Century Building Downtown Historic Preservation

Richard Moe on Obama’s List for Secretary of Interior

by Michael R. Allen

National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe is reported to be on a short list of candidates for the position of Secretary of the Interior in Barack Obama’s administration.

St. Louisans best remember Moe for his role in directing the National Trust to allocate New Market tax credits to the Old Post Office rehabilitation project while supporting demolition of the historic Century Building. This unprecedented move — having the National Trust actively support demolition of a historic building against the stance of a local preservation organization — cost the Trust hundreds of members around the nation. The National Trust has not condemned a pending lawsuit filed by the Old Post Office developers against citizen preservation activists Marcia Behrendt and Roger Plackemeier, whose own lawsuit to halt the Old Post Office project was rejected in 2004.

Last month, Moe pleased St. Louis preservationists by sending a strongly-worded letter to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill calling for preservation of the intregrity of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial grounds and opposing HR 7252, a bill that would have leased the Memorial grounds to a private group.