Charles Peterson

Informed of this decision, Newton Drury demurred. He explained to Lewis that although Congress had authorized $15,000 for the work of the commission, it had not actually appropriated the money. Until the funds were appropriated, the National Park Service could not pay salaries or expenses for the project. Furthermore, the law specified that project personnel must have Civil Service status. Drury suggested that park service architect Charles E. Peterson assume the task of advising the commission, detailing Peterson's qualifications. After joining the park service in 1929, Peterson had quickly become its leading expert on historical architecture. He had played a key role in the development of the major historical areas in which the National Park Service had been involved up to that time: among them Colonial National Historical Park in Jamestown and Yorktown, Virginia, Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey, and the historic areas inherited from the War Department. In 1946, after four years in the Navy, he had returned to work on the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial project in St. Louis Missouri. Peterson's accomplishments and expertise were widely recognized outside the Park service as well. In 1933 he had originated the Historic American Buildings Survey. A cooperative project of the National Park Service, the AIA, and the Library of Congress, HABS had offered work to hundreds of architects during the Depression and recorded over six thousand structures. Currently Peterson was serving as vice-chairman of the AIA's Committee on Historic Buildings.