It’s that biennial time again: Landmark Status Reports for National Historic Landmark (NHL) stewards. Maybe you look forward to your required paperwork sent lovingly from the Midwest Regional Office. Or maybe you wonder: Don’t they have enough papers in that office, why do they need more? We do have a lot. But the reason is because the National Park Service cares about you and your NHL.
Primarily, the Landmark Status Reports act as a method to identify problems that require our technical assistance associated with the landmark. Just as importantly, the reports offer a forum to announce your hard work and success stories. Once we receive the information we can recognize successes, find solutions to the problem, and encourage networking among sites. After we update our own files, the information is sent to Washington D.C. to assist in updating the NHL website. By providing the information via internet, positive public involvement with the NHLs is encouraged. This is especially useful if your NHL requires public support.
In this report it is extremely important to give us as much detail as you are able, positive and negative changes that have occurred over the past two years. We have a collection of 420 NHLs in the Midwest Region, which is a subtle way of saying we need your help to monitor all of them!
The bottom line is: the more you tell us, the more we can help you.
Originally published in "Exceptional Places" Vol. 1, 2006, a newsletter of the Division of Cultural Resources, Midwest Region. Written by Kaitlin O'Shea.