The site was determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, but Krattinger predicted that the next step--preparing the documentation of the site for National Register nomination--would be very challenging because the site is not a typical historic property. It has evolved over time using salvaged materials, which makes it difficult to identify a period of significance, something that is typically done for historic properties. Krattinger, however, seemed willing to take on the challenge. He did urge that advocates for the shacks "have to sell a use and a vision for the property." Regarding that use and vision, Krattinger noted that National Register designation "does not come with built-in design restraints."
The next step for the Furgary now, as it has been all along, is to identify which shacks should be saved and to agree on a use and vision for the site. At the meeting on Thursday, Hamilton suggested some criteria for making decisions about the former--age, stability, and history--and sought Krattinger's guidance in making that analysis. It was mentioned a few times during the meeting that the site is included in the City's Downtown Redevelopment Initiative application, but nothing more specific than "Site development for public access & use" is known about what was proposed in that application.
A proposal that addresses both the question of which shacks should be saved and the question of the site's future use has been put forward in a map created by a group calling itself the Shantytown Committee. The proposal defines the site's use as a "historic-and-recreational park" and identifies shacks to be redeveloped as a visitor center and a shad museum and others to be "sealed and preserved for aesthetic value."
On Thursday, Leo Bower, one of the Furgarians involved in developing the proposed site plan, told his fellow Furgarians who were calling for restored access to the site, "We're never going to go back in it. . . . It is historic. There could be a shad museum, so kids can see what it was like. It's so unique. It's so awesome."
|The Furgary c. 1958|
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