H. R. 1021
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 13, 2007
Mr. Frank of Massachusetts introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study regarding the suitability and feasibility of designating certain historic buildings and areas in Taunton, Massachusetts, as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Taunton, Massachusetts Special Resources Study Act.
Congress finds the following:
The city of Taunton, Massachusetts, is home to 9 distinct historic districts, with more than 600 properties on the National Register of Historic Places. Included among these districts are the Church Green Historic District, the Courthouse Historic District, the Taunton Green Historic District, and the Reed and Barton Historic District.
All of these districts include buildings and building facades of great historical, cultural, and architectural value.
Taunton Green is the site where the Sons of Liberty first raised the Liberty and Union Flag in 1774, an event that helped to spark a popular movement, culminating in the American Revolution, and Taunton citizens have been among the first to volunteer for America’s subsequent wars.
Robert Treat Paine, a citizen of Taunton, and the first Attorney General of Massachusetts, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Taunton was a leading community in the Industrial Revolution, and its industrial area has been the site of many innovations in such industries as silver manufacture, paper manufacture, and ship building.
The landscaping of the Courthouse Green was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also left landscaping ideas and plans for other areas in the city which have great value and interest as historical archives and objects of future study.
Main Street, which connects many of the historic districts, is home to the Taunton City Hall and the Leonard Block building, 2 outstanding examples of early 19th Century American architecture, as well as many other historically and architecturally significant structures.
The city and people of Taunton have preserved many artifacts, gravesites, and important documents dating back to 1638 when Taunton was founded.
Taunton was and continues to be an important destination for immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world who have helped to give Southeastern Massachusetts its unique ethnic character.
The Secretary, in consultation with the appropriate State historic preservation officers, State historical societies, the city of Taunton, and other appropriate organizations, shall conduct a special resources study regarding the suitability and feasibility of designating certain historic buildings and areas in Taunton, Massachusetts, as a unit of the National Park System. The study shall be conducted and completed in accordance with section 8(c) of Public Law 91–383 (16 U.S.C. 1a–5(c)) and shall include analysis, documentation, and determinations regarding whether the historic areas in Taunton—
can be managed, curated, interpreted, restored, preserved, and presented as an organic whole under management by the National Park Service or under an alternative management structure;
have an assemblage of natural, historic, and cultural resources that together represent distinctive aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use;
reflect traditions, customs, beliefs, and historical events that are valuable parts of the national story;
provide outstanding opportunities to conserve natural, historic, cultural, architectural, or scenic features;
provide outstanding recreational and educational opportunities; and
can be managed by the National Park Service in partnership with residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and State and local governments to develop a unit of the National Park System consistent with State and local economic activity.
Not later than 3 fiscal years after the date on which funds are first made available for this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the study required under section 3.
The recommendations in the report submitted pursuant to section 4 shall include discussion and consideration of the concerns expressed by private landowners with respect to designating certain structures referred to in this Act as a unit of the National Park System.