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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


The National Register traditionally recognizes a property's integrity through seven aspects or qualities: location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. These qualities should also be discussed under the Statement of Significance, Section 8 of the registration form.


Location is the place where the historic property was constructed or the place where the historic event took place. Integrity of location refers to whether the property has been moved or relocated since its construction. A property is considered to have integrity of location if it was moved before or during its period of significance. Relocation of an aid during its active career if the move enhanced or continued its function is not a significant loss of integrity. For example, in 1877, the 1855-built Point Bonita Light was relocated from a high bluff to a rocky promontory to improve its visibility to mariners. Aids to navigation relocated to serve new purposes after being decommissioned suffer a serious loss of integrity of location, but are not automatically precluded from listing.


Design is the composition of elements that constitute the form, plan, space, structure, and style of a property. But properties change through time. Lighthouses may be raised or shortened; buildings may be added or removed from a light station; sound signal equipment and optics may change to reflect advancing technology. Changes made to continue the function of the aid during its career may acquire significance in their own right. These changes do not necessarily constitute a loss of integrity of design. However, the removal of equipment that served as the actual aid to navigation--a fog signal, lens and lamp, or the distinctive daymarkings on a tower--has a considerable impact on the property. Removal of an optic from a lighthouse, a fog horn or bell from its building, or painting over a historic lighthouse's pattern has a serious adverse effect on its design integrity. The design integrity of light stations is reflected by the survival of ancillary buildings and structures. The decision to nominate a station should include an assessment of the design integrity of the property as a complex. The loss or substantial alteration of ancillary resources, such as keeper's quarters, oil houses, cisterns, and tramways, for example, may constitute a significant loss of design integrity.


Setting is the physical environment of a historic property that illustrates the character of the place. Integrity of setting remains when the surroundings of an aid to navigation have not been subjected to radical change. Integrity of setting of an isolated lighthouse would be compromised, for example, if it were now completely surrounded by modern development.


Materials are the physical elements combined in a particular pattern or configuration to form the aid during a period in the past. Integrity of materials determines whether or not an authentic historic resource still exists.


Workmanship is the physical evidence of the crafts of a particular culture or people during any given period of history. Workmanship is important because it can furnish evidence of the technology of the craft, illustrate the aesthetic principles of a historic period, and reveal individual, local, regional, or national applications of both technological practices and aesthetic principles.


Feeling is the quality that a historic property has in evoking the aesthetic or historic sense of a past period of time. Although it is itself intangible, feeling is dependent upon the aid's significant physical characteristics that convey its historic qualities. Integrity of feeling is enhanced by the continued use of an historic optic or sound signal at a light station. The characteristic flashing signal of a light adds to its integrity. While sounds themselves, such as the "Bee-oooohhhh" of a diaphone, cannot be nominated to the National Register, they enhance the integrity of feeling. The mournful call of fog horns on San Francisco Bay is an integral part of experiencing life there.


Association is the direct link between a property and the event or person for which the property is significant. A period appearance or setting for a historic aid to navigation is desirable; integrity of setting, location, design, workmanship, materials, and feeling combine to convey integrity of association.

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