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.
Listing is recognition of a properties importance in local, regional, or national history.
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.
Arizona State Historic Preservation Office: SHPO: (602) 542-4009
Arizona National Register Coordinator: Vivia Strang at (602) 542-4662 or vstrang(at)azstateparks.gov
AZ SHPO Handbook for Preparing a National Register Nonimation ( 2 MB PDF)
Arizona Historic Property Inventory Form (AZ SHPO) ( 116 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)
Recommendation of Potential Eligibility (ROPE) Instructions & Form 2015 ( 47 KB DOC)
Additional National Register Forms and Information National Register Publications.