West Hunter Street Baptist Church Special Resource Study
On December 19, 2014, Congress passed Public Law 113-291, which directed the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a Special Resource Study for the historic former West Hunter Street Baptist Church, located at 775 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta, Georgia. The special resource study will be developed over the next two years and will evaluate the national significance of the site, the suitability, and feasibility of designating it as a unit of the national park system.
The purpose of a special resource study is to provide Congress with information about the quality and condition of historical, cultural, or recreational resources associated with a site. The study also examines its relationship to congressionally established criteria for significance, suitability, feasibility, and the need for NPS management. Based on the special resource study, the NPS will determine whether the former West Hunter Street Baptist Church building meets the criteria for inclusion in the national park system and make recommendations to the Secretary of Interior, which would then forward the recommendation to Congress.
The 1998 National Parks Omnibus Management Act (54 U.S. Code 100507) established the process for identifying and authorizing studies of new national park units. Under the law an area must meet all of the following criteria to be recommended as an addition to the national park system:
Contain nationally significant natural and/or cultural resources.
Represent a natural or cultural resource that is not already adequately represented in the national park system or is not comparably represented and protected for public enjoyment by another land-managing entity.
Must be (1) of sufficient size and appropriate configuration to ensure long-term protection of the resources and visitor enjoyment, and (2) capable of efficient administration by the NPS at a reasonable cost; important feasibility factors include land ownership, acquisition costs, life cycle maintenance costs, access, threats to the resource, and staff or development requirements.
Require direct NPS management that is clearly superior to other management approaches.
National Park Service
100 Alabama Street SW, Bldg 1924
Atlanta, GA 30303