RFP: Support the Development of a Reconnaissance Survey for the George C. Marshall House

National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
444 NORTH CAPITOL STREET NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001-1412 P| 202.624.5465 F| 202.624.5419 WWW.NCSHPO.ORG

Support the Development of a Reconnaissance Survey for the George C. Marshall House
June 2021

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a qualified historian through a cooperative agreement with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers to support the development of a Reconnaissance Survey of the George C. Marshall House. The selected historian will investigate the Suitability of the site for inclusion as an affiliate unit to the National Park Service.

Interested historians should submit a complete proposal (specified below) in response to this RFP to the NCSHPO and NPS no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Project Background
In November 2019, Representative Wexton, with Senators Warner and Kaine, requested that the National Park Service (NPS) study the suitability of designating, as an affiliated area, General George C. Marshall’s home and gardens, also known as Dodona Manor. The National Park Service agreed to conduct a reconnaissance survey. Located in Leesburg, VA, the site was designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1996.

Reconnaissance surveys are preliminary resources assessments to gather data on potential study areas and assess the possibility of including those resources as units of the national park system. Study report will indicate whether further study is warranted and find the site “likely” or “not likely” to meet the criterion for inclusion into the National Park Service system as an affiliate area.

Affiliated areas are owned and operated by nonfederal organizations that maintain a formal relationship with the NPS. Through this partnership affiliates gain access to technical resources, historic preservation expertise, and branded graphics from the NPS. In order to be considered for inclusion, an area must meet the criteria for national significance and suitability and demonstrate a need for special consideration by the NPS, and the affiliate organization must agree to manage the resources according to the policies of the NPS.

The National Park Service has an interdisciplinary team consisting of planners, cultural resource specialist, interpretation and education specialists, and National Historical Landmarks program staff. A historian is needed to provide support in the evaluation of Criterion 2: Suitability.

An area is considered suitable for addition to the national park system if it represents a natural or cultural resource type that is not already adequately represented in the national park system or is not comparably represented and protected for public enjoyment by other federal agencies, tribal, state or local governments, or the private sector. Adequacy of representation is determined on a case-by-case basis by comparing the potential addition to other comparably managed areas representing the same resource type, while considering differences or similarities in the character, quality, quantity, or combination of resource values. The comparative analysis also addresses rarity of the resources, interpretive and educational potential, and similar resources already protected in the national park system or in other public or private ownership. The comparison results in a determination of whether the study area would expand, enhance, or duplicate resource protection or visitor use opportunities found in other comparably managed areas.

Scope of Work
The historian will lead the analysis of the suitability criterion of the George C. Marshall House. The research effort will include recording events that occurred during the life and career of George C. Marshall and developing appropriate themes. Those themes will be compared to other historical sites within the national park system and similar sites protected by other entities. The analysis must support a finding that the site is “likely” or “unlikely” to meet the criteria for inclusion into the national park system and determine whether it would suitably expand or enhance resource representation in protected areas. Suitability considers whether a type of resource is represented adequately in existing units of the System or in other protected areas. It is not sufficient to establish suitability based on the finding that a resource would fill a gap or theme among these protected areas. The quality and character of the study area, its rarity, and interpretive and educational potential must also be assessed.


  1. Define the type of resource represented by the George C. Marshall House.
  2. Identify the national theme(s) or context(s) in which the George C. Marshall house fits.
  3. Identify sites that represent the resource type and national themes/contexts associated with the Marshall House within the national park system or similar sites protected by other federal agencies, state, local or tribal governments, and the private sector.
  4. Through a comparative analysis, describe how the resource type and national themes/contexts associated with the Marshall House are currently represented.
  5. Consider adequacy of representation and determine whether the resource will duplicate, enhance, or expand opportunities for visitor use or resource protection.
  6. Prepare a finding on whether the George C. Marshall house is “likely” or “unlikely” to meet the suitability criteria for inclusion into the national park system.

Deliverables and Outcomes
The historian will submit the following deliverables as part of completing this project. A suggested timetable is included as a starting point for discussion; specific deadlines will be determined at the start of the project.

  1. Start-up meeting with the historian, NPS ATR and NCSHPO within 2 weeks of historian selection.
  2. Participation in 10, 1-hour monthly calls with the NPS/NHL Interdisciplinary Team (July 2021-April 2022).
  3. Historian will submit the proposed themes within 2 months of the onset of the project.
  4. Historian will submit the draft evaluation outcome in August 2021.
  5. Historian will submit the final evaluation of suitability ~Oct 2021.
  6. Historian will review and comment on the Draft Reconnaissance Survey +/- Nov 2021
  7. Historian will review and comment on the Final Reconnaissance Survey in +/- January 2021.

Proposal Submissions
For evaluation purposes, proposals should provide sufficient information as to assist NCSHPO and the NPS in determining the most qualified historian for the project. Historians interested in bidding should submit a formal written proposal that includes the following elements in a single digital file:

  1. Contact information for the Historian.
  2. Project Narrative. Please explain how this project will be accomplished and the desired outcomes achieved. Indicate if work is to be subcontracted and/or student/intern labor used. This would also be the place to discuss any adjustments to the suggested timetable presented in the “Deliverables and Outcomes” section of this RFP.
  3. Researcher Qualifications. Please include a narrative discussion of qualifications, relevant experience, and past projects of the individual(s) who will be involved in the research, and resume(s) for all key members of the research team.
  4. Project Budget. Indicate how much money is required to complete the work described, indicating how much will be spent for labor, research supplies, printing etc. A budget template can be provided upon request.

Please Note: It is expected that the historian will complete this project with a budget between $10,000 and $13,500. Project Budgets should total within this dollar range.

Proposals will be evaluated for selection based on the project narrative; and the experience and qualifications of the historian(s).

All proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 16, 2021. They should be prepared simply and economically, providing a straightforward, concise description of the consultant’s qualifications and capabilities to satisfy the requirements of this RFP.

Please submit electronic proposals to:

Sharon Smith Business Manager
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO)
Hall of the States Suite 342
444 N. Capitol Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-624-5465 (p)

Tammy Stidham
Agreements Technical Representative
National Capital Area
Deputy Associate Area Director – Lands and Planning

Please submit any inquiries or requests for budget templates to Sharon Smith by Wednesday, July 14th.

A PDF version of this RFP can be found here.