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Revitalizing Our Communities

"The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage and … the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life".

--National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

Image of historic row house in Georgia

The National Register of Historic Places recognizes the tangible legacy of our history – from grand landmarks to iconic roadside diners. Real places that define what it means to be an American.

The road to the National Register starts with property owners. States, federal agencies and Indian tribes nominate historic places eligible for listing to the National Park Service, the Keeper of the National Register.

Once listed, a property is often the catalyst for a community's revitalization. National recognition often focuses attention on something that may have been ignored for decades. It can instill local pride, bring new investment to old neighborhoods, promote economic development, and spur heritage tourism.

By starting at the grassroots and engaging those who desire incentives and benefits, the National Register is the foundation of our national preservation partnership.

Learn more about the National Register and grass roots preservation efforts at Iolani Palace in Hawaii, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the Cleveland Warehouse District in Ohio, the Whitelaw Hotel in Washington, DC, in San Geronimo, New Mexico, and in Jamestown, Virginia.

The National Register of Historic Places was authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Fast Facts:

  • The National Register of Historic Places contains more than 80,000 listings representing more than 1.4 million significant resources.
  • Archeological sites or districts comprise more than 7 percent of the properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Approximately 2,500 properties have been designated National Historic Landmarks by the Secretary of Interior.


Image of San Geronimo, New Mexico
Image of Cleveland Warehouse District, Ohio
Image of Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Image of Jamestown, Virginia
Image of Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Image of Whitelaw Hotel, Washington DC

Image of the Big Duck

Did You Know?
The Big Duck was built by duck farmer Martin Maurer on busy West Main Street in Riverhead on Long Island, New York, in 1930-31 to entice automobile travelers to stop and buy his Peking ducks. The eyes are Ford Model "T" tail lights. The Big Duck was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on April 28, 1997.