Nomination Process

Overview of the National Historic Landmark Nomination Process

It takes approximately two to five years for a property to become an NHL. The nomination process determines this timeline.

General Overview:

  • State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), a Federal Preservation Officer (FPO), a scholar, a private owner, or an interested member of the general public, writes a letter of inquiry to the National Park Service.

  • NHL Program staff review the letter to determine if the property appears to meet the criteria for NHL designation. If the property has the potential to be considered for designation, the staff provides the preparer with detailed guidance as the nomination is written.

  • Working with the preparer, staff from the National Historic Landmarks Program review and edit the nomination.

  • Subject matter experts and scholars from across the nation review the nomination. Their suggestions and assessments are incorporated into the nomination.

  • The Landmarks Committee reviews the nomination before making a recommendation to the National Park System Advisory Board.

  • The National Park System Advisory Board reviews the nomination before making a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior.

  • The nomination is submitted to the Secretary of the Interior.

  • The Secretary considers the recommendations and decides whether or not to designate the property as a National Historic Landmark.

For more detailed information on each stage of the nomination process, please follow the links to the right of this page.

Last updated: August 29, 2018