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The Secretary of the Interior's
Standards and Guidelines for
Preservation Planning


Preservation Planning
Standards & Guidelines

Standard I
Standard II
Standard III
Managing the Planning Process
Developing Historic Contexts
Developing Goals for a Historic Context
Integrating Individual Historic Contexts--Creating the Preservation Plan
Coordinating with Management Frameworks
Recommended Sources of Technical Information
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NOTE: These Standards and Guidelines are part of Archeology and Historic Preservation: Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines, which appeared in the Federal Register, September 29, 1983 (48FR44716). Also included are standards and guidelines for identification, evaluation, registration, treatment, and documentation. Visit the entire set of Standards and Guidelines. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to this page.



Developing Goals

A goal is a statement of preferred preservation activities, which is generally stated in terms of property types.

The purpose of establishing preservation goals is to set forth a "best case" version of how properties in the historic context should be identified, evaluated, registered, and treated. Preservation goals should be oriented toward the greatest possible protection of properties in the historic context and should be based on the principle that properties should be preserved in place if possible, through affirmative treatments like rehabilitation, stabilization or restoration. Generally, goals will be specific to the historic context and will often be phrased in terms of property types. Some of these goals will be related to information needs previously identified for the historic context. Collectively, the goals for a historic context should be a coherent statement of program direction covering all aspects of the context.

For each goal, a statement should be prepared identifying:

  1. The goal, including the context and property types to which the goal applies and the geographical area in which they are located;

  2. The activities required to achieve the goal;

  3. The most appropriate methods or strategies for carrying out the activities;

  4. A schedule within which the activities should be completed; and

  5. The amount of effort required to accomplish the goal, as well as a way to evaluate progress toward its accomplishment.

Setting Priorities for Goals

Once goals have been developed they need to be ranked in importance. Ranking involves examining each goal in light of a number of factors.

  1. General social, economic, political and environmental conditions and trends affecting (positively and negatively) the identification, evaluation, registration and treatment of property types in the historic context.

    Some property types in the historic context may be more directly threatened by deterioration, land development patterns, contemporary use patterns, or public perceptions of their value, and such property types should be given priority consideration.

  2. Major cost or technical considerations affecting the identification, evaluation, and treatment of property types in the historic context.

    The identification or treatment of some property types may be technically possible but the cost prohibitive; or techniques may not be currently perfected (for example, the identification of submerged sites or objects, or the evaluation of sites containing material for which dating techniques are still being developed).

  3. Identification, evaluation, registration and treatment activities previously carried out for property types in the historic context.

    If a number of properties representing one aspect of a historic context have been recorded or preserved, treatment of additional members of that property type may receive lower priority than treatment of a property type for which no examples have yet been recorded or preserved. This approach ensures that focus of recording or preserving all elements of the historic context is retained, rather than limiting activities to preserving properties representing only some aspects of the context.

The result of considering goals in light of these concerns will be a list of refined goals ranked in order of priority.


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