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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years

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

IX. JUSTIFYING THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERTIES THAT HAVE ACHIEVED SIGNIFICANCE IN THE PAST FIFTY YEARS

Onondaga County War Memorial The Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York, was erected in the post-World War era as a "living memorial" to those who served in the armed forces. It is an exceptional example of contemporary concrete thin shell vault construction. (John H. Fooks, 1949-1951)
The National Register nomination documentation for properties of recent significance must contain deliberate, distinct justification for the "exceptional" importance of the resource. The clarity and persuasiveness of the justification is critical for registering properties that have gained importance in the past 50 years.

The rationale or justification for exceptional importance should be an explicit part of the statement of significance. It should not be treated as self-explanatory. Nominations must make a persuasive, direct case that the grounds—the historic context—for evaluating a property's exceptional importance exist and that the property being nominated is, within that context, exceptional. This justification must address two issues at the beginning of a nomination's Statement of Significance. The first section should contain, as described in the National Register Bulletin entitled How to Complete the National Register Registration Form, a straightforward description of why the property is historically significant—with direct reference to the specific relevant National Register Criteria. Detailed guidance on this topic is contained in the National Register Bulletin entitled Guidelines for Applying the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. The second section should contain the justification as to why the property can be determined to be of exceptional importance. It must discuss the context used for evaluating the property. It must demonstrate that the context and the resources associated with it can be judged to be "historic." It must document the existence of sufficient research or evidence to permit a dispassionate evaluation of the resource. Finally, it must use the background just presented to summarize the way in which the resource is important.

 

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