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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service


Elijah Pierce One of America's preeminent folk artists, woodcarver Elijah Pierce, b. 1892, worked in this barber shop/art gallery and lived in the adjacent residence in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, for more than thirty years. Because of the exceptional importance of Pierce's work, the Elijah Pierce Residence and Gallery was listed the National Register while Pierce was still living. (Kojo Kamau, July, 1982)
On rare occasions, properties associated with individuals still living have been listed in the National Register. However, the nomination of such properties is strongly discouraged in order to avoid use of the National Register listing to endorse the work or reputation of a living person. Periodically, however, sufficient scholarship and evidence of historical perspective exist to list a property associated with living persons whose active life in their field of endeavor is over. In these instances, sufficient time must have elapsed to assess both their field and their contribution in a historic perspective. For example, two properties in Columbus, Ohio, associated with the folk artist Elijah Pierce were listed in the National Register even though the artist was still alive and had achieved significance within the past 50 years. It was demonstrated that Mr. Pierce's body of work was widely recognized as being exceptionally important within the realm of folk art. The buildings (his residence and barbershop/art gallery) were the only extant properties associated with the artist and that association was long standing (30-40 years). At the time of the nomination Mr. Pierce was 92 years old, and it was unlikely that he would produce additional works which would require a major re-evaluation of his contribution to folk art. For further guidance on this topic see National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Properties Associated with Significant Persons.

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