National Park Service: Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender History - Theme Study
  • Stonewall Inn, New York City

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Heritage Initiative

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What are National Historic Landmarks?

National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) 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, just over 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 guide the nomination process for new Landmarks and provide assistance to existing Landmarks.

I want to know if a property is already designated; how can I do that?

Please check out the pdf list of all National Historic Landmarks (updated October 2014) or visit our list of NHLs organized by state or territory, where you can find copies of the finalized nominations for recently designated National Historic Landmarks.

You can also search for information about individual National Historic Landmarks through our online database (full nominations are not included in this database).

How does a property become a National Historic Landmark?

  • NHL Program staff review the letter to determine if the property appears to meet the criteria to be designated an NHL. If the property has the potential to be considered for designation, the staff provides the preparer with detailed guidance as the nomination is written.

    • Preparers can be interested individuals and members of the public, consultants, organizations, State Historic Preservation Officers, Tribal Preservation Officers, and Federal Preservation Officers.

  • Working with the preparer, staff from the National Historic Landmarks Program review and edit the nomination.

  • Subject matter experts and scholars from across the nation review the nomination. Their suggestions and assessments are incorporated into the nomination.

  • The Landmarks Committee reviews the nomination before making a recommendation to the National Park System Advisory Board.

  • The National Park System Advisory Board reviews the nomination before making a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior.

  • The nomination is submitted to the Secretary of the Interior.

  • The Secretary considers the recommendations and decides whether or not to designate the property as a National Historic Landmark.