Hi Everyone -

I just wanted to send an e-mail to invite you and your staffs to the Department of the Interior Library on Tuesday, May 22nd from 2:00 to 3:15 pm for a free training session entitled "Le Tout Ensemble: The National Park Service Discovers Historic Districts," part of our series of free training sessions at the DOI Library.

What do Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and the movie, High Society have to do with historic districts as a convention in American Historic Preservation? The answer can be found in New Orleans and the phrase "le tout ensemble."

One of the most valuable results of the creation of Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg prior to the Great Depression was that older communities across the United States started to see their historic neighborhoods as important community assets worthy of conservation. On either side of World War II, several local jurisdictions established local zoning provisions--Charleston, South Carolina was first in 1931--that sought to limit changes imposed by the introduction of automobile-related and other modern infrastructure. At the same time, as architectural history emerged as a distinct discipline during this period, the concept of "ensembles of buildings," or the "historic scene," developed in recognition that groups of individual historic buildings also reflected important historic values. Despite substantial experience in the evaluation and classification of a wide range of historic sites and areas, the National Park Service was relatively late in formally recognizing the concept of historic districts as a property type. Ironically, it was urban renewal programs initiated in the late 1950's that forced the agency to construct an administrative definition for historic districts, just prior to the expansion of the National Register of Historic Places mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Please join us as John H. Sprinkle, Jr., historian with the National Park Service’s Park History Program, will present an outline of the history of historic districts as a historic preservation planning concept during the middle third of the 20th century--with an eye toward understanding how the Park Service was transformed during the 1960s.

All that are interested are invited.  Please note that the DOI Library is located in Room 1151 of the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building, just off the C Street entrance lobby. The Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building is located at 1849 C Street, NW in Washington, DC.  Space for the program in the Library is limited so please go to the following link to register:


If the link above does not work at your location, you may also register at https://www.doi.gov/library/training-sessions-registration-form.

We do prefer that you attend in person here at the DOI Library if you can.   However, please note that this class is also being offered as a simultaneous online webinar for those that can't attend in person.  Please indicate on the online registration form if you wish to obtain information about webinar access to this program.   

You may contact the Library by phone at (202) 208-5815 or by e-mail at [log in to unmask] for more information about this program or if you have trouble registering using the link above.  For more information about the DOI Library, its resources, and its services, please visit our website at http://www.doi.gov/library.

We hope that you can attend either in person or virtually on May 22nd!


George Franchois
Director - U.S. Dept. of the Interior Library
Office of the Secretary - Office of Facilities and Administrative Services (OFAS)
1849 C Street, NW, Room 1151, MS 1151
Washington, DC 20240
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]oi.gov
Phone: (202) 208-3796
Fax: (202) 208-6773
Library URL: http://www.doi.gov/library
OFAS URL: http://www.doi.gov/ofas