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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

Guidelines for Properties Associated with Significant Persons Discussion and Examples

Methods and Integrity Guidelines

10. The significance of individuals, and their associations with a nominated property, must be substantiated through accepted methods of historical research and analysis.

Statements of significance in National Register nominations should be based on an analysis of hard evidence, primarily in the form of written documentation, the physical resource, or both. Oral history is a legitimate methodology for gathering evidence, of course, when it is conducted according to recognized standards. Nominations should not be based on speculation or assumptions not based on evidence. The National Register requires no more detailed a referencing of sources than a bibliography. Yet many states choose to use direct quotes, weave assessments by contemporary or modern critics into the narrative, insert parenthetical references to sources, or footnote facts and conclusions. Such devices facilitate a greater understanding of the analytical process used and the conclusions drawn. The acceptable examples throughout this bulletin include those that do and those that do not employ one or more methods of scholarship beyond a bibliography in support of the information in the statement of significance; therefore, there is no separate acceptable example provided below. *

{*Archeology and Historic Preservation; Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines, the Manual for State Historic Preservation Review Boards, National Register bulletins How to Complete the National Register Registration Form and Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning contain information on conducting professional-quality archeological, historical, and architectural research and documentation.}

Example #1; Not acceptable:

The frame house at 510 West Burleson Street in Marshall is claimed to have been the residence of noted political figure Louis Trezevant Wigfall....

Wigfall's ownership of the property in question is substantiated by court records in Harrison County, but it is not clear when he came into possession of the property. No deed of sale to Wigfall has been located, but a suit brought against Wigfall by J. N. Saunders in March of 1860 cites Wigfall as the owner. It is interesting to note that Saunders is listed in the county deed records as having purchased the property in 1856. The same court case resulted in the sale of the property by the county sheriff in January 1861, with Saunders acquiring it for the sum of $750.00. According to the legal records, Wigfall could have acquired the property at some time between 1856 and 1860. On the basis of the prices paid for ante-bellum property in previous sales, it is plausible that a house was already standing on the site when Wigfall acquired it.

Wigfall's association with the property reportedly led to its being used by a number of Confederate military officers during the Civil War, including Generals H.H. Sibley and E. Kirby Smith. The famous meeting in May 1865, between Kirby Smith and members of his staff who wished to effect a change of command in the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederacy, is believed to have been held at the home.

Comment: Although court records indicate that Wigfall owned the property on which the nominated house is located, apparently there is no evidence to substantiate that Wigfall lived there, or had any other direct relationship that would qualify the property as a significant representation of his importance. In fact, it is not certain that the nominated house had been constructed at the time when Wigfall owned the property. Similarly, the claim that a "famous" Civil War meeting took place in this house appears to be based on tradition or hearsay rather than concrete evidence.

11. A property must retain integrity from the period of its significant historic associations.

Historic character and associations are embodied in and conveyed by the physical features of a resource. All properties change over time, but a basic test of the integrity of a property significant under National Register Criterion B is whether the significant person(s) associated with the resource would recognize it as it exists today. Interiors should be considered as well as exteriors; often interiors have been too radically remodeled to retain integrity, but many historic buildings still have fine, intact interiors. Occasionally, the importance and integrity of an interior may be so extraordinary that extensive exterior alterations might be more tolerable than they would be otherwise. While the past and present appearance and condition of a nominated property should be thoroughly discussed in the description, historic photographs can be invaluable in assessing historic integrity. These photographs are not required, but when available, they can greatly enhance one's understanding of the property.*

{*For more detailed guidance on applying National Register criteria for integrity, please refer to the National Register bulletin How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.}

 

[photo]
Interior foyer, Andrew Carr Sr. House, Minot, North Dakota: home of Andrew and Addie Carr, early twentieth century community leaders in the areas of medicine and philanthropy, respectively (Jackie Sluss).
Example #1; Acceptable:

The William Knight House in Canby, Oregon is a two-story vernacular building in the tradition of architecture of the American Federal period. It was built by its original occupant, a builder and businessman, in 1874 and 1875. . . . The house is significant ... under criterion B for its long association with William Knight.... Knight occupied the property from the date of construction to his death in 1922. He made substantial contributions to the up-building of Canby by his activities in public education, local government and commerce. His house . . . is the building which best represents his productive life. . . .

Presumed to be of balloon frame construction, the Knight House is rectangular in plan with a one-story rear addition, or ell added in the early 1900s when the original lean-to used as a kitchen was removed. The main mass of the house is two stories in height covered with a gable roof, and sided with narrow weatherboards. Two interior brick chimneys were originally at each gable end. The house now has a concrete foundation. The construction appears to have been carried out by William Knight himself from lumber milled at his brother Joseph's lumber mill. . . .

Both historical and more recent alterations have been made to the Knight House. Originally, there was no porch on the facade. Simple wooden steps led to the front door. A porch was added to the house in the early 1900s, according to Mrs. Martha Elliott, the granddaughter of William and Martha Knight .(2) The porch covered the length of the front facade, being surmounted by a simple balustrade on the second story. The original six-over-six window centered over the front door was replaced in the early 1900s by a door which led to the second story porch deck. In the early 1940s the full-length porch wag reduced, leaving the smaller existing porch. The original windows in the house were all six-over-six, double-hung sash windows in the early 1920s. These windows and the remaining six-over-six, double-hung sash windows were replaced with one-over-one thermal pane aluminum sash windows in 1985. The original wooden surrounds remain. On the end elevations, window openings were removed in 1985 by the current owner, who made improvements to the interior of the building at that time. The central, second story window opening was also reduced in size when the thermal-pane window was installed. The rear portion of the house is a single-story house, added to the Knight House when the lean-to kitchen was removed in the early 1900s. The rear addition, believed built c. 1900, has a gable roof, shiplap siding and one-over-one, double-hung sash windows. It is compatible with the character of the Knight House and has remained virtually unaltered on the exterior since its attachment to the main volume. The eaves of the ell are supported by exposed rafter ends and knee braces at the gable end....

Though there have been both historical and more recent modifications to the Knight House, the building continues to convey its historic period. The proportion and organization of the facade, basic plan and mass, size and shape of window and door openings, and siding of the residence remain.

Historical alterations which have occurred, including the addition of shutters to the exterior windows, probably were a matter of convenience and fashion which the Knight family accepted as "keeping up with the times." The more recent changes were made in a practical attempt to weatherproof the building and add the necessary electrical service and plumbing.

Comment: Many of the alterations, including the addition of the rear ell, occurred during the period of significance, while Knight was living here; these alterations do not affect the integrity of the house. The need to "weatherproof" buildings does not exempt a property from National Register standards for historic integrity, and in some properties, the modern alterations might impair historic integrity to the degree that the buildings no longer convey a strong enough sense of their past associations to meet National Register criteria. The Knight House retains sufficient integrity of materials, design and workmanship, as well as location, setting, feeling, and association, to meet National Register standards. The house retains its overall form and plan, its exterior materials, the fenestration pattern, simple design, and historic ell.

Example #2; Acceptable:

The interior retains much of its original integrity. The wide central stairway runs from the double doors in the front facade to a hallway, shaped like a cross. The hall to the back is an extension of the front hall and leads to the second floor covered porch. The four apartments are arranged along the halls with one in each quadrant. A large skylight is centered in the main hallway. All of the rooms have the original wide woodwork with molding across the top of the lintels. . . . The first floor has had a wall added down the center to form two store spaces. The mezzanine is still visible in the south store, but has been fronted with a wall in the north store. An apartment has been added into the back. The rooms on the north end are original and the high tank toilet is still working. The store on the south is occupied by a furniture restorer and the store on the north contains a dance studio. The apartment across the back was added in the 1920's and is two-storied, filling in the back part of the first and mezzanine floors. The 1917 addition to the north side is unchanged and presently used for storage. Both the exterior and interior of the building retain their integrity of feeling and association and have a strong visual character.

Comment: The documentation explains both the retention of character-defining historic features, and the changes that have occurred, indicating that there is enough historic integrity for the interior to be considered contributing to the building's historic significance.

[photo]
Opa-Locka Company Administration Building, Opa-Locka, Florida: anchor building for planned city conceived by inventor and real estate developer Glenn Hammond Curtiss (Mary Evans).
Example #3; Not acceptable:

The Wigfall-Heim House ... is an asymmetrical, frame, one-story house whose present design reflects the popularity of the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of the later 19th century....

Wigfall, 1816-1874, is one of the most colorful political figures of mid-19th century [state history].... Wigfall, who resided in Marshall from the late 1840s until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, had a stormy political career....

According to the legal records, Wigfall could have acquired the property sometime between 1856 and 1860.

Comment: The nomination documents Wigfall as a prominent political figure in the state during the mid-19th century. At most, his associations with the house lasted from 1856 to 1861. The house was substantially remodeled in the 1880s or 1890s, however, and currently "reflects the popularity of the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of the later 19th century," by which time Wigfall was no longer living, and two to three decades had passed since he owned the property. The exact construction date of the house and its original appearance are unknown, but since the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles are quite different from those popular in the ante-bellum South, it is unlikely that Wigfall still would have recognized the house as his.

 

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