Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its historical associations or attributes. While the NHL and National Register of Historic Places (NR) programs use the same seven aspects of integrity to evaluate properties– location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association – NHLs must retain them to a higher degree than required for NR listing. If the resource has been more than modestly modified or deteriorated since its period of national significance, it may meet the NR threshold for integrity, but not the higher NHL standard.
A property with a nationally significant association may qualify for NHL designation only if it also retains, to a high degree, the physical features that made up its historic character and appearance.
Click on the terms above to learn more about the seven aspects of integrity.
Click here for an example of a property that has a high degree of integrity and is a National Historic Landmark
and click here for an example of a property with sufficient integrity for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but an insufficient degree of integrity for National Historic Landmark designation.
The integrity requirement for an archeological property differs; click here.
photograph by mhuntington via Flickr
Property with high integrity: Kam Wah Chung Company Building, OR:
The Kam Wah Chung Company, like other Chinese mercantile and herb stores in the American West, was the cultural, social, labor, and religious center for Chinese immigrants. With its unrivaled collection of herbal medicines, mercantile records, and other artifacts dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this is the best known example of a Chinese mercantile and herb store in the United States representing the Chinese role in the post-Civil War expansion period of the American West. It continues to reflect its long period of use, from the 1870s until 1950, when it was closed and sealed much like a time capsule. The property was restored in the 1970s and reopened as a museum.