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GSA Stands Strong for Preservation at New Orleans Summit

GSA #10288

October 20, 2006
Contact: Andrew Gibbons (202) 501-1231
Andrew.Gibbons@gsa.gov

Washington, DC – Administrator Lurita Doan reaffirmed the General Services Administration’s (GSA) commitment to preserving federal legacy landmark buildings during an address Friday to over 300 preservation experts gathered at the historic New Orleans Custom House in New Orleans, La.

GSA is the steward of more than 425 historic legacy buildings, including the New Orleans Custom House. These properties represent the work of prominent national and international architects and are valued for their historical, architectural and cultural significance. GSA strives to preserve, protect, and utilize historic properties as established in Section 110 of the Preservation Act of 1966. Currently, over 240 GSA properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the agency is working to nominate well over 100 more.

Administrator Doan spoke at the Preserve America Summit, held to mark the 40th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The summit brought together champions in the field of historic preservation to review and propose ideas to improve and modernize national preservation programs.

“As Administrator of GSA and a native of New Orleans, I am committed to returning New Orleans to its stature as one of America’s most beautiful and charming cities. That includes ensuring that federal legacy buildings are restored to their original grandeur,” Doan said. “GSA’s commitment to preservation is strong and we value these legacy buildings as precious jewels in our federal building inventory.”

GSA also co-chaired one of 11 forums with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner David Winstead participated in a forum titled, Protecting Places that Matter. Panel members discussed how historic preservation efforts can be integrated into public planning, and how to improve the effectiveness of federal protective mechanisms. 

Preserve America is a White House initiative launched in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.  The purpose is to increase awareness of cultural and natural heritage assets and build support for integrating these historic treasures into contemporary community life.

GSA’s legacy buildings include courthouses, post offices, custom houses, ports of entry and federal agency offices across the United States and its territories.  Many are grand structures designed to serve a symbolic, ceremonial, and functional purpose -- Greek revival, Romanesque, Beaux Arts, Art Deco and neo-Classical monuments symbolize the permanence and stature of the federal government.   The majority of GSA’s historic buildings were built between 1900-1941, during years of great progress in technology, civic planning and the emergence of America as a leader in western popular culture.  For more information on GSA’s historic buildings program, please visit its website at www.gsa.gov/historicbuildings.

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GSA is a centralized, federal procurement, property management, policy development and information provision agency, created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. In this role, GSA acquires products and services on behalf of federal agencies; plays a key role in developing and implementing governmentwide policies; provides services and solutions for the office operations of more than one million federal workers; and encourages a citizen-centric relationship with government by providing a single "point of entry" to the information and services citizens need in a timeframe they can appreciate. This allows citizens to receive accurate, timely and consistent answers and information, and helps federal agencies better respond to citizen inquiries.