perceived to be a negative impact on the Archives and History Library portion of it. He did not recall whether members were asked to take a position as a commission on this issue but thinks he voiced an opinion for that. Chairman Conte stated that nothing further has come forth since that time. Ms. Sorrells gave her interpretation of the statute of the Archives and History Commission, § 29-1-5, stating it looks as though one of the powers of the commission is to advise the commissioner and the directors of Archives and History, Historic Preservation, Museums, etc. concerning the accomplishment of the purposes of the sections and to establish a state plan with respect thereto. She questioned if this is something that would come under the jurisdiction of the Archives and History Commission. Chairman Conte asked if a committee should be created to make some suggestions, but Ms. Sorrells suggested tabling the discussion until a future meeting, at which time there could be some direction as to whether or not this is an issue that should be brought before the Archives and History Commission. Chairman Conte interjected, "And make that part of the commissioner's report." Mr. Tenney stated that the commission should ask the commissioner, in writing, for clarification about whether the Archives and History Commission has any capacity to act and be involved in the issues about major changes, and if it is not in their area of jurisdiction, they don't even need to be discussing it. Mr. Richardson commented that, in general, these sort of commissions are to provide citizen input into things that impact Culture and History and if it would impact the ability for people to have access to those things then it is something that the commission members could at least express an opinion about it. Ms. Sorrells moved that this issue be tabled for a future meeting with a request that some clarification on this issue be provided, and at that time commission members could advise the commissioner collectively on their opinion. Dr. Ledbetter seconded the motion. Ms. Proctor informed members that she would relay their comments and concerns about jurisdiction clearly to the commissioner so there will be additional clarity for the next meeting. There being none further, Chairman Conte called for a vote. Motion passed.
There being no further business to conduct, Chairman Conte declared the meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Archives and History
Archives and History Commission