Merced River Plan Implementation: Removal of the Concessioner General Office

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BACKGROUND: Yosemite National Park is planning the removal of the Concessioner Headquarters Building to implement the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan (Merced River Plan) as approved in the June 2014 Record of Decision after completion of an Environmental Impact Statement.

The Concessioner's Headquarters (General Office) is a single story wood frame building, built about 1939. The building has a gabled asphalt shingle roof, with 2 interior courtyards, not under roof and not visible from any side of the building. The building employs a concrete pier foundation, some continuous and support blocks. The single story building is arranged in a semi-square fashion allowing continuous circulation through the spaces with the two small courtyards occupying the center area of the building. The exterior walls are horizontal wood lap siding, starting from ground level up to the window sills, with vertical wood board siding continuing to the roof eaves. Windows are abundant providing a pleasant interior environment for the employees. The gross square footage is 16,447, including courtyards, with 13,365 square feet under roof. Visible inspection shows a possible addition constructed at the northwest corner of the building.

Situated in Yosemite Village in Yosemite National Park, the 1939 Concessioner's General Office, originally referred to as General Office Building, is a good example of the Yosemite National Park architectural style known as National Park Service Rustic (NPS Rustic). NPS Rustic style buildings were designed in national parks throughout the United States between 1916 and 1942. The style expressed the philosophy that buildings should be in harmony with the natural landscape within the national parks. As such, buildings like the Concessioner's General Office were designed to blend in with their natural setting, using materials and colors found in the landscape.

ASSESSMENT OF EFFECTS: Removal of this contributing building will result in an adverse effect to the Yosemite Valley Historic District. The park, California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and traditionally associated American Indian tribes and groups agree that the undertaking is not likely to adversely affect archeological properties or historic properties with religious and cultural significance.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: Historic preservation projects and initiatives are most successful when the public is supportive and actively involved in carrying them out. The Section 106 process requires that federal agencies reach out to the public and keep them informed of their projects and programs and solicit their input and comments. This public participation effort is consistent with 36 CFR 800.14(b)(2)(i) to "arrange for public participation appropriate to the subject matter and the scope of the program." The Merced River Plan planning effort provided opportunities to review and comment on the proposed action alternatives and impact analysis. A draft of the agreement was posted on October 16-23, 2018 providing the public with an opportunity to understand the approach to resolving the adverse effects of the action. The agreement between the park and SHPO was signed on November 30, 2018. To access the final signed agreement, click on the "Document List" link on the left, then select the "Final Signed Memorandum of Agreement."

Contact Information

Echo Davenport (209)379-1067