Hancock Visitor Center at the Little House
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, will move the Hancock, MD Visitor Services operations from a rented facility on East Main Street to a park owned structure. This move is necessary due to the termination of the building's lease. The new operations will be located at the historic Little House, located at Mile 122.85 of the park, Route 144, East Main Street, Hancock, MD.
In order to prepare for this move, some temporary and basic preservation work will be undertaken to the first floor of the structure. This will include wall painting and selective plaster repairs, bathroom repairs with no change to the room dimensions, installation of communication lines and outlets, selective floor repairs, door repairs, and a temporary handicap access ramp. Temporary information displays will also be created.
The Little House's permanent preservation repair work, both internal and external, will be fully evaluated within the proposed Hancock Rewatering environmental assessment (EA). The EA schedule does not allow for completion prior to the needed move of the visitor services in April 2010. In order to provide visitor services for the Hancock area of the park, basic preservation work is necessary to allow the first floor to be open to the public.
In addition to the visitor contact services, the park's law enforcement rangers will also be affected by the release from the rental property. Until the Little House is fully evaluated for function and preservation within the EA, the rangers will occupy a temporary office trailer facility, to be located within the Four Locks Maintenance Complex, Mile 122.8 of the park. Permanent office space for both the Interpretive and Law Enforcement staffs will be evaluated within the environmental assessment.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archaeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion #C.4 – Routine maintenance and repairs to cultural resources sites, structures, utilities, and grounds if the action falls under an approved Historic Structures Preservation Guide or Cyclic Maintenance Guide, or if the action would not adversely affect the cultural resource.
The project also meets the National Historic Preservation Act/Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, Streamlined Review Process #1 – Preservation Maintenance and Repair of Historic Properties, and #13 – Meeting Accessibility Standards in Historic Structures and Cultural Landscapes.
For further information regarding this project, please contact Chief of Interpretation, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.