The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish,
New Hampshire, is on track to being renamed Saint-Gaudens National
Historical Park after legislation to change its official designation
was passed in the House on Oct. 2.
The change, if approved, would result in no material changes for the
location, home of the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens who died in 1907.
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H.R. 965 was originally introduced Feb. 2, 2017, by Rep. Ann M.
Kuster, D-N.H. A companion bill, S. 312, introduced Feb. 6 by Sen.
Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, is awaiting final action.
House debate published Oct. 2 in the Congressional Record states
that the redesignation of the name of the site where sculptor Augustus
Saint-Gaudens executed many of his most famous coin and medallic works
“will not change any laws or policies affecting the site and will only
require changes in signage, maps and hand-outs.”
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“Therefore, redesignating this area as Saint-Gaudens National
Historical Park conforms to naming standards used by the National Park
Service and further honors the legacy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.”
In testimony given before a Senate subcommittee on S. 312, Acting
NPS Deputy Director Robert Vogel explained that “generally, National
Park System units designated as national historic sites tell a
discrete story or contain a small number of historic resources related
to that story. National Park System units designated as national
historical parks have a greater diversity of historical resources and
interpretive themes and may be spread out over non-contiguous lands.
“The addition of the Blow-Me-Down Farm to the park in 2010 added new
historical resources and interpretive themes to Saint-Gaudens National
Historic Site. This increased scope provides a basis for supporting
redesignating this park as a national historical park.
“The name ‘Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park’ would incorporate
the word ‘park’ into the title, and it would better reflect the broad
historical context and resource diversity found at this park, while
conforming to naming conventions for National Park System units.”
The designation of “site” is usually reserved for a single building
or other stand-alone structure, according to NPS officials.
The adjacent Blow-Me-Down Farm, a meeting place for the
Cornish Art Colony led by Saint-Gaudens, was acquired through the
auspices of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site was established in 1965.
Saint-Gaudens was one of the greatest American sculptors, whose
numismatic creations include the designs for the gold $10 and $20
coins introduced in 1907, and for numerous medals.