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    National Historic Landmarks Program

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Withdrawal of National Historic Landmark Designation

 

The designation of a property as a National Historic Landmark means that the property is recognized as being of national significance and "possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating and interpreting the heritage of the United States." This recognition does not, however, prevent changes being made to the property that can completely alter its character. When a designated property is altered so that it has lost its ability to convey its national significance, the withdrawal of its NHL designation must be considered. The National Historic Landmark designation of a property can be considered for withdrawal either at the request of the owner or on the initiative of the Secretary of the Interior. Often, efforts to withdraw Landmark status develop from NPS regional offices as part of the NPS mission to monitor the status of nationally significant historic places.

There are four criteria which justify the withdrawal of a National Historic Landmark designation:

1. The property has ceased to meet criteria for designation; the qualities for which it was originally designated have been lost or destroyed.

2. Additional information forthcoming after the designation demonstrates that the property does not possess sufficient significance to be a National Historic Landmark.

3. A professional error was made in the designation of the property.

4. There was prejudicial procedural error in the designation process.

Properties that were designated before December 13, 1980, can only be withdrawn because they have ceased to meet the criteria for designation. Loss of integrity (through alteration, addition, or demolition) is the most common reason for the withdrawal of Landmark designation. Although the NHL designation may be withdrawn, a property can remain listed in the National Register of Historic Places if it still meets the separate criteria for that listing.

 

As of September 2014, 33 properties have lost their designation as National Historic Landmarks: