Frequently Asked Questions
No. Historic resources act only as a caution light, not a stop light, in the planning of federally funded projects. State historic preservation officers try to work with the agencies funding these projects from the very earliest stages. They strive to reduce the likelihood of conflict or of wasted time and money by identifying the historic concerns early and incorporating them in planning the project. In any case, the existence of a historic building or site cannot, on its merits alone, stop a construction project of this type.
All people judging a property must do so by federally established criteria. These criteria are designed to assure that the property is significant in one of the areas of architecture, archeology, or history. To be architecturally significant, a property must be an excellent example of a style, or method of construction, or the work of a master craftsman or architect. To be archaeologically significant, it must contain or have contained information important in our history or pre-history. To be historically significant, it must be associated with events or persons that made an important contribution to the history of the area and/or broad patterns of our national history.
No. The criteria allow for much more than recognizing the achievements of a few well-known individuals. The National Register is designed to recognize the accomplishments of all people who have made a contribution to our country's history.
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.
The national historic preservation program deals with the full range of properties significant in American history, prehistory, architecture, engineering, archeology, and culture, including properties significant to the whole nation, those significant to a particular State or region, and those significant at the local level. "Historic property" is the shorthand term for all these kinds of properties.
The National Register records and recognizes the contribution to our heritage that your property represents.
The survey will produce written reports, files or photographs, perhaps videotapes or audio tapes, maps showing areas surveyed at different levels of intensity, drawings, plans, and bibliographic information on background data. Based on these data, and an evaluation of the properties recorded, an organized inventory can be produced listing properties that have been evaluated and found to be historic, together with a list of properties found not to be historic. If you have further questions, email us at [email protected].
A historic properties survey is a study designed to identify and evaluate properties in an area--a community, a neighborhood, a rural area, the area of a proposed land-use project--to determine whether they may be of historic, architectural, archaeological, engineering or cultural significance.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is the federal government's way of recognizing Arkansas' historically and architecturally important properties that are 50 years of age and older.
The National Register includes buildings and structures such as houses, commercial buildings and bridges. It also includes sites such as battlefields, parks, and archaeological sites. It includes districts--groups of buildings, structures or sites that make up a coherent whole, such as a neighborhood or an industrial complex. Finally, it includes objects---not portable museum objects, but large movable properties such as fountains and monuments.
Properties important in history, prehistory, architectural history, engineering history, archeology, or culture may be entered in the National Register. In other words, a property associated with the history of a community may be listed, and so can a prehistoric archaeological site, an example of a type of architecture, landscape architecture, or an engineering process, or a place of continuing but traditional cultural importance to a community (e.g., a place associated with an American Indian tradition or a well-preserved rural landscape.)
The Register includes properties determined to have significance at the national, state, and local levels. In other words, although the Register is "National," it is designed to include properties of importance to the people of the nation where they live, in their communities, not just great national landmarks. A general store, your community's park, its mainstreet, or its Indian mound, may be just as eligible for inclusion in the National Register as Independence Hall or Gettysburg Battlefield.
Perhaps the foremost reason--as will be discussed below-- is to know where historic properties are so that their protection and improvement can be considered in planning new projects and use of the land. A second reason is to increase public understanding of, and interest in, an area's history and historic properties, through publication or other use of the information in the survey itself. A third reason is to identify properties whose owners may be eligible for various kinds of Federal, State, and local assistance if they want to restore, preserve, or rehabilitate them. A fourth reason is to provide a database for research in history or prehistory.
No. In no case can National Register listing alone prevent you from tearing down a structure. If you tear down a National Register structure, however, and replace it with an income-earning structure or site, you will not be able to deduct the cost of demolition for federal income tax purposes. This is a tax provision to discourage the destruction of Register properties. Tax provisions to encourage the maintenance of such properties also exist.
Yes. National Register listing in no way affects the transfer of property from one owner to another.
No. National Register listing does not require that you open your house to the public.
No. If you are using your own money, you can do anything you choose to a National Register listed property, including paint it any color you select.