Fort Mchenry Tunnels: A Case Study

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The success of Baltimore’s freeway revolt relied on legal rulings made possible by the changing federal policy on a range of issues affecting highway construction in the cities (Mohl 2002:93). It was not long before transportation planners began incorporating concepts of historic preservation and other environmental consequences into planning activities. In 1975, a plan to construct a tunnel was drawn up in order to avoid the visual impact of a bridge near the Fort McHenry National Monument. In this instance, a consideration of the effects of the undertaking on historic properties as mandated by Section 106 of the NHPA, Section 4(f) of the DOT Act, and NEPA resulted in a better design that was generally publicly acceptable and which gained faster approval. Permits were issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction in 1980, following project review and public hearings. The Fort McHenry Tunnel was completed in…show more content…
Writing about the effects of historic preservation efforts on African-American communities, Michael deHaven Newsom (1971:423) notes that in Georgetown, historic preservation had devastating social effects on African-Americans. While Washington, D.C. has historically had a large African-American population, African-American had become a majority by 1960. Georgetown was about 40 percent African-American in the 1930s (Green 1967:235-6) but as African-Americans became the majority in Washington, D.C., the opposite trend occurred in Georgetown, which became a predominantly white and affluent neighborhood. Newsom states

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