Historic Surplus Property Program

The Historic Surplus Property Program enables state, county, and local governments to obtain historic buildings once used by the Federal government at no cost and to adapt them for new uses.

exterior view looking down on the Grove Arcade

A Partnership Program to Preserve and Reuse
Federal Historic Properties

Federally-owned historic buildings that are no longer needed by the Federal government are declared surplus by the General Services Administration. The Department of Defense also uses the Historic Surplus Property Program to dispose of historic military bases that have been closed.

States, counties, municipalities, and other governmental entities are eligible to acquire a surplus property at no cost if the property is listed in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places. Custom houses, office buildings, and military buildings have all been transferred under this program.

Transferred properties may be used for a wide variety of public facilities or revenue-producing activities. Private and not-for-profit organizations cannot acquire property under this program, but they may enter into long-term leases with recipients of historic surplus properties. Private developers with a long-term lease may be eligible to take advantage of Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives.

The National Park Service works with applicants who are acquiring historic properties, provides guidance to ensure that any work on the property meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, and approves applicants’ leases to other organizations.

Learn more about the Historic Surplus Property Program and see how properties have been reused in communities.

Questions about historic properties in specific states can be directed to the National Park Service regional coordinators.

Learn about related National Park Service programs that transfer surplus historic lighthouses and surplus Federal land for park uses.

Discover more about the Federal government's disposal of real property from the U.S. General Services Administration.(Note: "Historic Monument" on the GSA website refers to the Historic Surplus Property Program.)