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Preserving the Row

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By Katy Korkos

“I think there’s an anti-history contagion loose in this community,” said Richard Morse, a resident of Bathtub Row, Wednesday, when he attended the monthly meeting of the Fuller Lodge Historic District Advisory Board.The volunteer board members, many of whom have dedicated hundreds of hours to the preservation of history in Los Alamos, begged to differ.The result of many years of work by the Fuller Lodge Historic District Advisory Board, an historic preservation plan should soon become a part of the county’s zoning code. The plan has been written and reviewed, edited and corrected, and is nearly ready to bring before council.The historic district has been extensively surveyed and photographed by local architectural firm Mosaic Architectural Solutions prior to its inclusion in the preservation plan. The plan has been reviewed by the board, and board chair Ron Wilkins has asked that the ordinance be introduced at an upcoming council meeting.The board met Wednesday to finalize its work plan for the upcoming fiscal year, and will include work plans from its several subcommittees when it presents its work plan for council approval.Those subcommittees focus on specific issues relative to historic preservation. One subcommittee is working on preserving the Romero Cabin, a historic sheepherders cabin that was placed near Fuller Lodge. The Los Alamos Historical Society currently oversees the cabin, and is interested in transferring the cabin to the county.A plan for sculptures to represent historic Manhattan Project figures is coming together, and the subcommittee working on that plan has coordinated its project with the Arts in Public Places board. Heritage tourism and the creation of a National Historical Park, with a centralized visitor center is the focus of a third subcommittee, and the creation of an archives to house historic material is another ongoing project of the board.The historic park project has received a grant from Congress to work the National Park Service to study the feasibility of a park with a centralized visitor center. Board member Heather McClanahan has worked on the project.“A model for that park would be the New Orleans Jazz Park,” McClenahan said, adding that the county would work within the Energy Communities Alliance to create a park that might have several physical locations with one central interpretive center.The Park Service is studying the feasibility of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park with sites in Los Alamos, Hanford and Oak Ridge.The Historical Society is actively involved in community planning for the park, and ideas from an ad hoc committee of residents appointed by the Los Alamos County Council are available on the society’s webpage, www.losalamoshistory.org.The board meets regularly at 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month in the Curtis Room of Fuller Lodge. It will hold a special meeting Monday to discuss whether it will make a recommendation to council regarding the skate park.