National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

American Latino Preservation Toolkit



National Park Service



Beyond the parks, the National Park Service (NPS) is part of a national preservation partnership working with American Indian tribes, states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, historic property owners, and others who believe in the importance of our shared heritage – and its preservation. Several NPS programs work with communities and citizens to advance preservation goals.

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance based on national standards used by every state. National Register listing places no obligations on private property owners. There are no restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.

Casa Amadeo, Antigua Casa Hernandez, New York
Casa Amadeo, Antigua Casa Hernandez, New York, New York, Listed in the National Register in 2001

The music store now known as Casa Amadeo opened as Casa Hernández in the Bronx, New York, just prior to the large post-World War II Puerto Rican migration to New York City. Recognized as the oldest Puerto-Rican owned music store in New York City, this store opened in the Bronx in 1941. Latin music stores such as The Casa Amadeo played an important role in the dissemination of Latin music in the United States. Band leaders and record companies looked to Latin instrumentalists and frequently used music stores as middlemen.

The National Register also provide guidance on how to determine if a property is eligible for the National Register and on how to complete the registration form.

  • More about the National Register
  • Examples of Latino heritage related National Register properties
  • Spanish language version of the National Register brochure (En Español)

    National Historic Landmarks Program

    National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to existing landmarks.

    The United States Post Office and Court in Los Angeles
    The United States Post Office and Court House (Court House for the Central District of California), Los Angeles, California, Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2012


    The United States Post Office and Court House (Court House for the Central District of California) is nationally significant under NHL Criterion 1 for its role in the court case, Gonzalo Mendez, et al, v. Westminster School District of Orange County, et al (1946). Between 1945 and 1946, the U.S. Court House for the Southern District, as it was known then, became an exceptionally important site in the annals of postwar American school desegregation efforts and the civil rights history of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the Southwest. The decision in Mendez v. Westminster, a lawsuit filed by five Latino families whose children were denied admission to Anglo public schools in Southern California, forbade segregation on the grounds that separate was not equal. The decision by this Federal court—the first to declare that the doctrine of “separate but equal” ran counter to American law—marked a turning point in the legal struggle against segregation in primary education and served as precedence in striking down segregation for Mexican Americans in the Southwest.

  • View more information on the National Historic Landmarks Program and to learn about Latino heritage related National Historic Landmarks.

    Technical Preservation Services

    The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. It creates jobs and is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs.

    McCormick-Goodhart Mansion Langley Park, MD
    McCormick-Goodhart Mansion (aka, CASA de Maryland Headquarters) Langley Park, MD


    Built in 1824 by noted architect George Oakley Totten, the Georgian Revival style McCormick-Goodhart Mansion in Langley Park, Maryland, stood vacant for many years before CASA de Maryland (CASA) acquired it for an administrative and social services center. CASA is the state’s largest non-profit organization that provides social services for low-income Latinos and immigrants. CASA undertook a rehabilitation of the former mansion that combined the preservation of historic materials and features and LEED Gold certification for environmental sustainability.

  • Learn more about the tax credit program and see examples.

    Technical Preservation Services also provides technical assistance and guidance on the preservation of historic properties.

  • Find publications on various aspects of preservation, such as how to take care of your historic wooden windows or how to make historic buildings accessible for wheelchairs.

    Certified Local Government Program

    The Certified Local Government Program is a preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the community level. The program is jointly administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) in each state. Each local community works through a certification process to become recognized as a Certified Local Government (CLG). CLGs then become an active partner in the Federal Historic Preservation Program and the opportunities it provides.

  • There are CLGs in every state! Find out more about CLGs and if you live in one

    Historic Preservation Grants

    Since 1968, the National Park Service has provided grants to protect our Nation's most significant historic and cultural sites and our diverse cultural heritage. More than one billion dollars has been awarded to Federal, State, and local governments, Native American Tribes, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions for preservation projects in all 50 states and the U.S. Territories.

  • View a list of all available preservation grants

    National Center for Preservation Technology and Training


    NCPTT advances the application of science and technology to historic preservation. Working in the fields of archeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation, the Center accomplishes its mission through training, education, research, technology transfer and partnerships. NCPTT promotes excellence in preservation by promoting and developing educational opportunities for professionals. This includes nationwide seminars and workshops on topics like green building science and non-destructive archaeology.

  • Learn more about NCPTT
  • Find more information on NCPTT’s available grants

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    Toolkit Resources