The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's roster of Properties important in the history, architectural history, archeology, engineering, and culture of the United States, its States and regions, and its communities. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service,and expanded through nominations by individuals, organizations, State and local governments, and Federal Agencies.
The National Register criteria identify the range of resources and kinds of significance that will qualify properties for listing in the National Register. They are applied to each nomination in order to determine whether the nominated property qualifies. The criteria are also applied by Federal agencies, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO's) and the National Register staff to un-evaluated properties that may be affected by Federal agency actions to determine whether they are eligible for consideration during agency planning. Local historic preservation commissions and chief elected officials in Certified Local Governments use them in commenting on nominations to the Register, and many local governments have used them as the basis for their own evaluation systems.
Criterion A: A property may be registered if it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.
Criterion B: A property may be registered if it is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past.
Criterion C: This is a complex criterion with several subparts:
The first subpart provides that a property may be registered if it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction.
The second subpart provides that a property may be registered if it represents the work of a master.
The third subpart provides that a property may be registered if it possesses high artistic values.
The final subpart provides that a property may be registered if it represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.
Criterion D: A property may be registered if it has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
The Criteria Considerations are partial exceptions to, or limitations on, the eligibility of properties for the Register.
Criteria Consideration A provides that a religious property is not eligible for the National Register unless it derives primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance.
Criteria Consideration B provides that a building or structure removed from its original location is not eligible for the National Register unless it is significant primarily for its architectural value or it is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event.
Criteria Consideration C provides that a birthplace or grave is not eligible for the national Register, unless it is that of a historical figure of outstanding importance and there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life.
Criteria Consideration D provides that cemeteries are not eligible for the National Register, unless they derive their primary significance from persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events.
Criteria Consideration E provides that a reconstructed building is not eligible for the Register, except under certain exceptional circumstances. A reconstructed building can be registered if the reconstruction is historically accurate, if the building is presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and if no other, original building or structure survives that has the same association.
Criteria Consideration F provides that properties that are primarily commemorative in intent cannot be registered, unless design, age, tradition, or symbolic value invest such properties with their own historical significance.
Criteria Consideration G forbids the registration of properties achieving significance within the past 50 years unless such properties are of exceptional importance.