AUSTIN, Texas –– The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has established temporary satellite offices in Galveston and Beaumont to assist owners of historic properties in their efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Ike. Concerned property owners should contact the THC at 512/463-2192 for technical information and preservation assistance.
“We have lists of many designated historic properties that we can assess for damage to historic materials, but unless we can contact the property owner we don’t always have access,” said THC Architecture Division Director Stan Graves, who recently surveyed affected areas along the Gulf Coast.
The THC’s role after a hurricane or major storm is to help ensure recovery work does not negatively impact the significant historic buildings and sites that tell the real stories of Texas. Working with government officials and property owners, the THC can assist communities with preservation assessments and repairs. Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), THC staff helps in determining damage to affected properties through photographs, site visits and contact with the property owner. If requested, the THC can provide on-site, technical advice and supply property owners with contact information for other available resources. Much of that information can also be found on the THC web site at www.thc.state.tx.us. To learn more about possible assistance through FEMA visit the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management at www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem, click on Disaster Recovery and select Disaster Summary Outline.
The THC reminds property owners that state regulations do not require a property owner to remove otherwise sound historic materials or finishes such as wood flooring or plaster walls to accomplish effective mold remediation, even in cases which might be eligible for FEMA or private insurance reimbursement. Removal of historic materials often proves more detrimental to the property than treating the materials in place.
“We have received reports of contractors misleading property owners to believe that an arbitrary level of mold contamination requires removal of all mold-damaged materials, which is not the case,” said Graves.