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

PREFACE

The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. These contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation. The National Register includes:

  • All prehistoric and historic units of the National Park System;
  • National Historic Landmarks, which are properties recognized by the Secretary of the Interior and possessing national significance; and
  • Properties significant in American, State, or local prehistory and history that have been nominated by State Historic Preservation Officers, Federal agencies, Tribal Preservation officers, and others, and have been approved for listing by the National Park Service.

By Federal law, National Register listing assists in preserving historic properties in several ways:

  • Recognition and appreciation of historic properties and their importance,
  • Consideration in planning Federal and Federally assisted projects,
  • Making property owners eligible for Federal tax benefits,
  • Consideration in decisions to issue surface coal mining permits, and
  • Qualifying preservation projects for Federal grant assistance.

The Historic Sites Act of 1935 (Public Law 74-292) established the National Historic Landmark Survey. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-665) authorized the National Register of Historic Places, expanding Federal recognition to historic properties of local and State significance. The National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior administers both programs. Regulation for these programs are contained in 36 CFR Part 60, National Register of Historic Places, and 36 CFR Part 65, National Historic Landmarks Program.

The National Historic Preservation Act authorizes State Historic Preservation officers (SHPOs) in each State and Territory of the United States to nominate properties to the National Register of Historic Places and to carry out other preservation activities. Federal Preservation officers (FPOs) have been designated in Federal agencies to nominate Federal properties and to fulfil other responsibilities of the Act. Tribal Preservation Officers (TPOs) have been designated to nomiante properties located on tribal reservations and to fulfil other responsibilities of the Act.

 

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