Is the VA Doing Enough to Protect Its Historic Properties?

With thousands of historic landmarks in its possession, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plays a key role in protecting the country's historic heritage. A new study claims the agency is neglecting its duty.
November 20, 2013, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Hundreds of landmarks on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs properties are at risk of being permanently abandoned or demolished due to lack of maintenance and the agency's failure to comply with federal laws to protect historic buildings, according to a new study [PDF] by the National Trust for Historic Preservation," write Martha Groves and Alan Zarembo. "Instead of renovating old buildings to accommodate them, the VA has embarked on a spree of new construction, the report said."

"Simply put, the VA has in its care not only the mean and women who were willing to make extraordinary sacrifices to help preserve our freedom, but also a remarkable collection of architecture, designed landscapes, and medical facilities built over the past to centuries to support our veterans," concludes the report. "Unfortunately, the care provided to these historic treasures – places which have more than proven their worth as settings for the healing and nurturing of today's wounded veterans – is far from adequate and has reached crisis proportion."  

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Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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