The National Register is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. National Register properties have significance to the prehistory or history of their community, State, or the Nation. Published June 1, 2010. Download National Register Listings ( 1.1 MB PDF)
The National Register of Historic Places was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and amended in 1980. It is the Nation's official listing of prehistoric and historic properties worthy of preservation. It affords recognition and protection for districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. This significance can be at the local, state, or national level. The National Register serves both as a planning tool and as a means of identifying buildings, sites, and districts that are of special significance to a community and worthy of preservation.
1. What is the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register of Historic Places is the official federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. Properties eligible for listing in the National Register contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the nation. The National Register includes: all prehistoric and historic properties within the National Park Service System, National Historic Landmarks, and properties significant in national, state, or local prehistory and history.
2. How are National Historic Landmarks different from other National Register properties?
National Historic Landmarks are properties recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as possessing extraordinary national significance. The National Historic Landmark program was established as a result of the Historic Site Act of 1935 (Public Law 74-292). The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-665) authorized the National Register of Historic Places. This Act expanded federal recognition to properties of local and state significance. The U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service administers both programs. State Historic Preservation Offices in each state are authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act to nominate properties to the National Register of Historic Places.
3. What qualifies a property for listing on the National Register of Historic Places?
Properties eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places generally must be fifty years or older and must meet the following criteria of significance and integrity.
Criteria of Significance: Properties are evaluated in relationship to major historic and prehistoric themes in a community, state, or the nation. A property may be significant if it relates to any one or more of the following four aspects of American history:
(A) Association with historic events or activities,
(B) Association with an important person in history,
(C) Distinctive design or physical character, or
(D) Potential to provide important information about prehistory or history.
Criteria of Integrity: A property must also maintain enough of the original qualities that make it significant. These qualities of integrity include: location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.
4. What is the Arizona Register of Historic Places?
The Arizona Register of Historic Places is the state's list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects worthy of preservation. Arizona has adopted the National Register criteria for evaluating eligibility for the State Register.
5. How do I nominate a property to the National and/or Arizona Register of Historic Places?
Any individual, organization, government office, consultant, or public entity may prepare and submit a National Register Nomination. Nomination forms and instruction booklets have been prepared by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service and are available through the State Historic Preservation Office.
The National Register Coordinator and other staff at the State Historic Preservation Office are available to provide technical assistance. Completed forms are submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office for review and referral to the Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee.
The Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee: HSRC is Arizona's official State and National Register of Historic Places review board as mandated by state law and federal regulations. Its nine members represent the fields of history, archaeology, architecture and related fields. The committee typically holds public meetings three times a year to review nominations and advise the State Historic Preservation Officer on properties that should be placed in the National and Arizona Registers of Historic Places. Once a nomination has been reviewed and approved by the Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee, the property is placed in the Arizona Register of Historic Places and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register for a final review and listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
6. What are the benefits of having a property listed?
Local communities, states and the nation benefit from having tangible links to the past events, people, and artistic expressions that have molded the character of our nation.
8. If my home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will I be prohibited from making changes to my property?
No, you are not prohibited from making changes to your home. In order to insure that the changes you make do not negatively affect the historic integrity of your property and cause your property to lose its eligibility for the Register, the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation Office recommend that you follow the Secretary of Interior's Standards. Contact the State Historic Preservation Office for technical assistance and to request a copy of the Standards.
Tax Incentive Programs:
10. How are properties worthy of nomination to the National and State Registers identified?
Surveys to identify National Register Properties and the documentation of these properties for the inventory is accomplished in a number of ways including: By the SHPO staff, through grants, by consultants, by Certified Local Governments, by state and federal agencies complying with state and federal legislation, and by neighborhood associations and private property owners. The State Historic Preservation Office provides inventory forms that are used to document pertinent information about the property. The SHPO reviews documentation provided and makes a determination of eligibility for the National and/or State Registers of Historic Places.
11. Who maintains the list of eligible properties and those listed in the National and State Registers of Historic Places?
The State Historic Preservation Office maintains an inventory and documentation for properties listed on the Arizona and National Registers of Historic Places. The office also maintains a listing of properties that have been determined Register-eligible.
The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government's official list of important, historic buildings, sites, and other properties deemed worthy of preservation. Designation on the National Register is, first, an honor, giving owners of listed places a sense of pride in the public value of their property. Second, listing provides a measure of protection to historic properties from federal and state undertaking and private undertakings that use or require federal or state assistance or approval. Finally, listed properties become eligible for a variety of historic preservation incentives such as federal rehabilitation tax credits, state property tax reductions, and grants.
The process of listing a property in the National Register is designed in a straightforward, step-by-step manner. It does, however, involve an investment in time and requires efforts from a number of individuals and organizations. The process exists to allow a thorough review of the property and why it should be considered worthy of preservation. At first glance the process may appear complicated. However, it is actually divided into a series of small separate steps that carry the property from an initial identification, to documentation of its historic value, to review by a number of professional authorities, and finally to nomination and listing.
There are several responsible parties involved in the nomination process. First and foremost is the individual or group interested in the protection of a historic property. This might be an individual property owner seeking recognition of the property's value and ways to preserve it. It could be groups such as neighborhood associations or local governments looking at collections of historic properties in order to create historic districts. These primary parties have the responsibility of researching the background of the property(ies) and writing the nomination form that justifies inclusion in the Register. The coordinator of the listing process, the person who provides guidance to the primary parties and sees the nomination through the various steps is the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). A professional staff representing the fields of history, architecture, architectural history, and archaeology assists the SHPO.
The first step in the nomination process is to identify whether a particular property is eligible for listing. Many areas of the state have not been surveyed which leaves the primary parties responsible for gathering information so the property can be evaluated. Completing and submitting the Arizona Historic Property Inventory Form can start the initial review. This form provides information for a preliminary review by the SHPO. It is reviewed according to the National Register criteria for evaluation to determine if sufficient information is provided to justify the significance of the property. If there is not enough information provided for the evaluation, the form is returned with comments for revision. Those who turn in an inventory form are given a preliminary recommendation of eligibility or ineligibility and, if eligible, are given the actual nomination form to fill out.
The National Register has a set of standards or criteria that define what it means for a property to be deemed "historic." These criteria establish the framework for evaluating the significance and physical character of the property. Initial identification of a property usually occurs in one of two ways. The SHPO and other agencies around the state regularly engage in surveys of historic cultural resources. These surveys identify properties and evaluate them under the National Register criteria. If a primary party wishes to nominate a property that has been identified in such a survey, they may begin by filling out the National Register nomination form (available from the SHPO). The nomination describes the physical aspects of a property, evaluates its significance in relation to established criteria for evaluation, and provides an analysis of its integrity.
When a nomination is submitted, SHPO staff assesses it for historical accuracy and technical merit to see if it meets the National Register criteria. If the property appears to meet the criteria, and also meets standards regarding its physical condition, the property is considered potentially eligible for listing in the National Register. In the case of properties owned by public agencies, the SHPO works closely with administrators and managers to provide ample opportunity for comment and interaction. If the property does not meet the criteria for evaluation, or if its physical integrity is compromised, the nomination form is returned to the person or group that prepared it with the SHPO's opinion that the property is not eligible for listing in the National Register. An explanation of why the property does not appear to meet the criteria accompanies the returned nomination form.
For potentially eligible properties, the next step is to schedule the nomination for a public hearing before the Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee: HSRC. The HSRC examines and evaluates the nomination form and documentation, determines if the nominated property meets the National Register criteria for evaluation, and makes a recommendation to the SHPO to approve or disapprove the nomination. The committee may suggest revisions to the nomination form or recommend that the property not be nominated. The SHPO and staff consider the recommendation and suggested revisions.
The state is required by federal regulation (36 CFR 60) to notify property owners and local elected officials "at least thirty but not more than seventy-five days" before the public hearing. Notification is accomplished by individual letters sent to property owners, except in the case of historic districts containing fifty of more properties in which a legal notice is published in the local newspaper. The purpose of this notification is to provide notice of the state's intent to nominate the property and to solicit comments. Special notification of sixty days is provided if a community is a Certified Local Government (CLG). During this period, any owner or owners of a private property may object to the listing by submitting a notarized statement to that effect. This may or may not affect the actual listing of a property (see below). Formal review of the nomination by the HSRC at a public hearing occurs at the end of the notification period.
Nominations considered by the HSRC, along with comments received from the public, are reviewed by the SHPO. If the Officer finds that the nomination is adequately documented; technically, professionally, and procedurally correct; and is in conformance with National Register criteria for evaluation, the SHPO will then submit the nomination to the Keeper of the National Register at the National Park Service in Washington, D. C. The SHPO may make changes to the nomination to ensure that it meets National Register standards and guidelines and the information is historically accurate.
The SHPO officially nominates a property by signing the nomination form. The signed form is sent to the Keeper of the National Register along with any notarized statements of objection. The decision of the SHPO to nominate (or not to nominate) may be appealed to the Keeper of the National Register.
When the nomination is received at the National Register in Washington, the Keeper may list the property in the National Register within 45 days, return the nomination for additional information from the SHPO, or reject the nomination. If the property owner (or the majority of such owners for a district or a single property with multiple owners) objects to the listing, the Keeper shall review the nomination and make an official determination of eligibility instead of listing the property.
Once a property has been listed in or determined eligible for the National Register, the Keeper notifies the SHPO. The SHPO then notifies the property owner, individuals, or groups that helped with the nomination, and local elected officials by letter or by a legal notice in the case of historic districts containing fifty of more properties. The SHPO notification usually occurs within ten days after the Officer receives notification from the Keeper.
Arizona State Historic Preservation Office: SHPO: (602) 542-4009
Arizona National Register Coordinator: Vivia Strang at (602) 542-4662 or vstrang(at)azstateparks.gov
Arizona Historic Property Inventory Form (AZ SHPO) ( 116 KB PDF)
National Register Concise Guide (AZ SHPO) ( 639 KB PDF)
National Register Nomination Checklist (AZ SHPO) ( 98 KB PDF)
National Register Form (NPS Form 10-900) ( 169 KB PDF)
National Register Form (NPS Form 10-900-a Continuation) ( 49 KB PDF)
National Register Form (NPS Form 10-900-b Multiple Properties Documentation Form) ( 84 KB PDF)
National Register Registration Instruction Bulletin (nrb16a-1) ( 306 KB PDF)
National Register Photo Policy Factsheet ( 301 KB PDF)
National Register Brochure Poster 2012 ( 10 MB PDF)
National Register Related Link Information 2013 ( 179 KB PDF)
National Register Form Revisions 2013 ( 85 KB PDF)
National Register Revised GIS Mapping Information 2013 ( 14 MB PDF)
Secretary of Interior Standards 2013 ( 45 KB PDF)
Additional National Register Forms and Information National Register Publications.