Proposal to Reconstruct the Stallings Center Gymnasium at 4300 St Claude


The following notice was published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

Public Notice Regarding Section 106 Review of the City of New Orleans’ (City) Proposal to Reconstruct the Stallings Center Gymnasium and Repair the Pool on the 4300 Block of St. Claude Avenue within the Bywater National Register Historic District, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Seeking Public Comment

St Claude 4300 Stallings Center Park4300 St Claude Ave (Stallings Center)

The City has applied for FEMA Public Assistance funds to reconstruct the Stallings Center Gymnasium and repair the Pool on City Square 350 bounded by St. Claude Avenue on the north; North Rampart St. on the south; Lesseps St. on the west; and Poland Avenue on the east.  The Stallings Center is within the Bywater National Register Historic District (Bywater NRHD).

In December 2009 FEMA determined, in consultation with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), that Stallings Center Gymnasium, constructed in 1948, was built outside the period of significance for the Bywater NRHD and was not eligible for listing in the National Register.  FEMA determined that the demolition, slab removal, and replacement of the Stallings Center Gymnasium would not adversely affect historic properties provided that an archaeological monitor was present during ground disturbance. SHPO concurred with FEMA’s no adverse effect determination and FEMA completed the required consultation with Federally recognized Indian tribes.  Following this 2009 consultation, the City demolished the Stallings Center with FEMA funding and no significant archaeological resources were identified by the archaeological monitor during demolition.

Proposed Stallings Center - 4300 St ClaudeProposed Stallings Center

The City has recently decided to reconstruct the Stallings Center Gymnasium on a different portion of City Square 350 and to repair the existing pool.  FEMA is reopening the Section 106 consultation process to consider the effects of the proposed construction on this new location.

The Area of Potential Effects (APE) for standing structures includes City Square 350 and the surrounding neighborhood within the view shed of the proposed project.  The map depicts the standing structures APE.  Resources within the standing structures APE include the Bywater National Register Historic District (Bywater NRHD) listed on January 23, 1986 and the Bywater Historic District Expansion that was determined eligible for listing by FEMA on December 8, 2005. The Bywater NRHD is an urban area of approximately 120 blocks.  The National Register nomination states that period of significance for the Bywater NRHD is 1807–1935 and that it is eligible under Criterion C for its fine collection of architecture which notably includes a large concentration of shotgun houses with Greek Revival, Eastlake, and Italianate details. The Bywater NRHD is architecturally significant at the state level as well as in the Gulf Coast region as a whole.  The Bywater Historic District Expansion was determined to be eligible by FEMA under Criterion C at the state level.

St Claude 4300 Stallings Center Park The APE for archaeological resources includes most of the west half of City Square 350 (approximately 2 acres or 0.8 hectares). Figure 2 depicts the APE for archaeological resources. The project location falls within the Orleans Parish Moderate Probability Zone for potential archaeological or historic resources.  FEMA has reviewed historic maps and the report prepared by Earth Search, Inc. to document the discovery of archaeological site 16OR213 during archaeological monitoring for the installation of temporary emergency housing for FEMA in December 2005.  This site contains the remains of a late 19th and early 20th century industrial site and a small number of archaeological artifacts from early to mid-19th century domestic structures.  FEMA has determined, in consultation with SHPO, that archaeological site 16OR213 is eligible for the National Register at the local level of significance.

FEMA has determined that the proposed construction may adversely affect archaeological site 16OR213.  Additional effects to the Bywater NRHD and the Bywater Historic District Expansion may be caused by the design of the new Stallings Center. FEMA is seeking input from members of the public on ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any Adverse Effects.

Any member of the public is encouraged to provide views on this project to FEMA. Comments can be submitted to FEMA for a 15-day period beginning on April 19, 2011 at http://www.crt.state.la.us/culturalassets/fema106/ or by regular mail. Mailed comments should be sent to:

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office
1250 Poydras Street, 17th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70113

If mailed, comments and requests must be postmarked by May 4, 2011.

The fine print: The high winds and heavy rains of Hurricanes Katrina and the subsequent widespread flooding damaged many buildings in Orleans Parish, LA.  In the aftermath of the hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing this public notice as part of its responsibilities under the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s (ACHP) regulations, 36 CFR Part 800, implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. This notice applies to activities carried out by the Public Assistance (PA) program implemented under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.§§ 5152-5206.

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