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 National Register Bulletin How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation

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

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VII. HOW TO APPLY THE CRITERIA CONSIDERATIONS

INTRODUCTION

Certain kinds of properties are not usually considered for listing in the National Register: religious properties, moved properties, birthplaces or graves, cemeteries, reconstructed properties, commemorative properties, and properties achieving significance within the past fifty years. These properties can be eligible for listing, however, if they meet special requirements, called Criteria Considerations, in addition to meeting the regular requirements (that is, being eligible under one or more of the four Criteria and possessing integrity). Part VII provides guidelines for determining which properties must meet these special requirements and for applying each Criteria Consideration.

The Criteria Considerations need to be applied only to individual properties. Components of eligible districts do not have to meet the special requirements unless they make up the majority of the district or are the focal point of the district. These are the general steps to follow when applying the Criteria Considerations to your property:

  • Before looking at the Criteria Considerations, make sure your property meets one or more of the four Criteria for Evaluation and possesses integrity.

  • If it does, check the Criteria Considerations (below) to see if the property is of a type that is usually excluded from the National Register. The sections that follow also list specific examples of properties of each type. If your property clearly does not fit one of these types, then it does not need to meet any special requirements.

  • If your property does fit one of these types, then it must meet the special requirements stipulated for that type in the Criteria Considerations.

  1. Criteria Considerations
  2. Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties
  3. Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties
  4. Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces or Graves
  5. Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries
  6. Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties
  7. Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties
  8. Criteria Consideration G: Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years


CRITERIA CONSIDERATIONS*

Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past fifty years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

a. a religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or

b. a building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event; or

c. a birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life; or

d. a cemetery which derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, from association with historic events; or

e. a reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived; or

f. a property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own exceptional significance; or,

g. a property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.

*The Criteria Considerations are taken from the Criteria for Evaluation, found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Part 60.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION A: RELIGIOUS PROPERTIES

A religious property is eligible if it derives its primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance.

Understanding Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties

A religious property requires justification on architectural, artistic, or historic grounds to avoid any appearance of judgment by government about the validity of any religion or belief. Historic significance for a religious property cannot be established on the merits of a religious doctrine, but rather, for architectural or artistic values or for important historic or cultural forces that the property represents. A religious property's significance under Criterion A, B, C, or D must be judged in purely secular terms. A religious group may, in some cases, be considered a cultural group whose activities are significant in areas broader than religious history.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties

  • A historic church where an important non-religious event occurred, such as a speech by Patrick Henry.

  • A historic synagogue that is significant for architecture.

  • A private residence is the site of a meeting important to religious history.

  • A commercial block that is currently owned as an investment property by a religious institution.

  • A historic district in which religion was either a predominant or significant function during the period of significance.

Example of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties

  • A residential or commercial district that currently contains a small number of churches that are not a predominant feature of the district.

  • A town meeting hall that serves as the center of community activity and houses a wide variety of public and private meetings, including religious service. The resource is significant for architecture and politics, and the religious function is incidental.

  • A town hall, significant for politics from 1875 to 1925, that housed religious services during the 1950s. Since the religious function occurred after the Period of Significance, the Criteria Consideration does not apply.

Criteria Consideration for Religious Properties applies:

  • If the resource was constructed by a religious institution.

  • If the resource is presently owned by a religious institution or is used for religious purposes.

  • If the resource was owned by a religious institution or used for religious purposes during its Period of Significance.

  • If Religion is selected as an Area of Significance.

Applying Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties

Eligibility for Historic Events

A religious property can be eligible under Criterion A for any of three reasons:

  • It is significant under a theme in the history of religion having secular scholarly recognition; or

  • It is significant under another historical theme, such as exploration, settlement, social philanthropy, or education; or

  • It is significantly associated with traditional cultural values.

Religious History

A religious property can be eligible if it is directly associated with either a specific event or a broad pattern in the history of religion.

Eligible

  • The site of a convention at which a significant denominational split occurred meets the requirements of Criteria Consideration A. Also eligible is a property that illustrates the broad impact of a religious institution on the history of a local area.

Not Eligible

  • A religious property cannot be eligible simply because was the place of religious services for a community, or was the oldest structure used by a religious group in a local area.

Other Historical Themes

A religious property can be eligible if it is directly associated with either a specific event or a broad pattern that is significant in another historic context. A religious property would also qualify if it were significant for its associations that illustrate the importance of a particular religious group in the social, cultural, economic, or political history of the area. Eligibility depends on the importance of the event or broad pattern and the role of the specific property.

Eligible

  • A religious property can qualify for its important role as a temporary hospital during the Revolutionary War, or if its school was significant in the history of education in the community.

Not Eligible

  • A religious property is not significant in the history of education in a community simply because it had occasionally served as a school.

Traditional Cultural Values

When evaluating properties associated with traditional cultures, it is important to recognize that often these cultures do not make clear distinctions between what is secular and what is sacred. Criteria Consideration A is not intended to exclude traditional cultural resources merely because they have religious uses or are considered sacred. A property or natural feature important to a traditional culture's religion and mythology is eligible if its importance has been ethnohistorically documented and if the site can be clearly defined. It is critical, however, that the activities be documented and that the associations not be so diffuse that the physical resource cannot be adequately defined. (For more information on applying Criteria Consideration A to traditional cultural properties, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties.)

Eligible

  • A specific location or natural feature that an Indian tribe believes to be its place of origin and that is adequately documented qualifies under Criteria Consideration A.

Eligibility for Historic Persons

A religious property can be eligible for association with a person important in religious history, if that significance has scholarly, secular recognition or is important in other historic contexts. Individuals who would likely be considered significant are those who formed or significantly influenced an important religious institution or movement, or who were important in the social, economic, or political history of the area. Properties associated with individuals important only within the context of a single congregation and lacking importance in any other historic context would not be eligible under Criterion B.

Eligible

  • A religious property strongly associated with a religious leader, such as George Whitefield or Joseph Smith, is eligible.

Eligibility for Architectural or Artistic Distinction

A religious property significant for its architectural design or construction should be evaluated as are other properties under Criterion C; that is, it should be evaluated within an established architectural context and, if necessary, compared to other properties of its type, period, or method of construction. (See "Comparing Related Properties" in Part V: How to Evaluate a Property Within Its Historic Context.)

Eligible

  • A historic camp meeting district that meets the requirements of Criterion C for its significance as a type of construction is eligible.

Eligibility for Information Potential

A religious property, whether a district, site, building, structure, or object, is eligible if it can yield important information about the religious practices of a cultural group or other historic themes. This kind of property should be evaluated as are other properties under Criterion D, in relation to similar properties, other information sources, and existing data gaps.

Eligible

  • A 19th century camp meeting site that could provide information about the length and intensity of site use during revivals of the Second Great Awakening is eligible.

  • Rock cairns or medicine wheels that had a historic religious mythological function and can provide information about specific cultural beliefs are eligible.

Ability to Reflect Historic Associations

As with all eligible properties, religious properties must physically represent the period of time for which they are significance. For instance, a recent building that houses an older congregation cannot qualify based on the historic activities of the group because the current building does not convey the earlier history. Likewise, an older building that housed the historic activities of the congregation is eligible if it still physically represents the period of the congregation's significance. However, if an older building has been remodeled to the extent that its appearance dates from the time of the remodeling, it can only be eligible if the period of significance corresponds with the period of the alterations.

Eligible

  • A church built in the 18th century and altered beyond recognition in the 19th century is eligible only if the additions are important in themselves as an example of late 19th century architecture or as a reflection of an important period of the congregation's growth.

Not Eligible

  • A synagogue built in the 1920s cannot be eligible for the important activities of its congregation in the 18th and 19th centuries. It can only be eligible for significance obtained after its construction date.

  • A rural 19th century frame church recently sheathed in brick is not eligible because it has lost its characteristic appearance and therefore can no longer convey its 19th century significance, either for architectural value or historic association.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION B: MOVED PROPERTIES

A property removed from its original or historically significant location can be eligible if it is significant primarily for architectural value or it is the surviving property most importantly associated with a historic person or event.

Understanding Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties

The National Register criteria limit the consideration of moved properties because significance is embodied in locations and settings as well as in the properties themselves. Moving a property destroys the relationships between the property and its surroundings and destroys associations with historic events and persons. A move may also cause the loss of historic features such as landscaping, foundations, and chimneys, as well as loss of the potential for associated archeological deposits. Properties that were moved before their period of significance do not need to meet the special requirements of Criteria Consideration B.

One of the basic purposes of the National Register is to encourage the preservation of historic properties as living parts of their communities. In keeping with this purpose, it is not usual to list artificial groupings of buildings that have been created for purposes of interpretation, protection, or maintenance. Moving buildings to such a grouping destroys the integrity of location and setting, and can create a false sense of historic development.

Applying Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties

Eligibility for Architectural Value

A moved property significant under Criterion C must retain enough historic features to convey its architectural values and retain integrity of design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties

  • A resource moved from one location on its original site to another location on the property, during or after its Period of Significance.

  • A district in which a significant number of resources have been moved from their original location.

  • A district which has one moved building that makes an especially significant contribution to the district.

  • A portable resource, such as a ship or railroad car, that is relocated to a place incompatible with its original function.

  • A portable resource, such as a ship or railroad car, whose importance is critically linked to its historic location or route and that is moved.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties

  • A property that is moved prior to its Period of Significance.

  • A district in which only a small percentage of typical buildings in a district are moved.

  • A moved building that is part of a complex but is of less significance than the remaining (unmoved) buildings.

  • A portable resource, such as a ship or railroad car, that is eligible under Criterion C and is moved within its natural setting (water, rails, etc.).

  • A property that is raised or lowered on its foundations.

Eligibility for Historic Associations

A moved property significant under Criteria A or B must be demonstrated to be the surviving property most importantly associated with a particular historic event or an important aspect of a historic person's life. The phrase "most importantly associated" means that it must be the single surviving property that is most closely associated with the event or with the part of the person's life for which he or she is significant.

Eligible

  • A moved building occupied by an business woman during the majority of her productive career would be eligible if the other extant properties are a house she briefly inhabited prior to her period of significance and a commercial building she owned after her retirement.

Not Eligible

  • A moved building associated with the beginning of rail transportation in a community is not eligible if the original railroad station and warehouse remained intact on their original sites.

Setting and Environment

In addition to the requirements above, moved properties must still have an orientation, setting, and general environment that are comparable to those of the historic location and that are compatible with the property's significance.

Eligible

  • A property significant as an example of mid-19th century rural house type can be eligible after a move, provided that it is placed on a lot that is sufficient in size and character to recall the basic qualities of the historic environment and setting, and provided that the building is sited appropriately in relation to natural and manmade surroundings.

Not Eligible

  • A rural house that is moved into an urban area and a bridge that is no longer situated over a waterway are not eligible.

Association Dependent on the Site

For a property whose design values or historical associations are directly dependent on its location, any move will cause the property to lose its integrity and prevent it from conveying its significance.

Eligible

  • A farm structure significant only as an example of a method of construction peculiar to the local area is still eligible if it is moved within that local area and the new setting is similar to that of the original location.

Not Eligible

  • A 19th century rural residence that was designed around particular topographic features, reflecting that time period's ideals of environment, is not eligible if moved.

Properties Designed to Be Moved

A property designed to move or a property frequently moved during its historic use must be located in a historically appropriate setting in order to qualify, retaining its integrity of setting, design, feeling, and association. Such properties include automobiles, railroad cars and engines, and ships.

Eligible

  • A ship docked in a harbor, a locomotive on tracks or in a railyard, and a bridge relocated from one body of water to another are eligible.

Not Eligible

  • A ship on land in a park, a bridge placed in a pasture, or a locomotive displayed in an indoor museum are not eligible.

Artificially Created Groupings

An artificially created grouping of buildings, structures, or objects is not eligible unless it has achieved significance since the time of its assemblage. It cannot be considered as a reflection of the time period when the individual buildings were constructed.

Eligible

  • A grouping of moved historic buildings whose creation marked the beginning of a major concern with past lifestyles can qualify as an early attempt at historic preservation and as an illustration of that generation's values.

Not Eligible

  • A rural district composed of a farmhouse on its original site and a grouping of historic barns recently moved onto the property is not eligible.

Portions of Properties

A moved portion of a building, structure, or object is not eligible because, as a fragment of a larger resource, it has lost integrity of design, setting, materials, workmanship, and location.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION C: BIRTHPLACES OR GRAVES

A birthplace or grave of a historical figure is eligible if the person is of outstanding importance and if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life.

Understanding Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces or Graves

Birthplaces or graves often attain importance as reflections of the origins of important persons or as lasting memorials to them. The lives of persons significant in our past normally are recognized by the National Register through listing of properties illustrative of or associated with that person's productive life's work. Birthplaces or graves, as properties that represent the beginning and the end of the life of distinguished individuals, may be temporally and geographically far removed from the person's significant activities, and therefore are not usually considered eligible.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces or Graves

  • The birthplace of a significant person who lived elsewhere during his or her Period of Significance.

  • A grave that is nominated for its association with the significant person buried in it.

  • A grave that is nominated for information potential.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces or Graves

  • A house that was inhabited by a significant person for his or her entire lifetime.

  • A grave located on the grounds of the house where a significant person spent his or her productive years.

Applying Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces and Graves

Persons of Outstanding Importance

The phrase "a historical figure of outstanding importance" means that in order for a birthplace or grave to qualify, it cannot be simply the birthplace or grave of a person significant in our past (Criterion B). It must be the birthplace or grave of an individual who was of outstanding importance in the history of the local area, State, or nation. The birthplace or grave of an individual who was one of several people active in some aspect of the history of a community, a state, or the Nation would not be eligible.

Last Surviving Property Associated with a Person

When an geographical area strongly associated with a person of outstanding importance has lost all other properties directly associated with his or her formative years or productive life, a birthplace or grave may be eligible.

Eligibility for Other Associations

A birthplace or grave can also be eligible if it is significant for reasons other than association with the productive life of the person in question. It can be eligible for significance under Criterion A for association with important events, under Criterion B for association with the productive lives of other important persons, or under Criterion C for architectural significance. A birthplace or grave can also be eligible in rare cases if, after the passage of time, it is significant for its commemorative value. (See Criteria Consideration F for a discussion of commemorative properties.) A birthplace or grave can also be eligible under Criterion D if it contains important information on research, e.g., demography, pathology, mortuary practices, or socioeconomic status differentiation.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION D: CEMETERIES

A cemetery is eligible if it derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events.

Understanding Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries

A cemetery is a collection of graves that is marked by stones or other artifacts or that is unmarked but recognizable by features such as fencing or depressions, or through maps, or by means of testing. Cemeteries serve as a primary means of an individual's recognition of family history and as expressions of collective religious and/or ethnic identity. Because cemeteries may embody values beyond personal or family-specific emotions, the National Register criteria allow for listing of cemeteries under certain conditions.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries

  • A cemetery that is nominated individually for Criterion A, B, or C.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries

  • A cemetery that is nominated along with its associated church, but the church is the main resource nominated.

  • A cemetery that is nominated under Criterion D for information potential.

  • A cemetery that is nominated as part of a district but is not the focal point of the district.

Applying Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries

Persons of Transcendent Importance

A cemetery containing the graves of persons of transcendent importance may be eligible. To be of transcendent importance the persons must have been of great eminence in their fields of endeavor or had a great impact upon the history of their community, State, or nation. (A single grave that is the burial place of an important person and is located in a larger cemetery that does not qualify under this Criteria Consideration should be treated under Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces and Graves.)

Eligible

  • A historic cemetery containing the graves of a number of persons who were exceptionally significant in determining the course of a State's political or economic history during a particular period is eligible.

Not Eligible

  • A cemetery containing graves of State legislators is not eligible if they simply performed the daily business of State government and did not have an outstanding impact upon the nature and direction of the State's history.

Eligibility on the Basis of Age

Cemeteries can be eligible if they have achieved historic significance for their relative great age in a particular geographic or cultural context.

Eligible

  • A cemetery dating from a community's original 1830s settlement can attain significance from its association with that very early period.

Eligibility for Design

Cemeteries can qualify on the basis of distinctive design values. These values refer to the same design values addressed in Criterion C and can include aesthetic or technological achievement in the fields of city planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, mortuary art, and sculpture. As for all other nominated properties, a cemetery must clearly express its design values and be able to convey its historic appearance.

Eligible

  • A Victorian cemetery is eligible if it clearly expresses the aesthetic principles related to funerary design for that period, through such features as the overall plan, landscaping, statuary, sculpture, fencing, buildings, and grave markers.

Not Eligible

  • A cemetery cannot be eligible for design values if it no longer conveys its historic appearance because of the introduction of new grave markers.

Eligibility for Association with Events

Cemeteries may be associated with historic events including specific important events or general events that illustrate broad patterns.

Eligible

  • A cemetery associated with an important Civil War battle is eligible.

  • A cemetery associated with the settlement of an area by an ethnic or cultural group is eligible if the movement of the group into the area had an important impact, if other properties associated with that group are rare, and if few documentary sources have survived to provide information about the group's history.

Not Eligible

  • A cemetery associated with a battle in the Civil War does not qualify if the battle was not important in the history of the war.

  • A cemetery associated with an area's settlement by an ethnic or cultural group is not eligible if the impact of the group on the area cannot be established, if other extant historic properties better convey association with the group, or if the information that the cemetery can impart is available in documentary sources.

Eligibility for Information Potential

Cemeteries, both historic and prehistoric, can be eligible if they have the potential to yield important information. The information must be important within a specific context and the potential to yield information must be demonstrated.

A cemetery can qualify if it has potential to yield important information provided that the information it contains is not available in extant documentary evidence.

Eligible

  • A cemetery associated with the settlement of a particular cultural group will qualify if it has the potential to yield important information about subjects such as demography, variations in mortuary practices, or the study of the cause of death correlated with nutrition or other variables.

Integrity

Assessing the integrity of a historic cemetery entails evaluating principal design features such as plan, grave markers, and any related elements (such as fencing). Only that portion of a historic cemetery that retains its historic integrity can be eligible. If the overall integrity has been lost because of the number and size of recent grave markers, some features such as buildings, structures, or objects that retain integrity may be considered as individual properties if they are of such historic or artistic importance that they individually meet one or more of the requirements listed above.

National Cemeteries

National Cemeteries administered by the Veterans Administration are eligible because they have been designated by Congress as primary memorials to the military history of the United States. Those areas within a designated national cemetery that have been used or prepared for the reception of the remains of veterans and their dependents, as well as any landscaped areas that immediately surround the graves may qualify. Because these cemeteries draw their significance from the presence of the remains of military personnel who have served the country throughout its history, the age of the cemetery is not a factor in judging eligibility, although integrity must be present.

A national cemetery or a portion of a national cemetery that has only been set aside for use in the future is not eligible.


CRITERIA CONSIDERATION E: RECONSTRUCTED PROPERTIES

A reconstructed property is eligible when it is accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan and when no other building or structure with the same associations has survived. All three of these requirements must be met.

Understanding Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties

"Reconstruction" is defined as the reproduction of the exact form and detail of a vanished building, structure, object, or a part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time. Reconstructed buildings fall into two categories: buildings wholly constructed of new materials and buildings reassembled from some historic and some new materials. Both categories of properties present problems in meeting the integrity requirements of the National Register criteria.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties

  • A property in which most or all of the fabric is not original.

  • A district in which an important resource or a significant number of resources are reconstructions.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties

  • A property that is remodeled or renovated and still has the majority of its original fabric.

Applying Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties

Accuracy of the Reconstruction

The phrase "accurately executed" means that the reconstruction must be based upon sound archeological, architectural, and historic data concerning the historic construction and appearance of the resource. That documentation should include both analysis of any above or below ground material and research in written and other records.

Suitable Environment

The phrase "suitable environment" refers to: 1) the physical context provided by the historic district and 2) any interpretive scheme, if the historic district is used for interpretive purposes. This means that the reconstructed property must be located at the same site as the original. It must also be situated in its original grouping of buildings, structures, and objects (as many as are extant), and that grouping must retain integrity. In addition, the reconstruction must not be misrepresented as an authentic historic property.

Eligible

  • A reconstructed plantation manager's office building is considered eligible because it is located at its historic site, grouped with the remaining historic plantation buildings and structures, and the plantation as a whole retains integrity. Interpretation of the plantation district includes an explanation that the manager's office is not the original building, but a reconstruction.

Not Eligible

  • The same reconstructed plantation manager's office building would not qualify if it were rebuilt at a location different from that of the original building, or if the district as a whole no longer reflected the period for which it is significant, or if a misleading interpretive scheme were used for the district or for the reconstruction itself.

Restoration Master Plans

Being presented "as part of a restoration master plan" means that: 1) a reconstructed property is an essential component in a historic district and 2) the reconstruction is part of an overall restoration plan for an entire district. "Restoration" is defined as accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period by removing later work or by replacing missing earlier work (as opposed to completely rebuilding the property). The master plan for the entire property must emphasize restoration, not reconstruction. In other words, the master plan for the entire resource would not be acceptable under this consideration if it called for reconstruction of a majority of the resource.

Eligible

  • A reconstructed plantation manager's office is eligible if the office were an important component of the plantation and if the reconstruction is one element in an overall plan for restoring the plantation and if no other building or structure with the same associations has survived.

  • The reconstruction of the plantation manager's office building can be eligible only if the majority of buildings, structures, and objects that comprised the plantation are extant and are being restored. For guidance regarding restoration see the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation Projects.

Last Surviving Property of a Type

This consideration also stipulates that a reconstruction can qualify if, in addition to the other requirements, no other building, object, or structure with the same association has survived. A reconstruction that is part of a restoration master plan is appropriate only if: 1) the property is the only one in the district with which a particular important activity or event has been historically associated or 2) no other property with the same associative values has survived.

Reconstructions Older than Fifty Years

After the passage of fifty years, a reconstruction may its own attain significance for what it reveals about the period in which it was built, rather than the historic period it was intended to depict. On that basis, a reconstruction can possibly qualify under any of the Criteria.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION F: COMMEMORATIVE PROPERTIES

A property primarily commemorative in intent can be eligible if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance.

Understanding Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties

Commemorative properties are designed or constructed after the occurrence of an important historic event or after the life of an important person. They are not directly associated with the event or with the person's productive life, but serve as evidence of a later generation's assessment of the past. Their significance comes from their value as cultural expressions at the date of their creation. Therefore, a commemorative property generally must be over fifty years old and must possess significance based on its own value, not on the value of the event or person being memorialized.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties

  • A property whose sole or primary function is commemorative or in which the commemorative function is of primary significance.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties

  • A resource that has a non-commemorative primary function or significance.

  • A single marker that is a component of a district (whether contributing or non-contributing).

Applying Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties

Eligibility for Design

A commemorative property derives its design from the aesthetic values of the period of its creation. A commemorative property, therefore, may be significant for the architectural, artistic, or other design qualities of its own period in prehistory or history.

Eligible

  • A commemorative statue situated in a park or square is eligible if it expresses the aesthetics or craftsmanship of the period when it was made, meeting Criterion C.

  • A late 19th century statue erected on a courthouse square to commemorate Civil War veterans would qualify if it reflects that era's shared perception of the noble character and valor of the veterans and their cause. This was commonly conveyed by portraying idealized soldiers or allegorical figures of battle, victory, or sacrifice.

Eligibility for Age, Tradition, or Symbolic Value

A commemorative property cannot qualify for association with the event or person it memorializes. A commemorative property may, however, acquire significance after the time of its creation through age, tradition, or symbolic value. This significance must be documented by accepted methods of historical research, including written or oral history, and must meet one or more of the Criteria.

Eligible

  • A commemorative marker erected by a cultural group that believed the place was the site of its origins is eligible if, for subsequent generations of the group, the marker itself became the focus of traditional association with the group's historic identity.

  • A building erected as a monument to an important historical figure will qualify if through the passage of time the property itself has come to symbolize the value placed upon the individual and is widely recognized as a reminder of enduring principles or contributions valued by the generation that erected the monument.

  • A commemorative marker erected early in the settlement or development of an area will qualify if it is demonstrated that, because of its relative great age, the property has long been a part of the historic identity of the area.

Not Eligible

  • A commemorative marker erected in the past by a cultural group at the site of an event in its history would not be eligible if the marker were significant only for association with the event, and it had not become significant itself through tradition.

  • A building erected as a monument to an important historical figure would not be eligible if its only value lay in its association with the individual, and it has not come to symbolize values, ideas, or contributions valued by the generation that erected the monument.

  • A commemorative marker erected to memorialize an event in the community's history would not qualify simply for its association with the event it memorialized.

Ineligibility as the Last Representative of an Event or Person

The loss of properties directly associated with a significant event or person does not strengthen the case for consideration of a commemorative property. Unlike birthplaces or graves, a commemorative property usually has no direct historic association. The commemorative property can qualify for historic association only if it is clearly significant in its own right, as stipulated above.



CRITERIA CONSIDERATION G: PROPERTIES THAT HAVE ACHIEVED SIGNIFICANCE WITHIN THE PAST FIFTY YEARS

A property achieving significance within the past fifty years is eligible if it is of exceptional importance.
(For more information on Criteria Consideration G, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years.)

Understanding Criteria Consideration G: Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

The National Register Criteria for Evaluation exclude properties that achieved significance within the past fifty years unless they are of exceptional importance. Fifty years is a general estimate of the time needed to develop historical perspective and to evaluate significance. This consideration guards against the listing of properties of passing contemporary interest and ensures that the National Register is a list of truly historic places.

Examples of Properties that MUST Meet Criteria Consideration G: Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

  • A property that is less than fifty years old.

  • A property that continues to achieve significance into a period less than fifty years before the nomination.

  • A property that has non-contiguous Periods of Significance, one of which is less than fifty years before the nomination.

  • A property that is more than fifty years old and had no significance until a period less than fifty years before the nomination.

Examples of Properties that DO NOT Need to Meet Criteria Consideration G: Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

  • A resource whose construction began over fifty years ago, but the completion overlaps the fifty year period by a few years or less.

  • A resource that is significant for its plan or design, which is more than fifty years old, but the actual completion of the project overlaps the fifty year period by a few years.

  • A historic district in which a few properties are newer than fifty years old, but the majority of properites and the most important Period of Significance are greater than fifty years old.

Applying Criteria Consideration G: Properties That Have Achieved Significance Within The Last Fifty Years

Eligibility for Exceptional Importance

The phrase "exceptional importance" may be applied to the extraordinary importance of an event or to an entire category of resources so fragile that survivors of any age are unusual. Properties listed that had attained significance in less than fifty years include: the launch pad at Cape Canaveral from which men first traveled to the moon, the home of nationally prominent playwright Eugene O'Neill, and the Chrysler Building (New York) significant as the epitome of the "Style Moderne" architecture.

Properties less than fifty years old that qualify as exceptional because the entire category of resources is fragile include a recent example of a traditional sailing canoe in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, where because of rapid deterioration of materials, no working Micronesian canoes exist that are more than twenty years old. Properties that by their nature can last more than fifty years cannot be considered exceptionally important because of the fragility of the class of resources.

The phrase "exceptional importance" does not require that the property be of national significance. It is a measure of a property's importance within the appropriate historic context, whether the scale of that context is local, State, or national.

Eligible

  • The General Laundry Building in New Orleans, one of the few remaining Art Deco Style buildings in that city, was listed in the National Register when it was forty years old because of its exceptional importance as an example of that architectural style.

Historical Perspective

A property that has achieved significance within the past fifty years can be evaluated only when sufficient historical perspective exists to determine that the property is exceptionally important. The necessary perspective can be provided by scholarly research and evaluation, and must consider both the historic context and the specific property's role in that context.

In many communities, properties such as apartment buildings built in the 1950s cannot be evaluated because there is no scholarly research available to provide an overview of the nature, role, and impact of that building type within the context of historical and architectural developments of the 1950s.

National Park Service Rustic Architecture

Properties such as structures built in a rustic style by the National Park Service during the 1930s and 1940s can now be evaluated because a broad study, National Park Service Rustic Architecture (1977), provides the context for evaluating properties of this type and style. Specific examples were listed in the National Register prior to reaching fifty years of age when documentation concerning the individual properties established their significance within the historical and architectural context of the type and style.

Veterans Administration Hospitals

Hospitals less than fifty years old that were constructed by the Veterans Bureau and Veterans Administration can be evaluated because the collection of forty-eight facilities built between 1920 and 1946 has been analyzed in a study prepared by the agency. The study provided a historic and architectural context for development of veteran's car within which hospitals could be evaluated. The exceptional importance of specific individual facilities constructed within the past fifty years could therefore be determined based on their role and their present integrity.

Comparison with Related Properties

In justifying exceptional importance, it is necessary to identify other properties within the geographical area that reflect the same significance or historic associations and to determine which properties best represent the historic context in question. Several properties in the area could become eligible with the passage of time, but few will qualify now as exceptionally important.

Post-World War II Properties

Properties associated with the post-World War II era must be identified and evaluated to determine which ones in an area could be judged exceptionally important. For example, a public housing complex may be eligible as an outstanding expression of the nation's post-war urban policy. A miliatry installation could be judged exceptionally important because of its contribution to the Cold War arms race. A church building in a Southern city may have served as a pivotal rallying point for the city's most famous civil rights protest. A post-war suburban subdivision may be the best reflection of contemporary siting and design tents in a metropolitan area. In each case, the nomination preparer must justify the exceptional importance of the property relative to similar properties in the community, State, or nation.

Eligibility for Information Potential

A property that has achieved significance within the past fifty years can qualify under Criterion D only if it can be demonstrated that the information is of exceptional importance within the appropriate context and that the property contains data superior to or different from those obtainable from other sources, including other culturally related sites. An archeological site less than fifty years old may be eligible if the former inhabitants are so poorly documented that information about their lifeways is best obtained from examination of the material remains.

Eligible

  • Data such as the rate of adoption of modern technological innovations by rural tenant farmers in the 1950s may not be obtainable through interviews with living persons but could be gained by examination of homesites.

Not Eligible

  • A recent archeological site such as the remains of a Navajo sheep corral used in the 1950s would not be considered exceptionally significant for its information potential on animal husbandry if better information on the same topic is available through ethnographic studies or living informants.

Historic Districts

Properties which have achieved significance within the past fifty years can be eligible for the National Register if they are an integral part of a district which qualifies for National Register listing. This is demonstrated by documenting that the property dates from within the district's defined Period of Significance and that it is associated with one or more of the district's defined Areas of Significance.

Properties less than fifty years old may be an integral part of a district when there is sufficient perspective to consider the properties as historic. This is accomplished by demonstrating that: 1) the district's Period of Significance is justified as a discrete period with a defined beginning and end, 2) the character of the district's historic resources is clearly defined and assessed, 3) specific resources in the district are demonstrated to date from that discrete era, and 4) the majority of district properties are over fifty years old. In these instances, it is not necessary to prove exceptional importance of either the district itself or the less-than-fifty-year-old properties. Exceptional importance still must be demonstrated for district where the majority of properties or the major Period of Significance is less than fifty years old, and for less-than-fifty-year-old properties which are nominated individually.

Properties More Than Fifty Years in Age, Less Than Fifty Years in Significance

Properties that are more than fifty years old, but whose significant associations or qualities are less than fifty years old, must be treated under the fifty year consideration.

Eligible

  • A building constructed early in the twentieth century (and having no architectural importance), but that was associated with an important person during the 1950s, must be evaluated under Criteria Consideration G because the Period of Significance is within the past fifty years. Such a property would qualify if the person was of exceptional importance.

Requirement to Meet the Criteria, Regardless of Age

Properties that are less than fifty years old and are not exceptionally important will not automatically qualify for the National Register once they are fifty years old. In order to be listed in the National Register, all properties, regardless of age, must be demonstrated to meet the Criteria for Evaluation.

 

 

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