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National Register Of Historic Places

Program Descriptions

Program Number



National Register Of Historic Places


Federal Agency




National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, Public Law 89-665, 16 U.S.C. 470, 80 Stat. 915 et seq.; Executive Order 11593, May 13, 1971; Tax Reform Act of 1976, Public Law 94-455; Public Law 94-442; 90 Stat. 1519; Revenue Act of 1978; Public Law 95-600; National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980; Public Law 96-515; Tax Treatment Extension Act of 1980; Public Law 96- 541; Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, Public Law 97-340; Tax Reform Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369; Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99- 514; National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1992, Public Law 102-575; Executive Order 13287, March 3, 2003.






To expand and maintain the National Register of Historic Places for planning, preservation, research, public education and tourism efforts; to make the information on districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects of historical, architectural, archeological, engineering and cultural significance more accessible to the public in order to increase and broaden the public's understanding of the information, foster a national preservation ethic, and to promote greater appreciation of America's heritage; to coordinate with Federal agencies, State and Tribal preservation offices, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in the implementation of laws and policies pertaining to historic preservation; and to establish liaison with and give guidance to communities under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (see 14.218).


Types of Assistance

Advisory Services and Counseling.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Professional advice is provided in determining whether a property qualifies for inclusion in the National Register according to the Criteria for Evaluation contained in 36 CFR Part 60. Listing does not affect the range of actions an owner may take, as long as Federal funding, licensing or assistance is not involved and no governmental unit receives any authority or control over the property, including its use and disposition. However, if a Federal project might have an effect on a property listed or eligible for listing, the agency involved must provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment pursuant to 36 CFR Part 800. Registered properties also become eligible to receive grants from the Historic Preservation grant-in-aid program of the Department of the Interior (see 15.904), when funding is available, to receive home improvement loans from the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Title I of the National Housing Act as amended on October 18, 1974, or to participate in the community grant program provided by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Major Federal tax advantages can be received on certain rehabilitation expenditures for "certified historic structures" and for charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historic properties.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants are the States and territories as defined in the National Historic Preservation Act, operating under programs administered by State Historic Preservation Officers appointed by the Governors (listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog); or the Tribal Preservation Officers; Federal agencies required to nominate and consider historic properties within their jurisdiction or as a result of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and Executive Order 11593, and the National Historic Preservation Act operating under programs administered by representatives (listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog) appointed by the heads of the agencies; and, in States without approved State Historic Preservation Programs, persons and local governments. Applicants eligible for Federal Tax benefits include owners of individually listed properties and properties certified by the Secretary of Interior as being historic and in a district certified as historic.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public and private owners of historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or of properties certified by the Secretary of Interior as being historic and in a district certified as historic.


Nominations are submitted on standard nomination forms provided upon request to the State Historic Preservation Officers, Federal Preservation Officers, and Tribal Preservation Officers who must certify that each property was properly nominated. Procedures for National Register nominations are found in 36 CFR Part 60. Request for determinations of eligibility must be adequately documented as described in Appendix A of 36 CFR Part 63. Requests for certification of historic properties must be documented as described in Section 36 CFR Part 67 and requests for certification of State and local statutes and districts must be documented as described in Section 36 CFR Part 67. To participate in the program, each State must have an approved review board, an approved State staff, and an accepted State historic preservation plan.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

For National Register nominations the signature of the State Historic Preservation Officer on the nomination form certifies that the State review board has reviewed the nomination and that all applicable procedures, including notification to the property owner at least once during the nomination process, have been followed. The signature of the Federal Preservation Officer for Federal property or the Tribal Preservation Officer on Tribal lands on the nomination form certifies that the property has been nominated in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Anyone may prepare a National Register nomination. After the property is approved by the State Historic Preservation Officer, Tribal Preservation Officer, or Federal Preservation Officer, the nomination form or letter of request for a determination of eligibility should be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop 2280, Washington, DC 20240. Nominations submitted for review are announced in the Federal Register to provide a period of comment. Documentation for certification for Federal tax benefits of historic buildings and structures, State and local statutes and districts should be forwarded to the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office, which sends it to the appropriate National Park Service Office.

Award Procedure

The professional review staff of the National Register determines whether the properties meet the National Register criteria as contained in 36 CFR Part 60. Properties that meet the criteria are then officially listed in the National Register and become eligible for Federal tax benefits and Historic Preservation Fund grants when they are available.



Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

After nomination by State, 45 days at Federal level.


A nomination returned to the States, Tribes, or Federal agencies may be resubmitted, depending upon the reason for its rejection. Appeals for listing and removal may be made in accord with 36 CFR 60.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance



Post Assistance Requirements








Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries and expenses) FY 07 $1,700,000; FY 08 est $1,700,000; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance



Program Accomplishments



Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

36 CFR Part 60; 36 CFR Part 63; 36 CFR Part 67, The National Register of Historic Places, a free leaflet explaining the program, Guidelines for Completing National Register of Historic Places Forms, and other technical guidance are available from the National Register of Historic Places Reference Desk, National Register, History, and Education, 1849 C Street, N.W., (Mail Stop 2280) Washington, DC 20240 Lists of nominations submitted to the National Register for review are published in the Federal Register. The National Register database of all listings is accessible through the Internet at


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV for list of State Historic Preservation Officers and National Park Service Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, National Register of Historic Places, National Register, History, and Education, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Mail Stop 2280, Washington, DC 20240. Telephone: (202) 345-2213. Program inquiries should be directed to Paul Loether at

Web Site Address


Related Programs

14.218, Community Development Block Grants/Entitlement Grants
14.219, Community Development Block Grants/Small Cities Program;
15.904, Historic Preservation Fund Grants-IN-Aid
15.910, National Natural Landmarks Program;
15.915, Technical Preservation Services
15.912, National Historic Landmark


Examples of Funded Projects



Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria for Evaluation: The following criteria are designed to guide the States and the Secretary of the Interior in evaluating potential entries (other than areas of the National Park System and National Historic Landmarks) to the National Register: The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, building, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and; (A) that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or (B) that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or (C) that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or (D) that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history. Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories. (A) a religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or (B) a building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event; or (C) a birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his productive life; or (D) a cemetery which derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events; or (E) a reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived; or (F) a property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance, or (G) a property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.


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