RFP: Buffalo Olmsted Parks System National Register Nomination Update

Fall color at South Park Arboretum in Buffalo, NY / image: Margaret Lapp, courtesy of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) has issued an RFP for a qualified consultant or consultancy team to conduct an update to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks System nomination document to the National Register of Historic Places.

The original survey was completed in 1979; then in 1981, the Olmsted Parks & Parkway National Register Thematic District was listed on the State Register of Historic Places and in 1982 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After four decades, the documentation is outdated and lacks a complete list of the many resources the Conservancy and City of Buffalo have restored and enhanced during that time and specific information on resource types and a comprehensive history. As such, BOPC is looking for a consultant or consultancy team who will produce a document to support the Conservancy’s preservation planning work by facilitating and enhancing the project review process which protects the historic integrity of the Olmsted Parks System.

Each of the six Olmsted parks, seven parkways, and eight circles require updated GIS-based survey data, and a reformatted nomination to a Multiple Properties Submission. This would include a Multiple Property Documentation Form for the entire system and updated individual nominations for Delaware – Front Park System, Cazenovia – South Park System, MLK Jr Park, and Riverside Park.

The survey shall be GIS-based using the New York State Historic Preservation Office (NYSHPO)’s Trekker mobile app and shall provide updated mapping with accurate, clearly defined boundaries. The Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) would establish broad registration requirements and identify specific typologies and resource types within the Park & Parkway System (such as parks, circles, parkways, avenues, art, lighting, etc.). The individual National Register nominations would reference back to the MPDF, but provide more information for each park and individual National Register nominations for each park. The narrative elements of the nomination should not only update the incomplete history but contextualize and elevate the Olmsted-designed park system in Buffalo to a discussion of national-level significance amongst the other parks of the Olmsted firm.

All questions or inquiries regarding the RFP must be submitted in writing to Brian Dold, Director of Planning and Research. All submissions must be delivered by March 30, 2023.

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