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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin: How to Prepare National Historic Landmark Nominations

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

PREFACE
By definition, the almost 2,300 properties designated as National Historic Landmarks are the most significant places in American history-they illustrate and commemorate our collective past and help us to understand our national identity. National Historic Landmarks outstandingly represent and interpret the best and brightest and the most tragic aspects of our history. Through these Landmarks, all Americans can better understand and appreciate the broad trends and events, important persons, great ideas and ideals, and valuable accomplishments in the arts and sciences, and humanities, that are truly significant in our history.

In the last several years, National Historic Landmark theme studies in the areas of women's history, early contact between Native Americans and Europeans, and the Underground Railroad have produced numerous new Landmarks while fostering a better understanding of these important trends in our diverse history. Examples of the range of properties recently recognized for their important linkages to our past include: the Holland Tunnel, New York/New Jersey, significant for Engineering; Jackson Pollock's Studio, Long Island, New York, significant for Art; Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, a significant Ethnic neighborhood, Bentonville Battlefield, North Carolina, a significant Civil War battlefield; Greenbelt, Maryland, an early suburban development; Philip Johnson's Glass House, Connecticut, significant for Architecture; Titan 11 Missile Complex, Arizona, a Cold War military site; Mapleleaf Shipwreck, Florida, significant in Maritime history; Brown Chapel AME Church, Alabama, a pivotal place in the Civil Rights movement; Brooks River District, Alaska, a significant archeological district; and Dealey Plaza, Texas, the location of the Kennedy Assassination

Although its legislative history stretches back to the Historic Sites Act of 1935, the current National Historic Landmarks program, as the Department of the Interior's way of recognizing nationally significant sites, is soon approaching its 40th anniversary The National Historic Landmarks Survey is unique in that it provides a nationally comparative perspective for the significance of individual historic places and requires that these places retain a high level of integrity that communicates an association with important events or trends. The requirements for designation as a National Historic Landmark have always been and will continue to be high.

The National Historic Landmarks program is also about people, our citizens who care enough about the history of the nation to seek designation as a nationally significant site. It is my hope that this publication will encourage individuals, organizations, government agencies and Indian tribes to work with us to recognize the very best in American history through designation as National Historic Landmarks.

Robert G. Stanton
Director, National Park Service

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This bulletin was prepared by Patty Henry, Historian, National Historic Landmarks Survey. Barbara Little, Archeologist, National Register of Historic Places, wrote the section on the revised thematic framework; Susan Kline, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, prepared the section on multiple property nominations; and Marilyn Harper, Architectural Historian, National Register of Historic Places, contributed the section on boundary and documentation studies.


The author appreciates the use of portions of The Historic Sites Survey and National Historic Landmarks Program: A History by Barry Mackintosh, Bureau Historian, Park History, National Register, History and Education; Archeology in the National Historic Landmarks Program by Robert S. Grumet, Archeologist, Philadelphia Support Office; and various descriptive paragraphs from a forthcoming guide to National Historic Landmarks by Al Chambers.

This bulletin drew heavily upon National Register Bulletin: How to Complete the National Register Registration Form by Linda McClelland, Architectural Historian, National Register of Historic Places, and National Register Bulletin: How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation by staff of the National Register of Historic Places and revised into final form by Patrick Andrus, Historian, National Register of Historic Places. The author gratefully acknowledges these two previous works and the strong foundation they prepared for this bulletin.

The bulletin also reflects the comments and suggestions of many individuals from State Historic Preservation Offices, Federal agencies, and National Park Service staff. Special appreciation is extended to Antoinette Lee, Special Projects Director, Heritage Preservation Services; Robie Lange, Historian, and Carolyn Pitts, Architectural Historian, National Historic Landmarks Survey; and Kira Badamo, Historian, and Robert Sandoval, Historian, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, for their assistance during the preparation of the bulletin.


This bulletin was developed under the guidance of John H. Sprinkle, Jr., Supervisory Historian, National Historic Landmarks Survey and under the general editorship of Carol D. Shull, Chief, National Historic Landmarks Survey and Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. Beth Savage, Architectural Historian, National Register of Historic Places, was responsible for publications coordination and Sarah Pope, Historian, National Register of Historic Places, provided editorial and technical support. Comments on this publication should be directed to Chief, National Historic Landmarks Survey, National Register, History and Education, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., #2280, Washington, D.C. 20240.

 

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