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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service


Radburn The primary innovation of Radburn, Bergen County, New Jersey, was the separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Radburn, planned by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, was placed on the National Register in 1974 because of the exceptional influence its plan has had and continues to have on the planning of suburban communities. (Louis Di Geronimo, 1974)
All National Register nominations should be based upon an understanding of the historic context with which the nominated resource is related. Historic context refers to all of those historic circumstances and factors from which the property emerged. Knowledge of historic context permits us to understand the relative importance of the resource in question. Evaluating a property within its historic context ensures accuracy in understanding its role and in making comparisons among similar resources. As defined in Webster's dictionary, context is comprised of the "interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs." An understanding of the context of a historic resource is based on knowledge of the time, historical theme, and geographical area with which the property is associated. This involves understanding, among other things, the social, political, economic, artistic, physical, architectural, or moral environment that accounted for the presence of, as well as the original and current nature of, the resource. Historic context will vary with resources. It may be as simple as sites associated with the lumber industry in a particular county in the late 19th century, or as complex as the development of a national railroad line which was created by one set of physical, political, and economic forces, yet had different economic, social, political, and architectural impacts on local communities and geographic areas. A thorough understanding of historic contexts for resources that have achieved significance in the past 50 years is essential for their evaluation. In evaluating and justifying exceptional importance, it is especially critical to identify the properties in a geographical area that portray the same values or associations and determine those that best illustrate or represent the architectural, cultural, or historical values being considered. Thus the first step in evaluating properties of recent significance is to establish and describe the historic context applicable to the resource.


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