Preservation “Roadmap” for Fort Stanton Historic Site

New Mexico Historic Sites and New Mexico Historic Preservation Division coordinate on a preservation “roadmap” for Fort Stanton Historic Site

Fort Stanton, NM – New Mexico Historic Sites (NMHS) and New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (NMHPD) are pleased to announce that a Cultural Landscape Report for Fort Stanton Historic Site (FSHS) is being developed.  

Once completed, the report will serve as a crucial tool in the long-term management of the historic property, giving site managers a valuable resource to better understand site conditions, prevent assets from falling into disrepair, and ensure that future funding is allocated effectively. NMHPD and NMHS are working with Sunmount Consulting to develop the report.  

“Our division is committed to the responsible and sensitive preservation of our historic properties,” said Dr. Patrick Moore, New Mexico Historic Sites executive director. “New Mexico Historic Preservation Division is an incredible partner in this critical work.”  

The report will provide an overview of the history of FSHS, the preservation efforts already made, and guidance on future treatment. “Research will include site investigation and a review of the history and documents procured for the site,” said Karla McWilliams, NMHPD grants program manager. The report’s writers will need to review documents at NMHPD, NMHS, and other places, like the University of New Mexico’s Southwest Research Center and the State Archives in Santa Fe.  

Cultural Landscape Reports are key to the responsible management of historic properties. They also help define interpretive standards and goals for their subjects, ensuring that the historical context is not only understood but communicated to stakeholders. In the past, NMHPD has worked with consultants who have prepared cultural landscape reports for both the Santa Fe Plaza and the Taos Plaza in 2005 and 2016 respectively, creating a definitive record of their history, significance, and present conditions, as well as strategies for supporting, maintaining, and interpreting them going forward. Those reports can be found on NMHPD’s website here. 

As part of its preparation, NMHS sat down with a pair of preservation leaders – Mike Taylor, former deputy director of state monuments, and Jerry Rogers, who led historic preservation efforts for the National Parks Service – last fall to discuss the importance of commissioning a Cultural Landscape Report for the site. Taylor and Rogers agreed that Cultural Landscape Reports provide a long-term roadmap for historic preservation and allow site managers to better understand how nature and culture intersect at a site. 

“It’s really wonderful for management, and for users of the site, to see what kinds of needs there are in the short term, the medium term, and the long term,” Taylor said. “Fort Stanton is a really excellent example of a site needing such a study.” 

“If you only deal with emergencies, and never get around to developing a full-fledged and sophisticated understanding of the entire situation...then you will never achieve a satisfactory outcome,” Rogers added. 

This Cultural Landscape Report will be supported by the Historic Preservation Fund and will rely on the National Park Service’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. These standards encompass the preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of historic properties. More can be learned about the specific guidelines here 

In the meantime, preservation work already commenced at FSHS continues, where New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has devoted $367,656 in capital spending to the site.

This press release and all others distributed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs can be found here