Preserving Off-Off-Broadway: Designing Improved Climate Control for the La MaMa Archive

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Regarding the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Section 106 Review of Preserving Off  Off-Broadway: Designing Improved Climate Control for the La MaMa Archive 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has offered La MaMa Experimental Theatre  Club, Inc., in New York, New York, a Challenge Infrastructure and Capacity Building grant  (CHA-291986) for minor renovations and installation of equipment for the purpose of mitigating  temperature and relative humidity issues within their building.   

NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to  supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.  This public  notice is issued as part of NEH’s responsibilities under 36 C.F.R. Part 800, the regulations which  implement Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended, 54 U.S.C. 306108.  NEH, a funding agency, is required by regulation to identify and assess the effects of  any proposed actions on historic properties.  If any proposed action will have an adverse effect on  historic resources, NEH works with the appropriate parties to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or  mitigate any adverse effects.  Additionally, the Section 106 regulations require NEH to consider the  views of the public on preservation issues when making final decisions that affect historic  properties. 

The project involves interior renovations to the mezzanine level of the La MaMa Archive, at 66 East  4th Street, New York, New York 10003-8903. The project will help mitigate the Archive’s  temperature and relative humidity issues. Work will involve minimal alterations to the building,  including the installation of new electrical outlets, mounting of wall units and ducts and the creation  of a drainage system for a dehumidifier. No demolition will be required. The building at 66 East 4th  street was constructed in the 1871 was originally the headquarters of the Turnverein, a German fraternal and gymnastic society.  It is a four story, brick building, with a basement. The building was  renovated between 1996-1998, and the Archive was moved into its current space in 2005. The  building is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in a New  York City Historic District but is not identified as a contributing building and is not itself listed. 

On August 25. 2023, Olivia Brazee, Historic Site Restoration Coordinator with the New York State  Historic Preservation Office, provided the opinion that the proposed work will have No Adverse  Effect upon historic properties. After reviewing Section 106 documentation NEH issues a final  determination of No Adverse Effect.  

As required by Section 106, NEH is providing the public with information about this project, as well  as an opportunity to comment on any knowledge of, or concerns with, historic properties in the  proposed project area, and issues relating to the project’s potential effects on historic properties.  Comments may be submitted to the NEH by e-mail to FPO@neh.gov.  The deadline for submitting  comments is September 5, 2023.