Cultural Resources Protection: a Proactive Approach


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Native American archaeological sites have fared poorly at the hands of the design and planning professions. This case study highlights an innovative approach to cultural resources protection that planners and local governments can implement to protect such resources in a cost effective, collaborative manner.

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Cultural Resources Protection: a Proactive Approach

  1. 1. Cultural Resources Protection a Pro-active Approach George R. Frantz, AICPPresented to American Planning Association Chicago, IL, November 23, 2010 Image Source: 1
  2. 2. The Issue Native American historical and cultural sites have fared poorly at the hand of the design professions. “Shovel and shut-up” approach unfortunately still exists in too many places. 2
  3. 3. The Issue  Archaeological sites unknown quantity;  Federal & state laws limited effectiveness;  Generally only apply where public $$$ involved;  New York: State Environmental Quality Review – public & private projects. Cartoon: Dolores Hayden, Grand Domestic Revolution. 1980 3
  4. 4. The IssueTangible Resources vs. Intangible Resources 4
  5. 5. Project Genesis Desire to locate and protect the site of Coreorgonel, an Iroquoian town of +/- 2,000 destroyed by American forces in Revolutionary War. Image Source: 5
  6. 6. Project Genesis Desire to avoid the conflict that many times erupts when developers’ plans are pitted against protection of cultural resources. Image Source: 6
  7. 7. The Challenge  Accommodating growth and development. while  Protecting an important cultural resource and sensitive Native American site, and doing so in a unique, cost effective and non-adversarial manner. Image Source: Microsoft Bing 7
  8. 8. Project Objectives Short-circuit potential controversy using pre- emptive cultural resources survey to identify areas of archaeological importance in the valley. Develop a model for collaboration between academic institutions, local governments and landowners to identify & protect cultural resources. 8
  9. 9. Project Objectives Permit the design and approval of two future residential developments in the area while protecting critical historic and cultural resources. Create a constituency within the community for the protection of cultural resources. 9
  10. 10. Methodology• Phase I-a literature search & report;• Phase I-b shovel test pits on 125 acres; 10
  11. 11. Methodology• Parkland dedications ID’ed in collaboration with developers;• Development phasing determined• Phase II excavations on 5 features identified in Phase I-b. 11
  12. 12. Evolution  A catalyst for a multi- year research, design and public education initiative.  A place redefined: the Inlet Valley from highway corridor to an area rich in history. 12
  13. 13. “We’re Not Dead Yet”  A rediscovery of a rich native American heritage in the occupation of the Inlet valley by the Tutelo/Saponi peoples.  A new public park that includes a space set aside for contemplation and commemoration of Native American heritage. 13
  14. 14. Participants Department of City & Regional Planning, Department of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University. Town of Ithaca Planning Department. Developers : Eddydale Homes & E. Tomlinson, III Cayuga Nation of Indians Tutelo and Saponi nations 14
  15. 15. Lessons Learned Communities can and should pro-actively embark on cultural resources surveys wherever the historic record shows the potential presence of archaeological site. 15
  16. 16. Lessons Learned  Planners can and should work with landowners and the community to determine presence of archaeological sites before design begins. 16
  17. 17. Lessons Learned  The Native American community can and should be brought to the table early on as an active partner and valuable informant. 17
  18. 18. Lessons Learned Colleges and universities have an important role:  critical expertise in archaeology;  resources to conduct excavations. 18
  19. 19. Lessons Learned A proactive, cooperative approach to identifying cultural resources is both practical and cost effective. Controversy over historic and cultural resources can be short-circuited. The development review and approval process does not have to be delayed. 19
  20. 20. Lessons Learned  The authority municipalities possess in many states to require park and open space dedications of developers can be a tool for protecting cultural resources. 20
  21. 21. Present & Future A new constituency for the protection of the Coreorgonel townsite is established. 21
  22. 22. Present & Future Town of Ithaca in September 1999 named one of two park sites acquired as a result of the IVAS “Tutelo Park.” Dedicated the park to preserving the heritage of the native American presence in the Inlet Valley. 22
  23. 23. Present & Future  In September 2006 the commemoration was expanded into the “Homecoming Festival of Native American Culture,” a one-day event featuring music, dance, food, presentations and exhibits at Tutelo Park. 23
  24. 24. IVAS Part IIMarch 2010 Local micro-brewery acquires site to build new brewery/restaurant/beer garden; Presents sketch plan to Town of Ithaca Planning Board; Proposed development outside IVAS test area. 24
  25. 25. IVAS Part IIUnder NY StateEnvironmental QualityReview Act, Town ofIthaca must considerpotential impacts onhistoric and culturalresources prior toapproving project. 25
  26. 26. IVAS Part II • Developer hires archaeologist to complete Phase I-a, Phase I-b studies; • Development site is “clean;” • Report incorporated in Town’s environmental review 26
  27. 27. Questions? George R. Frantz, AICPDepartment of City & Regional Planning Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 27