What is the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Park Service administers the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. National Register properties have significance to the history of their community, state, or the nation. Nominations for listing historic properties come from State Historic Preservation Officers, from Federal Preservation Officers for properties owned or controlled by the United States Government, and from Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for properties on Tribal lands. Private individuals and organizations, local governments, and American Indian tribes often initiate this process and prepare the necessary documentation. A professional review board in each state considers each property proposed for listing and makes a recommendation on its eligibility. National Historic Landmarks are a separate designation, but upon designation, NHLs are listed in the National Register of Historic Places if not already listed.
You can find more information in our About Us section. You can find more information on the National Historic Landmarks program at their website.
I want to know if a property is already listed; how can I do that?
Please look at the NRIS, the National Register Information System, our database of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The NRIS is on our website at: http://www.nps.gov/nr/research/. You can search by state and/or county and/or city. The NRIS is arranged by the historic name of the property. If you know the address of the property, but not the historic name, you will have to look at each listing in the county and/or city.
How does a property get listed in the National Register of Historic Places?
The way a property gets listed in the National Register of Historic Places is that the forms and documentation go to the State historic preservation office (SHPO) of the state where the property is located. The SHPO can take one of several options: reject the property, ask for more information, list the property just with the state, or send the forms to us for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Once we receive the forms, we conduct a similar review process.