U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
VI. COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A PROPERTY
After determining the theme and appropriate time or chronological period with which a property is associated, the geographic limits of the property's context must be established. Exceptional importance does not necessarily mean national significance; rather, it is a measure of a property's importance within the appropriate historic context, whether the geographic scale of that context is local, State, or national. In other words, is the property best understood within the framework of a community, a river valley, a region, the State, or the Nation? In evaluating and justifying exceptional importance, it is critical to identify the properties in a geographical context that portray the same values or associations and determine those that best illustrate or represent the historical, architectural, cultural, engineering, or archeological values in question. The scope or level (local, State, or national) at which this evaluation is made is directly related to the geographic level or "scale" of the property's historic context. For example, properties whose importance relates only to local mining activities need only be compared to others found in that locality to determine their comparative value.
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