National Hispanic Heritage Month

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
The National Register of Historic Places lists many properties significant for Hispanic Heritage. We take the opportunity of Hispanic Heritage Month to highlight just some of the properties that exemplify the contributions of Hispanic culture and achievement.
Gymnasium with barrel vault roof with a large banner on exterior
Chief Sealth High School, Seattle, Washington

Photograph by Susan Johnson, courtesy of Washington State Historic Preservation Office

New Listings in the National Register

Chief Sealth High School, Seattle, Washington
The Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, Washington was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2022. The school is significant for the establishment of the Proyecto Saber Program, which was designed in response to the Chicano movement to support Latino/Chicano students in Seattle.

Parque Zaragosa, Austin, Texas
The property is significant as a gathering space for Austin's Mexican American community since 1931. The park was built amidst growing racism in Austin in the 1920s. Mexican immigrants had been steadily arriving, working, and living in Austin since the Reconstruction era, and began immigrating in increased numbers during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).

Alfredo Arreguin and Susan Lytle House and Studio, Seattle Washington
has served as the primary residence and art studio for Alfredo Arreguin and his wife, Susan Lytle, since 1987. Since that time, Arreguin has become one of the Northwest's most prominent artists and is recognized nationally for his intricately patterned and exuberant paintings.
Entrance to a two story building with large windows on both wings. An awning reading “El Centro de la Raza” is above doors.
Beacon Hill School, Seattle, Washington

Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Historic Preservation Office

Past Highlights:

Beacon Hill School (El Centro de la Raza), Seattle, Washington
The Beacon Hill School (now known as El Centro de la Raza), located south of downtown Seattle, Washington is significant for its association with its connection to the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in the 1970s. Local Chicano students expressed that one of their primary concerns was “the failure of the educational system to cope with the cultural differences and the problems of the bilingual child.” The vacant Beacon Hill School presented a potential solution. Maestas and Roberto Gallegos, another program leader, developed a plan to peacefully stage an occupation of the vacant school and drew on their network of community leaders for support. The occupation and eventual lease of the Beacon Hill School was a pivotal foothold for the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in Seattle, and a galvanizing event for multiple minority communities in the city. As a multi-service community center, El Centro de la Raza provided a place for Seattle’s Chicano community to gather, learn, connect with other minority communities, and obtain services previously difficult to access throughout the city.

Blackwell School, Marfa, Texas
was the sole public education institution for the city's Mexican and Mexican American children from 1909-1965. Like many states across the south, segregated education was a standard in 19th and early 20th century society. Segregation began in Marfa in 1892 following the completion of a new school for the city’s Anglo students.

Chama (SPMDTU) Lodge Hall, Chama, Colorado
The Chama Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) lodge hall is locally significant as the lodge hall of the United Workers' Mutual Protection Society‎ (SPMDTU) group since its construction ca. 1920. Founded in 1900, the SPMDTU served the fraternal and social needs of its Hispano membership.

Community Settlement House, Riverside, California
Specifically designed to meet the needs of the Riverside Latino community, the Community Settlement House initially provided services that included health care (prenatal care), sewing instruction, citizenship classes, and social etiquette classes.

The Forsythe Memorial School for Girls in Los Angeles, California was originally founded in 1884 and run by the Women’s Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church. The Mexican girls in attendance were primarily from the Southern California area. Described at the time as an “Americanization Plant” by the Home Missions Council, the girls came from different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.

Church of the Epiphany, Los Angeles, California
The church was the site of organization for the Latinx community of East Los Angeles during a time when Latinx mobilized to demand full civic and political inclusion. Under the guidance of Reverend John B. Luce, the church became a center for cultural heritage preservation, reflecting the intersection of religion and activism associated with the use of religion and non-violence to promote Chicano civil rights during the 1960s and 1970s.

National Farm Workers Association Headquarters, Delano, California
was the starting point of the NFWA March from Delano to Sacramento, and their reorganization as the United Farm Workers of California (UFWOC), and for its association with Cesar E. Chavez, labor activist, who used this building as his headquarters during this period.

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Historic District, Soledad, California
Mission Soledad was the thirteenth of twenty-one Catholic missions established in California by the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1823. The missions and subsequent settlements impacted the overall development of the state through architecture, language, and culture. Mission Soledad is the final resting place of Governor Jos' Joaquin de Arrillaga, first governor of Alta California 1804-1814.

St. John the Divine Catholic Church, Kansas City, Kansas
For more than 50 years, St. John the Divine has served as the centerpiece of religious life for the Mexican American Catholic community of the Argentine.The building was maintained and adorned by its parishioners, reflecting vernacular Mexican and Spanish art and culture. The property played a significant role in the religious and social community of Argentine.

Chicano Park, San Diego, California
Chicano Park, in San Diego, California, was the site of a powerful protest in 1970 by members of the local San Diego Hispanic community over the planned redevelopment of a vacant site within the Barrio Logan community that had been previously promised to the community as public open space.

Capilla de San Isidro, Los Fuertes, Colorado
As the social and religious center of the Los Fuertes community, the church is the location for ongoing cultural usage and the site of repeated community gatherings since the community constructed this church

Nuestra Señora Reina de La Paz, Kern County, California
Nuestra Señora Reina de La Paz (commonly known as La Paz) is a property encompassing 187 acres in the Tehachapi Mountains of eastern Kern County, California, and is associated with Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), one of the most important historic Latino leader in the United States. The site is also important for its association with the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), the first permanent agricultural labor union established in the history of the United States.

small stone chapel
Ernesto Memorial Chapel ref# 10000453

Photograph Courtesy of Puerto Rico Historic Preservation Office

Casa Dra. Concha Melendez Ramirez, San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Concha Meléndez Ramírez (1895-1983), Puerto Rico’s renowned educator, poet, essayist, literary critic and intellectual, suggested that the great Latin American novel which would encapsulate the American experience would be conceived in urban areas, “the space where the typical Latin American would achieve an ideal state of consciousness and intellectual capabilities.”

Lerma’s Nite Club, San Antonio, Texas
For people who love to dance, conjunto music runs the gamut of dance styles; polkas, waltzes, redobas, doble paso (two-step), boleros, mambo, huapango, cumbia and mazurka. For those that love variety of sound in music, there’s also conjunto country, a synthesis of blues, rock, jazz, salsa, Latin jazz, Cajun zydeco conjunto, meringue and reggae. Lerma's was closed for violations by a Texas agency, but the community that loves the place has formed to save Lerma's.

Benson Historic Barrio, Cochise County, Arizona
“We had so much fun!” These are the words Benson Barrio resident Edward Ellsworth used to recall his youth when the Benson Historic Barrio in Conchise County, Arizona, was full of children at play. The Benson Historic Barrio is significant for its association with the history of Hispanic residents in this ethnic enclave. Mexicans and Mexican Americans have been part of Benson’s history since the agricultural and railroad eras in the late 19th century.

Ernesto Memorial Chapel, Camuy, Puerto Rico
The Ernesto Memorial Chapel is of significance to the history of Puerto Rico in the areas of architecture and social history as it represents the establishment of Protestant ideals, concepts and values within the local social network during the early 20th century and the religious openness promoted by the change of regime in the island after the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898. ...

Pilsen Historic District, Cook County, Illinois:
The Pilsen neighborhood, nestled in the crook created by the Chicago River and the railroad lines that run along West 16th Street, has historically been a first-stop neighborhood for American immigrants, first from Bohemia and later from Mexico. Pilsen neighbors helped their fellow residents improve their homes and build new ones, aiming to ensure that the neighborhood remained fully accessible to new immigrants.

Rio Grande City Downtown Historic District, TX
Rio Grande City has a long and colorful history dating from its 18th century origins as a Spanish land grant to its place in the Mexican and American Civil Wars and as a Calvary post through the first half of the 20th century. This historic district lies at the heart of the South Texas border town of Rio Grande City and contains the city’s best collection of commercial, domestic and combination commercial/residential properties dating from its earliest period of development...

Lamesa Farm Workers Community Historic District
Learn more about the Farm Security Administrations efforts to improve housing and living standards for migrant workers in the cotton producing farmlands of West Texas.

Padua Hills Theatre
Explore the history of this Southern California hillside theatre, including the unique theatrical group called the Mexican Players. For over 40 years this group, performing Spanish language folk dramas, educated American visitors on the rich and diverse culture of Mexico.

El Centro Español de Tampa
Learn more about this exemplary Spanish club in the Gold Coast States.

Genero P. and Carolina Briones House
Discover the multicolored tinted concrete home of Texas bricklayer and plasterer Genero P. Briones.

Casa Amadeo, antigua Casa Hernández
Find out more about this influential Puerto Rican-owned music store in New York City.

Cine El Rey
Discover South Texas's most luxurious "Mexican Theatre"

Rancho Camulos
Learn more about the inspiration for the setting of the novel Ramona

Trevino-Uribe Rancho
One of the most significant examples of Spanish/Mexican vernacular architecture in the United States

Santa Barbara Presidio Historic District
Learn more about the presidio and pueblo of Santa Barbara, California during the Spanish Colonial period.

St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District
Read more about St. Augustine, town plan of the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States.

Guadalupe Center
Learn about the successful settlement house and social center that served Kansas City, Missouri's Hispanic population.

Trujillo Homestead
Meet the Trujillo family, first generation Hispanic-American ranchers in Alamosa County, Colorado.

Rancho De Los Kiotes
Visit Rancho De Los Kiotes, home of Leo Carillo--actor, preservationist and philanthropist, in Carlsbad, California.

San Elizario Historic District, TX
Learn about this historic district composed mostly of wood and adobe buildings.

Supreme Court Building, San Juan, PR
This Modern Movement style building symbolizes the evolution of four hundred years of the complex judicial and political development in Puerto Rico.

Saint Joseph Church and Shrine, MI
Learn what an Irish church in Cambridge, Michigan has to do with Hispanic Heritage!
This church was built to support a small but growing Catholic community of Irish families who had settled in the northwest township of Cambridge. The shrine, built in the 1930s as a representation of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, stands on a hillside behind the cemetery and church, its pathways ...

Barela-Reynolds House, NM
Find out how a housekeeper, a priest, and the Gadsen Purchase fit into the history of this house in Mesilla, NM! One of several historic buildings facing the famous plaza in Mesilla , New Mexico , the Barela-Reynolds House (also known as the J. Paul Taylor House) is an excellent example of a combined store and residence, a type of structure once common in 19th century New Mexico towns and villages ...

Bullion Plaza School, AZ
Follow the history of the segregation and desegragation of Arizona schools through this building. Segregation of Mexican-American students was a common practice in Arizona public schools from the early decades of the 1900s until the early 1950s-precisely the period during which Bullion Plaza School served as a segregated school for Miami 's Mexican-American children...

Learn More

National Register of Historic Places Flickr Photostream: Tagged Hispanic

Government Wide Hispanic Heritage Month Portal The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives with the National Park Service have created a portal to bring together the exhibits and features of our various offices that highlight Hispanic Heritage.

Library of Congress: Built in America (HABS/HAER/HALS)
The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies, including sites related to Hispanic history and culture. Searches on keywords like "Spanish," "missions," or "Spanish forts" will provide information on an array of associated sites. Most of the site records have publication-quality drawings, photographs and historical data.

Spanish Colonial Research Center
As a way of recognizing our Spanish colonial past in the United States and in commemoration of the Columbus Quincentennial in 1992, the National Park Service established the Spanish Colonial Research Center in partnership with the University of New Mexico. The center's primary purpose is serving research needs by providing a computerized data base from Spanish colonial documents. More than 85,000 pages of microfilmed Spanish colonial documents and approximately 4,500 maps, architectural plans, and sketches of North America have been accumulated.

National Register Information System
You can find more properties in the National Register of Historic Places listed for Hispanic Heritage by doing an advanced search for the Hispanic Area of Significance in our database.

Last updated: September 15, 2023