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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Historic Aids to Navigation to the National Register of Historic Places

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


Certain types of historic aids to navigation as a general rule do not qualify for the National Register. These would be:

  • aids less than 50 years of age;
  • reconstructed aids to navigation;
  • aids to navigation moved from their original sites;
  • and collections of artifacts from aids to navigation, including large artifacts such as lenses, fog signal equipment, and other parts of light stations removed from their setting. However, some of these properties may qualify for National Register listing if they meet the following exceptions.

Resources Less than 50 Years Old: An aid to navigation achieving significance within the past fifty years can be listed in the National Register if it is of exceptional significance. To qualify, an aid to navigation must be associated with important but recent themes or developments (such as World War II) which scholarly or professional research has recognized as significant in the history of aids to navigation engineering, construction, or operation. Aids to navigation potentially eligible under these circumstances would include, for example, the first Texas Towers installed to replace lightships. An aid to navigation must be compared with other aids of its type that have similar associations and qualities to establish exceptional significance.

Reconstructions: In rare instances, reconstructions at a historic light station can be contributing elements of a National Register property if:

  1. the reconstruction is based on scholarly analysis of graphic, written, and archeological sources;
  2. the reconstruction is accurately executed, using appropriate period materials and construction techniques; or
  3. the reconstruction is presented in a historically appropriate manner as an integral part of restoring a group of properties such as a light station which together constitute a historic district. Reconstructed aids to navigation must be part of an overall restoration plan for the entire resource.

Reconstructed aids to navigation are not generally eligible for the National Register because they are not authentic historic resources.

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