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Technical information on the the National Register of Historic Places:
survey, evaluation, registration, and preservation of cultural resources

National Park Service

Cultural Resources
National Register, History and Education

How to Apply the National Register

Criteria for Evaluation

The mission of the Department of the Interior is to protect and provide
access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honor our trust
responsibilities to tribes.
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural
resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education,
and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates
with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource
conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

This material is partially based upon work conducted under a cooperative

agreement with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Date of publication: 1990; revised 1991,1995,1997. Revised for Internet 1995.


(Top Left) Criterion B - Frederick Douglass Home, Washington, D.C. From 1877-
1899, this was the home of Frederick Douglass, the former slave who rose to become a
prominent author, abolitionist, editor, orator, and diplomat. (Walter Smalling, Jr.)

(Top Right) Criterion D - Francis Canyon Ruin, Blanco vicinity, Rio Arriba
County, New Mexico. A fortified village site composed of 40 masonry-walled rooms
arranged in a cluster of four house blocks. Constructed ca. 1716-1742 for protection
against raiding Utes and Comanches, the site has information potential related to Na-
vajo, Pueblo, and Spanish cultures. (Jon Samuelson)

(Bottom Left) Criterion C - Bridge in Cherrytree Township, Venago County,

Pennsylvania. Built in 1882, this Pratt through truss bridge is significant for engi-
neering as a well preserved example of a type of bridge frequently used in northwestern
Pennsylvania in the late 19th century. (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation)

(Bottom Right) Criterion A - Main Street/Market Square Historic District,

Houston, Harris County, Texas. Until well into the 20th century this district marked
the bounds of public and business life in Houston. Constructed between the 1870s and
1920s, the district includes Houston's municipal and county buildings, and served as
the city's wholesale, retail, and financial center. (Paul Hester)
Preserving historic properties as cant in our prehistory and history. It should be used by anyone who
important reflections of our American These properties represent the major must decide if a particular property
heritage became a national policy patterns of our shared local, State, qualifies for the National Register of
through passage of the Antiquities and national experience. To guide the Historic Places.
Act of 1906, the Historic Sites Act of selection of properties included in the Listing properties in the National
1935, and the National Historic Pres- National Register, the National Park Register is an important step in a na-
ervation Act of 1966, as amended. Service has developed the National tionwide preservation process. The
The Historic Sites Act authorized the Register Criteria for Evaluation. responsibility for the identification,
Secretary of the Interior to identify These criteria are standards by which initial evaluation, nomination, and
and recognize properties of national every property that is nominated to treatment of historic resources lies
significance (National Historic Land- the National Register is judged. In with private individuals, State historic
marks) in United States history and addition, the National Park Service preservation offices, and Federal pres-
archeology. The National Historic has developed criteria for the recogni- ervation offices, local governments,
Preservation Act of 1966 authorized tion of nationally significant proper- and Indian tribes. The final evalua-
the Secretary to expand this recogni- ties, which are designated National tion and listing of properties in the
tion to properties of local and State Historic Landmarks and prehistoric National Register is the responsibility
significance in American history, ar- and historic units of the National Park of the Keeper of the National Register.
chitecture, archeology, engineering, System. Both these sets of criteria This bulletin was prepared by staff
and culture, and worthy of preserva- were developed to be consistent with of the National Register Branch, Inter-
tion. The National Register of His- the Secretary of the Interior's Stan- agency Resources Division, National
toric Places is the official list of these dards and Guidelines for Archeology and Park Service, with the assistance of the
recognized properties, and is main- Historic Preservation, which are uni- History Division. It was originally is-
tained and expanded by the National form, national standards for preserva- sued in draft form in 1982. The draft
Park Service on behalf of the Secretary tion activities.2 was revised into final form by Patrick
of the Interior.1 This publication explains how the W. Andrus, Historian, National Regis-
The National Register of Historic National Park Service applies these ter, and edited by Rebecca H.
Places documents the appearance and criteria in evaluating the wide range Shrimpton, Consulting Historian.
importance of districts, sites, build- of properties that may be significant Beth L. Savage, National Register
ings, structures, and objects signifi- in local, State, and national history. and Sarah Dillard Pope, National Reg-
ister, NCSHPO coordinated the latest
revision of this bulletin. Antionette J.
Lee, Tanya Gossett, and Kira Badamo
coordinated earlier revisions.

'Properties listed in the National Register receive limited Federal protection and certain benefits. For more information concerning the effects of
listing, and how the National Register may be used by the general public and Certified Local Governments, as well as by local, State, and Federal
agencies, and for copies of National Register Bulletins, contact the National Park Service, National Register, 1849 C Street, NW, NC400, Washington,
D.C., 20240. Information may also be obtained by visiting the National Register Web site at or by contacting any of the historic
preservation offices in the States and territories.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation are found in the Federal Register, Vol. 48, No. 190
(Thursday, September 29,1983). A copy can be obtained by writing the National Park Service, Heritage Preservation Services (at the address above).
Preface i
I. Introduction 1
II. National Register Criteria for Evaluation 2
III. How to Use this Bulletin to Evaluate a Property 3
IV. How to Define Categories of Historic Properties 4
Building 4
Structure 4
Object 5
Site 5
District 5
Concentration, Linkage, & Continuity of Features 5
Significance 5
Types of Features 5
Geographical Boundaries 6
Discontiguous Districts 6
V. How to Evaluate a Property Within its Historic Context 7
Understanding Historic Contexts 7
How to Evaluate a Property Within Its Historic Context 7
Properties Significant Within More Than on Historic Context 9
Comparing Related Properties 9
Local, State, and National Historic Contexts 9
VI. How to Identify the Type of Significance of a Property 11
Introduction 11
Criterion A: Event 12
Understanding Criterion A 12
Applying Criterion A 12
Types of Events 12
Association of the Property with the Events 12
Significance of the Association 12
Traditional Cultural Values 13
Criterion B: Person 14
Understanding Criterion B 14
Applying Criterion B 15
Significance of the Individual 15
Association with the Property 15
Comparison to Related Properties 15
Association with Groups 15
Association with Living Persons 16
Association with Architects/Artisans 16
Native American Sites 16
Criterion C: Design/Construction 17
Understanding Criterion C • 17
Applying Criterion C 18
Distinctive Characteristics of Type, Period, and Method of Construction 18
Historic Adaptation of the Original Property 19
Works of a Master .....20
Properties Possessing High Artistic Values 20
Criterion D: Information Potential 21
Understanding Criterion D 21
Applying Criterion D 21
Archeological Sites 21
Buildings, Structures, and Objects 21
Association with Human Activity 22
Establishing a Historic Context 22
Developing Research Questions 22
Establishing the Presence of Adequate Data 23
Integrity 23
Partly Excavated or Disturbed Properties 23
Completely Excavated Sites 24
VII. How to Apply the Criteria Considerations 25
Introduction 25
Criteria Consideration A: Religious Properties 26
Understanding Criteria Consideration A 26
Applying Criteria Consideration A 26
Eligibility for Historic Events , 26
Eligibility for Historic Persons 27
Eligibility for Architectural or Artistic Distinction 28
Eligibility for Information Potential 28
Ability to Reflect Historic Associations 28
Criteria Consideration B: Moved Properties 29
Understanding Criteria Consideration B 29
Applying Criteria Consideration B 29
Eligibility for Architectural Value 29
Eligibility for Historic Associations 30
Setting and Environment 30
Association Dependent on the Site 30
Properties Designed to Be Moved 31
Artificially Created Groupings 31
Portions of Properties 31
Criteria Consideration C: Birthplaces and Graves 32
Understanding Criteria Consideration C 32
Applying Criteria Consideration C 32
Persons of Outstanding Importance 32
Last Surviving Property Associated with a Person 32
Eligibility for Other Associations 33
Criteria Consideration D: Cemeteries 34
Understanding Criteria Consideration D 34
Applying Criteria Consideration D 34
Persons of Transcendent Importance 34
Eligibility on the Basis of Age 35
Eligibility for Design 35
Eligibility for Association with Events 35
Eligibility for Information Potential 35
Integrity 36
National Cemeteries 36
Criteria Consideration E: Reconstructed Properties 37
Understanding Criteria Consideration E 37
Applying Criteria Consideration E 37
Accuracy of the Reconstruction 37
Suitable Environment 37
Restoration Master Plans 38

Last Surviving Property of a Type 38
Reconstructions Older than Fifty Years 38
Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties 39
Understanding Criteria Consideration F 39
Applying Criteria Consideration F 39
Eligibility for Design 39
Eligibility for Age, Tradition, or Symbolic Value 40
Ineligibility as the Last Representative of an Event or Person 40
Criteria Consideration G: Properties that Have Achieved Significance Within the Past Fifty Years 41
Understanding Criteria Consideration G 41
Applying Criteria Consideration G 42
Eligibility for Exceptional Importance 42
Historical Perspective 42
National Park Service Rustic Architecture 42
Veterans Administration Hospitals 42
Comparison with Related Properties 42
World War II Properties 42
Eligibility for Information Potential 43
Historic Districts 43
Properties Over Fifty Years in Age, Under Fifty Years in Significance 43
Requirement to Meet the Criteria, Regardless of Age 43
VIII. How to Evaluate the Integrity of a Property 44

Introduction 44
Understanding the Aspects of Integrity 44
Location 44
Design 44
Setting 44
Materials 45
Workmanship 45
Feeling 45
Association 45
Assessing Integrity in Properties 45
Defining the Essential Physical Features 46
Visibility of the Physical Features 46
Comparing Similar Properties 47
Determining the Relevant Aspects of Integrity 48

IX. Summary of the National Historic Landmarks Criteria for Evaluation 50

X. Glossary 53

XL List of National Register Bulletins 54

The National Register is the historic contexts. Detailed guidance • Expecting to nominate a property
nation's inventory of historic places for developing and applying historic as a National Historic Landmark
and the national repository of docu- contexts is contained in National Reg- in addition to nominating it to
mentation on the variety of historic ister Bulletin: How to Complete the Na- the National Register.
property types, significance, abun- tional Register Registration Form and
dance, condition, ownership, needs, National Register Bulletin: How to Com-
and other information. It is the begin- plete the National Register Multiple This bulletin also contains a sum-
ning of a national census of historic Property Documentation Form ) mary of the National Historic Land-
properties. The National Register Cri- The guidelines provided here are marks Criteria for Evaluation (see
teria for Evaluation define the scope intended to help you understand the Part IX). National Historic Land-
of the National Register of Historic National Park Service's use of the Cri- marks are those districts, sites, build-
Places; they identify the range of re- teria for Evaluation, historic contexts, ings, structures, and objects desig-
sources and kinds of significance that integrity, and Criteria Considerations, nated by the Secretary of the Interior
will qualify properties for listing in and how they apply to properties un- as possessing national significance in
the National Register. The Criteria der consideration for listing in the American history, architecture, arche-
are written broadly to recognize the National Register. Examples are pro- ology, engineering, and culture. Al-
wide variety of historic properties as- vided throughout, illustrating specific though National Register documenta-
sociated with our prehistory and his- circumstances in which properties are tion includes a recommendation
tory. and are not eligible for the National about whether a property is signifi-
Decisions concerning the signifi- Register. This bulletin should be used cant at the local, State, or national
cance, historic integrity, documenta- by anyone who is: level, the only official designation of
tion, and treatment of properties can national significance is as a result of
be made reliably only when the re- •Preparing to nominate a property National Historic Landmark designa-
source is evaluated within its historic to the National Register, tion by the Secretary of the Interior,
context. The historic context serves as National Monument designation by
the framework within which the Na- • Seeking a determination of a the President of the United States, or
tional Register Criteria are applied to property's eligibility, establishment as a unit of the National
specific properties or property types. • Evaluating the comparable sig- Park System by Congress. These
(See Part V for a brief discussion of nificance of a property to those properties are automatically listed in
listed in the National Register, or the National Register.
c. A birthplace or grave of a historical
CRITERIA FOR CRITERIA figure of outstanding importance
EVALUATION:3 CONSIDERATIONS: if there is no appropriate site or
building directly associated with
his or her productive life; or
The quality of significance in Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, d. A cemetery which derives its
American history, architecture, arche- or graves of historical figures, proper- primary significance from graves
ology, engineering, and culture is ties owned by religious institutions or of persons of transcendent impor-
present in districts, sites, buildings, used for religious purposes, structures tance, from age, from distinctive
structures, and objects that possess in- that have been moved from their design features, or from association
tegrity of location, design, setting, ma- original locations, reconstructed his- with historic events; or
terials, workmanship, feeling, and as- toric buildings, properties primarily
sociation, and: commemorative in nature, and prop- e. A reconstructed building when
erties that have achieved significance accurately executed in a suitable
A. That are associated with events that within the past 50 years shall not be environment and presented in a
have made a significant contribu- considered eligible for the National dignified manner as part of a
tion to the broad patterns of our Register. However, such properties restoration master plan, and when
history; or will qualify if they are integral parts of no other building or structure with
districts that do meet the criteria or if the same association has survived;
B. That are associated with the lives of or
persons significant in our past; or they fall within the following catego-
ries: f. A property primarily commemora-
C. That embody the distinctive tive in intent if design, age, tradi-
characteristics of a type, period, or a. A religious property deriving tion, or symbolic value has in-
method of construction, or that primary significance from architec- vested it with its own exceptional
represent the work of a master, or tural or artistic distinction or significance; or
that possess high artistic values, or historical importance; or
that represent a significant and g. A property achieving significance
distinguishable entity whose b. A building or structure removed within the past 50 years if it is of
components may lack individual from its original location but which exceptional importance.
distinction; or is significant primarily for architec-
tural value, or which is the surviv-
D. That have yielded, or may be likely ing structure most importantly
to yield, information important in associated with a historic person or
prehistory or history. event; or

The Criteria for Evaluation are found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Part 60, and are reprinted here in full.
For a property to qualify for the a district, site, building, structure, 4. Determine if the property repre-
National Register it must meet one of or object for inclusion in the sents a type usually excluded from
the National Register Criteria for National Register. the National Register (Part VII).
Evaluation by: If so, determine if it meets any of
2. Determine which prehistoric or the Criteria Considerations.
• Being associated with an impor- historic context(s) the property
tant historic context and represents (Part V). A property 5. Determine whether the property
must possess significance in retains integrity (Part VIII).
• Retaining historic integrity of American history, architecture, Evaluate the aspects of location,
those features necessary to con- archeology, engineering, or design, setting, workmanship, ma-
vey its significance. culture when evaluated within terials, feeling, and association
the historic context of a relevant that the property must retain to
Information about the property geographic area. convey its historic significance.
based on physical examination and
documentary research is necessary to 3. Determine whether the property
evaluate a property's eligibility for the is significant under the National If, after completing these steps, the
National Register. Evaluation of a Register Criteria (Part VI). This property appears to qualify for the Na-
property is most efficiently made is done by identifying the links to tional Register, the next step is to pre-
when following this sequence: important events or persons, pare a written nomination. (Refer to
design or construction features, National Register Bulletin: How to
1. Categorize the property (Part IV). or information potential that Complete the National Register Registra-
A property must be classified as make the property important. tion Form.)
The National Register of Historic whole building must be considered, piers, all of which, if extant, must be
Places includes significant properties, and its significant features must be included when considering the
classified as buildings, sites, districts, identified. property for eligibility.
structures, or objects. It is not used to If a building has lost any of its basic If a structure has lost its historic
list intangible values, except in so far structural elements, it is usually con- configuration or pattern of organiza-
as they are associated with or re- sidered a "ruin" and is categorized as tion through deterioration or demoli-
flected by historic properties. The Na- a site. tion, it is usually considered a "ruin"
tional Register does not list cultural and is categorized as a site.
events, or skilled or talented individu- Examples of buildings include:
als, as is done in some countries. administration building Examples of structures include:
Rather, the National Register is ori- carriage house
ented to recognizing physically con- church aircraft
crete properties that are relatively city or town hall apiary
fixed in location. courthouse automobile
detached kitchen, barn, and privy bandstand
For purposes of National Register
dormitory boats and ships
nominations, small groups of proper-
fort bridge
ties are listed under a single category,
using the primary resource. For ex- garage cairn
ample, a city hall and fountain would hotel canal
be categorized by the city hall (build- house carousel
ing), a farmhouse with two outbuild- library corner ib
ings would be categorized by the mill building dam
farmhouse (building), and a city park office building earthwork
with a gazebo would be categorized post office fence
by the park (site). Properties with school gazebo
large acreage or a number of re- social hall grain elevator
sources are usually considered dis- shed highway
tricts. Common sense and reason stable irrigation system
should dictate the selection of catego- store kiln
ries. theater lighthouse
train station railroad grade
BUILDING trolley car
A building, such as a house, barn, windmill
church, hotel, or similar construc- The term "structure" is used to
tion, is created principally to shelter distinguish from buildings those
any form of human activity. "Build- functional constructions made usu-
ing" may also be used to refer to a ally for purposes other than creating
historically and functionally related human shelter.
unit, such as a courthouse and jail or Structures nominated to the
a house and barn. National Register must include all of
Buildings eligible for the National the extant basic structural elements.
Register must include all of their basic Parts of structures can not be consid-
structural elements. Parts of build- ered eligible if the whole structure
ings, such as interiors, facades, or remains. For example, a truss bridge
wings, are not eligible independent of is composed of the metal or wooden
the rest of the existing building. The truss, the abutments, and supporting
OBJECT A site may be a natural landmark commercial buildings, sites, struc-
strongly associated with significant tures, or objects. A district can also be
The term "object" is used to prehistoric or historic events or a grouping of archeological sites
distinguish from buildings and patterns of events, if the significance related primarily by their common
structures those constructions that of the natural feature is well docu- components; these types of districts
are primarily artistic in nature or are mented through scholarly research. often will not visually represent a
relatively small in scale and simply Generally, though, the National specific historic environment.
constructed. Although it may be, by Register excludes from the definition
nature or design, movable, an object of "site" natural waterways or bodies SIGNIFICANCE
is associated with a specific setting of water that served as determinants
or environment. in the location of communities or A district must be significant, as
Small objects not designed for a were significant in the locality's well as being an identifiable entity. It
specific location are normally not subsequent economic development. must be important for historical,
eligible. Such works include trans- While they may have been "avenues architectural, archeological, engineer-
portable sculpture, furniture, and of exploration," the features most ing, or cultural values. Therefore,
other decorative arts that, unlike a appropriate to document this signifi- districts that are significant will
fixed outdoor sculpture, do not cance are the properties built in usually meet the last portion of
possess association with a specific association with the waterways. Criterion C plus Criterion A, Criterion
place. B, other portions of Criterion C, or
Objects should be in a setting Examples of sites include: Criterion D.
appropriate to their significant battlefield
historic use, roles, or character. campsite TYPES OF FEATURES
Objects relocated to a museum are cemeteries significant for information
inappropriate for listing in the Na- potential or historic association A district can comprise both
tional Register. ceremonial site features that lack individual distinc-
designed landscape tion and individually distinctive
Examples of objects include: habitation site features that serve as focal points. It
boundary marker natural feature (such as a rock formation) may even be considered eligible if all
fountain having cultural significance of the components lack individual
milepost pet roglyph distinction, provided that the group-
monument rock carving ing achieves significance as a whole
scupture rock shelter within its historic context. In either
statuary ruins of a building or structure case, the majority of the components
shipwreck that add to the district's historic
trail character, even if they are individu-
village site ally undistinguished, must possess
SITE integrity, as must the district as a
A site is the location of a signifi- A district can contain buildings,
cant event, a prehistoric or historic structures, sites, objects, or open
occupation or activity, or a building A district possesses a significant
concentration, linkage, or continuity spaces that do not contribute to the
or structure, whether standing, significance of the district. The
ruined, or vanished, where the of sites, buildings, structures, or
objects united historically or aes- number of noncontributing properties
location itself possesses historic, a district can contain yet still convey
cultural, or archeological value thetically by plan or physical devel-
opment. its sense of time and place and
regardless of the value of any exist- historical development depends on
ing structure. how these properties affect the
A site can possess associative CONCENTRATION, LINKAGE, &
CONTINUITY OF FEATURES district's integrity. In archeological
significance or information potential districts, the primary factor to be
or both, and can be significant under considered is the effect of any distur-
any or all of the four criteria. A site A district derives its importance
from being a unified entity, even bances on the information potential of
need not be marked by physical the district as a whole.
remains if it is the location of a though it is often composed of a wide
prehistoric or historic event or pattern variety of resources. The identity of a
of events and if no buildings, struc- district results from the interrelation-
tures, or objects marked it at the time ship of its resources, which can
of the events. However, when the convey a visual sense of the overall
location of a prehistoric or historic historic environment or be an ar-
event cannot be conclusively deter- rangement of historically or function-
mined because no other cultural ally related properties. For example, a
materials were present or survive, district can reflect one principal
documentation must be carefully activity, such as a mill or a ranch, or it
evaluated to determine whether the can encompass several interrelated
traditionally recognized or identified activities, such as an area that in-
site is accurate. cludes industrial, residential, or
discontiguous district format to
A district must be a definable A district is usually a single geo- include an isolated resource or small
geographic area that can be distin- graphic area of contiguous historic group of resources which were once
guished from surrounding properties properties; however, a district can connected to the district, but have
by changes such as density, scale, also be composed of two or more since been separated either through
type, age, style of sites, buildings, definable significant areas separated demolition or new construction. For
structures, and objects, or by docu- by nonsignificant areas. A example, do not use the discontiguous
mented differences in patterns of discontiguous district is most appro- district format to nominate individual
historic development or associations. priate where: buildings of a downtown commerical
It is seldom defined, however, by the district that have become isolated
limits of current parcels of ownership, • Elements are spatially discrete; through demolition.
management, or planning boundaries.
The boundaries must be based upon a • Space between the elements is Examples of districts include:
shared relationship among the not related to the significance of
properties constituting the district. the district; and business districts
canal systems
• Visual continuity is not a factor groups of habitation sites
in the significance. college campuses
In addition, a canal can be treated estates and farms with large acreage/
as a discontiguous district when the numerous properties
system consists of man-made sections industrial complexes
of canal interspersed with sections of irrigation systems
river navigation. For scattered residential areas
archeological properties, a rural villages
discontiguous district is appropriate transportation networks
when the deposits are related to each rural historic districts
other through cultural affiliation,
period of use, or site type.

Ordeman-Shaw Historic District, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama.

Historic districts derive their identity from the interrationship of their resources. Part
of the defining characteristics of this 19th century residential district in Montgomery,
Alabama, is found in the rhythmic pattern of the rows of decorative porches. (Frank L.
Thiermonge, III)
In order to decide whether a
UNDERSTANDING property is significant within its HOW TO EVALUATE
historic context, the following five
HISTORIC things must be determined: A PROPERTY
CONTEXTS • The facet of prehistory or history WITHIN ITS
of the local area, State, or the na-
To qualify for the National Regis- tion that the property represents; HISTORIC CONTEXT
ter, a property must be significant;
that is, it must represent a significant • Whether that facet of prehistory Identify what the property repre-
part of the history, architecture, or history is significant; sents: the theme(s), geographical
archeology, engineering, or culture of • Whether it is a type of property limits, and chronological period that
an area, and it must have the charac- that has relevance and impor- provide a perspective from which to
teristics that make it a good represen- tance in illustrating the historic evaluate the property's significance.
tative of properties associated with context;
that aspect of the past. This section Historic contexts are historical
explains how to evaluate a property • How the property illustrates that patterns that can be identified through
within its historic context.4 history; and finally consideration of the history of the
The significance of a historic • Whether the property possesses property and the history of the sur-
property can be judged and explained the physical features necessary to rounding area. Historic contexts may
only when it is evaluated within its convey the aspect of prehistory have already been defined in your area
historic context. Historic contexts are or history with which it is associ- by the State historic preservation office,
those patterns or trends in history by ated. Federal agencies, or local governments.
which a specific occurrence, property, In accordance with the National Regis-
or site is understood and its meaning These five steps are discussed in ter Criteria, the historic context may
(and ultimately its significance) detail below. If the property being relate to one of the following:
within history or prehistory is made evaluated does represent an impor-
clear. Historians, architectural tant aspect of the area's history or • An event, a series of events or ac-
historians, folklorists, archeologists, prehistory and possesses the requisite tivities, or patterns of an area's de-
and anthropologists use different quality of integrity, then it qualifies velopment (Criterion A);
words to describe this phenomena for the National Register.
such as trend, pattern, theme, or • Association with the life of an im-
cultural affiliation, but ultimately the portant person (Criterion B);
concept is the same. • A building form, architectural style,
The concept of historic context is engineering technique, or artistic
not a new one; it has been fundamen- values, based on a stage of physical
tal to the study of history since the development, or the use of a mate-
18th century and, arguably, earlier rial or method of construction that
than that. Its core premise is that shaped the historic identity of an
resources, properties, or happenings area (Criterion C); or
in history do not occur in a vacuum
but rather are part of larger trends or • A research topic (Criterion D).

For a complete discussion of historic contexts, see National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Completing National Register of Historic Places
Registration Forms.
Determine how the theme of the Determine what the property type Determine how the property
context is significant in the history of is and whether it is important in represents the context through
the local area, the State, or the illustrating the historic context. specific historic associations, archi-
nation. tectural or engineering values, or
A context may be represented by a information potential (the Criteria
A theme is a means of organizing variety of important property types. for Evaluation).
properties into coherent patterns For example, the context of "Civil
based on elements such as environ- War Military Activity in Northern For example, the context of county
ment, social/ethnic groups, transpor- Virginia" might be represented by government expansion is represented
tation networks, technology, or such properties as: a group of mid- under Criterion A by historic districts
political developments that have 19th century fortification structures; or buildings that reflect population
influenced the development of an area an open field where a battle occurred; growth, development patterns, the
during one or more periods of prehis- a knoll from which a general directed role of government in that society,
tory or history. A theme is considered troop movements; a sunken transport and political events in the history oi
significant if it can be demonstrated, ship; the residences or public build- the State, as well as the impact of
through scholarly research, to be ings that served as company head- county government on the physical
important in American history. Many quarters; a railroad bridge that served development of county seats. Under
significant themes can be found in the as a focal point for a battle; and Criterion C, the context is represented
following list of Areas of Significance earthworks exhibiting particular by properties whose architectural
used by the National Register. construction techniques. treatments reflect their governmental
Because a historic context for a functions, both practically and
AREAS OF SIGNIFICANCE community can be based on a distinct symbolically. (See Part VI: How to
period of development, it might Identify the Type of Significance of a
include numerous property types. Property.)
Archeology For example, the context "Era of
Prehistoric Industrialization in Grand Bay, Determine what physical features
Historic—Aboriginal Michigan, 1875 -1900" could be the property must possess in order
Historic—Non-Aboriginal represented by important property for it to reflect the significance of the
Art types as diverse as sawmills, paper historic context.
Commerce mill sites, salt refining plants, flour
Communications mills, grain elevators, furniture These physical features can be
Community Planning and Development factories, workers housing, commer- determined after identifying the
Conservation cial buildings, social halls, schools, following:
Economics churches, and transportation facilities.
Education A historic context can also be based • Which types of properties are as-
Engineering on a single important type of prop- sociated with the historic context,
Entertainment/Recreation erty. The context "Development of • The ways in which properties can
Ethnic Heritage County Government in Georgia,
1777 -1861" might be represented represent the theme, and
Black solely by courthouses. Similarly, • The applicable aspects of integ-
European "Bridge Construction in Pittsburgh, rity.
Hispanic 1870 - 1920" would probably only
have one property type. Properties that have the defined
Native American characteristics are eligible for listing.
Pacific Islander (See Part VIII: How to Evaluate the
Other Integrity of a Property.)
Landscape Architecture
Maritime History
Performing Arts
Social History
found throughout the entire State:
PROPERTIES SIGNIFICANT LOCAL, STATE, they can be located in only a portion
WITHIN MORE THAN ONE of the State's present political bound-
HISTORIC CONTEXT AND NATIONAL ary. It is the property's historic
context that must be important
A specific property can be signifi- HISTORIC statewide. For example, the "cotton
cant within one or more historic belt" extends through only a portion
contexts, and, if possible, all of these CONTEXTS of Georgia, yet its historical develop-
should be identified. For example, a ment in the antebellum period af-
public building constructed in the Historic contexts are found at a fected the entire State. These State
1830s that is related to the historic variety of geographical levels or historic contexts may have associated
context of Civil War campaigns in the scales. The geographic scale selected properties that are statewide or
area might also be related to the may relate to a pattern of historical locally significant representations. A
theme of political developments in the development, a political division, or a cotton gin in a small town might be a
community during the 1880s. A cultural area. Regardless of the scale, locally significant representation of
property is only required, however, to the historic context establishes the this context, while one of the largest
be documented as significant in one framework from which decisions cotton producing plantations might
context. about the significance of related be of State significance.
properties can be made. A property whose historic associa-
COMPARING RELATED tions or information potential appears
PROPERTIES LOCAL HISTORIC to extend beyond a single local area
CONTEXTS might be significant at the State level.
A property can be significant to more
Properties listed in the National than one community or local area,
Register must possess significance A local historic context represents
an aspect of the history of a town, however, without having achieved
when evaluated in the perspective of State significance.
their historic context. Once the city, county, cultural area, or region,
or any portions thereof. It is defined A property that overlaps several
historic context is established and the State boundaries can possibly be
property type is determined, it is not by the importance of the property, not
necessarily the physical location of the significant to the State or local history
necessary to evaluate the property in of each of the States. Such a property
question against other properties if: property. For instance, if a property
is of a type found throughout a State, is not necessarily of national signifi-
or its boundaries extend over two cance, however, nor is it necessarily
• It is the sole example of a prop- significant to all of the States in which
erty type that is important in il- States, but its importance relates only
to a particular county, the property it is located.
lustrating the historic context or Prehistoric sites are not often
would be considered of local signifi-
• It clearly possesses the defined cance. considered to have "State" signifi-
characteristics required to The level of context of archeologi- cance, per se, largely because States
strongly represent the context. cal sites significant for their informa- are relatively recent political entities
tion potential depends on the scope of and usually do not correspond closely
If these two conditions do not to Native American political territo-
apply, then the property will have to the applicable research design. For
example, a Late Mississippian village ries or cultural areas. Numerous sites,
be evaluated against other examples however, may be of significance to a
of the property type to determine its site may yield information in a
research design concerning one large region that might geographi-
eligibility. The geographic level cally encompass parts of one, or
(local, State, or national) at which this settlement system on a regional scale,
while in another research design it usually several, States. Prehistoric
evaluation is made is the same as the resources that might be of State
level of the historic context. (See Part may reveal information of local
importance concerning a single significance include regional sites that
V: How to Evaluate a Property Within provide a diagnostic assemblage of
Its Historic Context.) group's stone tool manufacturing
techniques or house forms. It is a artifacts for a particular cultural
question of how the available infor- group or time period or that provide
mation potential is likely to be used. chronological control (specific dates
or relative order in time) for a series
of cultural groups.
Properties are evaluated in a State
context when they represent an aspect
of the history of the State as a whole
(or American Samoa, the District of
Columbia, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, Guam,
Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands).
These properties do not necessarily
have to belong to property types
NATIONAL HISTORIC Regulations, Title 36, Part 65 and are was fought in only a portion of the
summarized in this bulletin in Part IX: United States, yet its impact was
CONTEXTS Summary of National Historic Land- nationwide. The site of a small
marks Criteria for Evaluation. military skirmish might be a locally
Properties are evaluated in a A property with national signifi- significant representation of this
national context when they represent cance helps us understand the history national context, while the capture of
an aspect of the history of the United of the nation by illustrating the the State's largest city might be a
States and its territories as a whole. nationwide impact of events or statewide significant representation
These national historic contexts may persons associated with the property, of the national context.
have associated properties that are its architectural type or style, or When evaluating properties at the
locally or statewide significant information potential. It must be of national level for designation as a
representations, as well as those of exceptional value in representing or National Historic Landmark, please
national significance. illustrating an important theme in the refer to the National Historic Land-
Properties designated as nationally history of the nation. marks outline, History and Prehistory
significant and listed in the National Nationally significant properties in the National Park System and the
Register are the prehistoric and do not necessarily have to belong to a National Historic Landmarks Program
historic units of the National Park property type found throughout the 1987. (For more information about
System and those properties that have entire country: they can be located in the National Historic Landmarks
been designated National Historic only a portion of the present political program, please write to the Depart-
Landmarks. The National Historic boundaries. It is their historic context ment of the Interior, National Park
Landmark criteria are the standards that must be important nationwide. Service, National Historic Land-
for nationally significant properties; For example, the American Civil War marks, 1849 C Street, NW, NC400,
they are found in the Code of Federal Washington, DC 20240.)

After identifying the relevant NATIONAL REGISTER
INTRODUCTION historic context(s) with which the
property is associated, the four
When evaluated within its historic Criteria are applied to the property. EVALUATION*
context, a property must be shown to Within the scope of the historic
be significant for one or more of the four context, the National Register Criteria The National Register Criteria
Criteria for Evaluation - A, B, C, or D define the kind of significance that the recognize different types of values
(listed earlier in Part U). The Criteria properties represent. embodied in districts, sites, buildings,
describe how properties are signifi- For example, within the context of structures, and objects. These values
cant for their association with impor- "19th Century Gunpowder Produc- fall into the following categories:
tant events or persons, for their tion in the Brandywine Valley," Associative value (Criteria A and
importance in design or construction, Criterion A would apply to those B): Properties significant for their
or for their information potential. properties associated with important association or linkage to events
The basis for judging a property's events in the founding and develop- (Criterion A) or persons (Criterion B)
significance and, ultimately, its ment of the industry. Criterion B important in the past.
eligibility under the Criteria is historic would apply to those properties Design or Construction value
context. The use of historic context associated with persons who are (Criterion C): Properties significant
allows a property to be properly significant in the founding of the as representatives of the manmade
evaluated in a nearly infinite number industry or associated with important expression of culture or technology.
of capacities. For instance, Criterion inventions related to gunpowder Information value (Criterion D):
C: Design/Construction can accom- manufacturing. Criterion C would Properties significant for their ability
modate properties representing apply to those buildings, structures, to yield important information about
construction types that are unusual or or objects whose architectural form or prehistory or history.
widely practiced, that are innovative style reflect important design qualities
or traditional, that are "high style" or integral to the industry. And Crite- ""For a complete listing of the Criteria for
vernacular, that are the work of a rion D would apply to properties that Evaluation, refer to Part II oi this bulletin.
famous architect or an unknown can convey information important in
master craftsman. The key to determin- our understanding of this industrial
ing whether the characteristics or associa- process. If a property qualifies under
tions of a particular property are signifi- more than one of the Criteria, its
cant is to consider the property within its significance under each should be
historic context. considered, if possible, in order to
identify all aspects of its historical

Properties can be eligible for the National Register if they are associated with events that have made a significant
contribution to the broad patterns of our history.

CRITERION A: CRITERION A: Properties associated with specific events:
• The site of a battle.
EVENT EVENT • The building in which an important
invention was developed.
To be considered for listing under TYPES OF EVENTS
Criterion A, a property must be • A factory district where a significant
associated with one or more events A property can be associated with strike occurred.
important in the defined historic either (or both) of two types of events:
context. Criterion A recognizes • An archeological site at which a ma-
properties associated with single jor new aspect of prehistory was dis-
• A specific event marking an im- covered, such as the first evidence of
events, such as the founding of a portant moment in American pre-
town, or with a pattern of events, man and extinct Pleistocene animals
history or history and being contemporaneous.
repeated activities, or historic trends,
such as the gradual rise of a port city's • A pattern of events or a historic • A site where an important facet of
prominence in trade and commerce. trend that made a significant con- European exploration occurred.
The event or trends, however, must tribution to the development of a
clearly be important within the community, a State, or the nation. Properties associated with a pattern of
associated context: settlement, in the events:
Refer to the sidebar on the right for
case of the town, or development of a a list of specific examples. • A trail associated with western mi-
maritime economy, in the case of the gration.
port city. Moreover, the property
must have an important association ASSOCIATION OF THE • A railroad station that served as the
with the event or historic trends, and PROPERTY WITH THE focus of a community's transporta-
it must retain historic integrity. (See EVENTS tion system and commerce.
Part V: How to Evaluate a Property • A mill district reflecting the impor-
Within its Historic Context.) The property you are evaluating tance of textile manufacturing dur-
Several steps are involved in must be documented, through ac- ing a given period.
determining whether a property is cepted means of historical or archeo-
significant for its associative values: logical research (including oral • A building used by an important lo-
history), to have existed at the time of cal social organization.
• Determine the nature and origin the event or pattern of events and to • A site where prehistoric Native
of the property, have been associated with those Americans annually gathered for
• Identify the historic context with events. A property is not eligible if its seasonally available resources and
which it is associated, and associations are speculative. For for social interaction.
archeological sites, well reasoned
• Evaluate the property's history to inferences drawn from data recovered • A downtown district representing a
determine whether it is associ- at the site can be used to establish the town's growth as the commercial fo-
ated with the historic context in association between the site and the cus of the surrounding agricultural
any important way. events. area.

Mere association with historic
events or trends is not enough, in and
of itself, to qualify under Criterion A:
the property's specific association
must be considered important as well.
For example, a building historically in
commercial use must be shown to
have been significant in commercial
Traditional cultural significance is
derived from the role a property plays
in a community's historically rooted
beliefs, customs, and practices.
Properties may have significance
under Criterion A if they are associ-
ated with events, or series of events,
significant to the cultural traditions of
a community.5

• A hilltop associated in oral his-
torical accounts with the
founding of an Indian tribe or
society is eligible.
• A rural community can be eli-
gible whose organization,
buildings, or patterns of
land use reflect the cultural
traditions valued by its long-
term residents.
• An urban neighborhood can Criterion A - The Old Brulay Plantation, Brownsville vicinity, Cameron county,
be eligible as the traditional Texas. Historically significant for its association with the development of agriculture
home of a particular cultural
in southeast Texas, this complex of 10 brick buildings was constructed by George N.
group and as a reflection of its
beliefs and practices. Brulay, a French immigrant who introduced commercial sugar production and
irrigation to the Rio Grande Valley. (Photo by Texas Historical Commission).
Not Eligible
• A site viewed as sacred by a
recently established Utopian or
religious community does not
have traditional cultural value
and is not eligible.

For more information, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties.

Properties may be eligible for the National Register if they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our

Criterion B applies to properties
associated with individuals whose
specific contributions to history can
be identified and documented.
Persons "significant in our past"
refers to individuals whose activities
are demonstrably important within a
local, State, or national historic
context. The criterion is generally
restricted to those properties that
illustrate (rather than commemorate)
a person's important achievements.
(The policy regarding commemora-
tive properties, birthplaces, and
graves is explained further in Part
VIII: How to Apply the Criteria Consid-
Several steps are involved in
determining whether a property is
significant for its associative values Criterion B - The William Whitney House, Hinsdale, DuPage County, Illinois.
under Criterion B. First, determine
the importance of the individual. This building is locally significant for its historical association with William Whitney,
Second, ascertain the length and the founder of the town of Hinsdale, Illinois. Whitney, a citizen of New York State,
nature of his/her association with the moved to Illinois, established the town, and while living here between 1870 and 1879
property under study and identify the was a prominent local businessman and politician. (Photo by Frederick C. Cue).
other properties associated with the
individual. Third, consider the
property under Criterion B, as
outlined below.

Properties associated with a Significant

• The home of an important merchant

or labor leader.
• The studio of a significant artist.
• The business headquarters of an im-
portant industrialist.

'For further information on properties eligible under Criterion B, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting
Properties Associated with Significant Persons.

CRITERION B: For properties associated with
Properties eligible under Criterion
PERSON B are usually those associated with a several community leaders or with a
person's productive life, reflecting the prominent family, it is necessary to
time period when he or she achieved identify specific individuals and to
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE significance. In some instances this explain their significant accomplish-
INDIVIDUAL may be the person's home; in other ments.
cases, a person's business, office,
The persons associated with the laboratory, or studio may best repre- Eligible
property must be individually signifi- sent his or her contribution. Proper-
cant within a historic context. A ties that pre- or post-date an • A residential district in which a
property is not eligible if its only individual's significant accomplish- large number of prominent or
justification for significance is that it ments are usually not eligible. (See influential merchants, profes-
was owned or used by a person who Comparison to Related Properties, below, sionals, civic leaders, politi-
is a member of an identifiable profes- for exceptions to this rule.) cians, etc., lived will be eligible
sion, class, or social or ethnic group. under Criterion B if the signifi-
The individual's association with cance of one or more specific
It must be shown that the person the property must be documented by
gained importance within his or her individual residents is explic-
accepted methods of historical or itly justified.
profession or group. archeological research, including
written or oral history. Speculative • A building that served as the
associations are not acceptable. For seat of an important family is
Eligible archeological sites, well reasoned eligible under Criterion B if the
• The residence of a doctor, a inferences drawn from data recovered significant accomplishments of
mayor, or a merchant is eli- at the site are acceptable. one or more individual family
gible under Criterion B if the members is explicitly justified.
person was significant in the COMPARISON TO RELATED Not Eligible
field of medicine, politics, or PROPERTIES
commerce, respectively. • A residential district in which a
Each property associated with an large number of influential per-
Not Eligible sons lived is not eligible under
important individual should be
• A property is not eligible un- compared to other associated proper- Criterion B if the accomplish-
der Criterion B if it is associ- ties to identify those that best repre- ments of a specific indivi-
ated with an individual about sent the person's historic contribu- dual^) cannot be documented.
whom no scholarly judgement tions. The best representatives If the significance of the district
can be made because either re- usually are properties associated with rests in the cumulative impor-
search has not revealed spe- the person's adult or productive life. tance of prominent residents,
cific information about the Properties associated with an however, then the district
person's activities and their individual's formative or later years might still be eligible under
impact, or there is insufficient may also qualify if it can be demon- Criterion A. Eligibility, in this
perspective to determine strated that the person's activities case, would be based on the
whether those activities or during this period were historically broad pattern of community
contributions were historically significant or if no properties from the development, through which
important. person's productive years survives. the neighborhood evolved into
Length of association is an important the primary residential area for
factor when assessing several proper- this class of citizens.
ties with similar associations. • A building that served as the
A community or State may contain seat of an important family will
several properties eligible for associa- not be eligible under Criterion
tions with the same important person, B if the significant accomplish-
if each represents a different aspect of ments of individual family
the person's productive life. A members cannot be docu-
property can also be eligible if it has mented. In cases where a suc-
brief but consequential associations cession of family members
with an important individual. (Such have lived in a house and col-
associations are often related to lectively have had a demon-
specific events that occurred at the strably significant impact on
property and, therefore, it may also be the community, as a family, the
eligible under Criterion A.) house is more likely to be sig-
nificant under Criterion A for
association with a pattern of

The known major villages of
Properties associated with living Architects, artisans, artists, and individual Native Americans who
persons are usually not eligible for engineers are often represented by were important during the contact
inclusion in the National Register. their works, which are eligible under period or later can qualify under
Sufficient time must have elapsed to Criterion C. Their homes and studios, Criterion B. As with all Criterion B
assess both the person's field of however, can be eligible for consider- properties, the individual associated
endeavor and his/her contribution to ation under Criterion B, because these with the property must have made
that field. Generally, the person's usually are the properties with which some specific important contribution
active participation in the endeavor they are most personally associated. to history. Examples include sites
must be finished for this historic significantly associated with Chief
perspective to emerge. (See Criteria Joseph and Geronimo.7
Considerations C and G in Part VII:
How to Apply the Criteria Consider-

For more information, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties.

Properties may be eligible for the National Register if they embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or
method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a
significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.

defined within the context of Crite-

rion C. Districts, however, can be con-
sidered for eligibility under all the Crite-
ria, individually or in any combina-
tion, as is appropriate. For this rea-
son, the full discussion of districts is
contained in Part IV: How to Define
Categories of Historic Properties.
Throughout the bulletin, however,
districts are mentioned within the
context of a specific subject, such as
an individual Criterion.

Richland Plantation, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Properties can qualify under
Criterion C as examples of high style architecture. Built in the 1830s, Richland is a
fine example of a Federal style residence with a Greek Revival style portico. (Photo by
Dave Gleason).

• Represent a significant and dis-

UNDERSTANDING tinguishable entity whose com-
ponents may lack individual dis-
CRITERION C: tinction.
DESIGN/ The first requirement, that proper-
ties "embody the distinctive charac-
CONSTRUCTION teristics of a type, period, or method
of construction/' refers to the way in
This criterion applies to properties which a property was conceived,
significant for their physical design or designed, or fabricated by a people or
culture in past periods of history. Grant Family House, Saco vicinity,
construction, including such elements York County, Maine. Properties
as architecture, landscape architec- "The work of a master" refers to the
ture, engineering, and artwork. To be technical or aesthetic achievements of possessing high artistic value meet
eligible under Criterion C, a property an architect or craftsman. "High Criterion C through the expression of
must meet at least one of the following artistic values" concerns the expres- aesthetic ideals or preferences. The Grant
requirements: sion of aesthetic ideals or preferences Family House, a modest Federal style
and applies to aesthetic achievement. residence, is significant for its remarkably
• Embody distinctive characteris- Resources "that represent a signifi- well-preserved stenciled wall decorative
tics of a type, period, or method cant and distinguishable entity whose treatment in the entry hall and parlor.
of construction. components may lack individual dis- Painted by an unknown artist ca. 1825,
• Represent the work of a master. tinction" are called "districts." In the this is a fine example of 19th century New
Criteria for Evaluation (as published
England regional artistic expression.
• Possess high artistic value. in the Code of Federal Regulations and
reprinted here in Part II), districts are (Photo by Kirk F. Mohney).

EXAMPLES OF PROPERTIES Distinctive Characteristics: "Dis- Type, Period, and Method of
ASSOCIATED WITH DESIGN/ tinctive characteristics" are the physi- Construction: "Type, period, or
CONSTRUCTION cal features or traits that commonly method of construction" refers to the
Properties associated with design and recur in individual types, periods, or way certain properties are related to
construction: methods of construction. To be one another by cultural tradition or
eligible, a property must clearly function, by dates of construction or
• A house or commercial building rep- contain enough of those characteristics style, or by choice or availability of
resenting a significant style of archi- to be considered a true representative materials and technology.
tecture. of a particular type, period, or method A structure is eligible as a speci-
of construction. men of its type or period of construc-
• A designed park or garden associated
with a particular landscape design Characteristics can be expressed in tion if it is an important example
philosophy. terms such as form, proportion, struc- (within its context) of building
ture, plan, style, or materials. They practices of a particular time in
• A movie theater embodying high ar- can be general, referring to ideas of history. For properties that represent
tistic value in its decorative features. design and construction such as basic the variation, evolution, or transition
plan or form, or they can be specific, of construction types, it must be
• A bridge or dam representing techno- referring to precise ways of combining demonstrated that the variation, etc.,
logical advances. particular kinds of materials. was an important phase of the archi-
tectural development of: the area or
Eligible community in that it had an impact as
APPLYING evidenced by later buildings. A
• A building eligible under the property is not eligible, however,
CRITERION C: theme of Gothic Revival archi- simply because it has been identified
tecture must have the distinc- as the only such property ever fabri-
DESIGN/ tive characteristics that make cated; it must be demonstrated to be
up the vertical and picturesque significant as well.
CONSTRUCTION qualities of the style, such as
pointed gables, steep roof
DISTINCTIVE pitch, board and batten siding, Eligible
and ornamental bargeboard
CHARACTERISTICS OF and veranda trim. • A building that has some char-
TYPE, PERIOD, AND acteristics of the Romanesque
• A late Mississippian village Revival style and some charac-
METHOD OF that illustrates the important teristics of the Commercial
CONSTRUCTION concepts in prehistoric style can qualify if it illustrates
community design and plan- the transition of architectural
This is the portion of Criterion C ning will qualify. design and the transition itself
under which most properties are • A designed historic landscape is considered an important ar-
eligible, for it encompasses all archi- will qualify if it reflects a his- chitectural development.
tectural styles and construction toric trend or school of theory
practices. To be eligible under this • A Hopewellian mound, if it is
and practice, such as the City an important example of
portion of the Criterion, a property Beautiful Movement, evidenc-
must clearly illustrate, through mound building construction
ingdistinguished design, lay- techniques, would qualify as a
"distinctive characteristics/' the out, and the work of skilled
following: method or type of construc-
craftsmanship. tion.
• The pattern of features common Not Eligible
to a particular class of resources, • A building which illustrates
• A commercial building with the early or the developing
• The individuality or variation of some Art Deco detailing is not technology of particular
features that occurs within the eligible under Criterion C if the structural systems, such as
class, detailing was added merely as skeletal steel framing, is eli-
an afterthought, rather than gible as an example of a
• The evolution of that class, or particular method of construc-
fully integrated with overall
• The transition between classes of lines and massing typical of the tion.
resources. Art Deco style or the transition
between that and another style.
• A designed landscape that has
had major changes to its his-
toric design, vegetation, origi-
nal boundary, topography/
grading, architectural features,
and circulation system will not

A property can be significant not
only for the way it was originally
constructed or crafted, but also for the
way it was adapted at a later period,
or for the way it illustrates changing
tastes, attitudes, and uses over a
period of time.
A district is eligible under this
guideline if it illustrates the evolution
of historic character of a place over a
particular span of time.

• A Native American irrigation
system modified for use by
Europeans could be eligible if
it illustrates the technology of
either or both periods of con-
• An early 19th century farm-
Swan Falls Dam and Power Plant, Murphy vicinity, Ada County, Idaho. house modified in the 1880s
Significant works of engineering can qualify under Criterion C. Built between 1900- with Queen Anne style orna-
1907 the Swan Falls Dam and Power Plant across the Snake River is one of the early mentation could be significant
hydroelectric plants in the State of Idaho. (Photo by H.L. Hough). for the modification itself, if it
represented a local variation
or significant trend in building
construction or remodelling,
was the work of a local master
(see Works of a Master on page
20), or reflected the tastes of an
important person associated
with the property at the time
of its alteration.
• A district encompassing the
commercial development of a
town between 1820 and 1910,
characterized by buildings of
various styles and eras, can be

Looney House, Asheville vicinity, St. Clair County, Alabama. Examples of

vernacular styles of architecture can qualify under Criterion C. Built ca. 1818, the
Looney House is significant as possibly the State's oldest extant two-story dogtrot type
of dwelling. The defining open center passage of the dogtrot was a regional building
response to the southern climate. (Photo by Carolyn Scott).

HIGH ARTISTIC VALUES Entity Whose Components May Lack
A master is a figure of generally Individual Distinction. This portion
recognized greatness in a field, a of Criterion C refers to districts. For
High artistic values may be ex- detailed information on districts, refer
known craftsman of consummate pressed in many ways, including
skill, or an anonymous craftsman to Part IV of this bulletin.
areas as diverse as community design
whose work is distinguishable from or planning, engineering, and sculp-
others by its characteristic style and ture. A property is eligible for its
quality. The property must express a high artistic values if it so fully
particular phase in the development articulates a particular concept of
of the master's career, an aspect of his design that it expresses an aesthetic
or her work, or a particular idea or ideal. A property is not eligible,
theme in his or her craft. however, if it does not express
A property is not eligible as the aesthetic ideals or design concepts
work of a master, however, simply more fully than other properties of its
because it was designed by a promi- type.
nent architect. For example, not every
building designed by Frank Lloyd
Wright is eligible under this portion Eligible
of Criterion C, although it might meet
other portions of the Criterion, for • A sculpture in a town square
instance as a representative of the that epitomizes the design
Prairie style. principles of the Art Deco style
The work of an unidentified is eligible.
craftsman is eligible if it rises above • A building that is a classic ex-
the level of workmanship of the other pression of the design theories
properties encompassed by the o^ the Craftsman Style, such as
historic context. carefully detailed handwork,
is eligible.
• A landscaped park that syn-
thesizes early 20th century
principles of landscape archi-
tecture and expresses an aes-
thetic ideal of environment can
be eligible.
• Properties that are important
representatives of the aesthetic
values of a cultural group,
such as petroglyphs and
ground drawings by Native
Americans, are eligible.
Not Eligible
• A sculpture in a town square
that is a typical example of
sculpture design during its pe-
riod would not qualify for
high artistic value, although it
might be eligible if it were sig-
nificant for other reasons.
• A building that is a modest ex-
ample (within its historic con-
text) of the Craftsman Style of
architecture, or a landscaped
park that is characteristic of
turn of the century landscape
design would not qualify for
high artistic value.

Properties may be eligible for the National Register if they have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information im-
portant in prehistory or history.

data gaps or alternative theories that BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES,

UNDERSTANDING challenge existing ones or 2) priority AND OBJECTS
areas identified under a State or
CRITERION D: Federal agency management plan. While most often applied to
INFORMATION archeological districts and sites,
APPLYING Criterion D can also apply to build-
POTENTIAL ings, structures, and objects that
CRITERION D: contain important information. In
order for these types of properties to
Certain important research ques-
tions about human history can only be INFORMATION be eligible under Criterion D, they
themselves must be, or must have
answered by the actual physical
material of cultural resources. Crite- POTENTIAL been, the principal source of the
rion D encompasses the properties important information.
that have the potential to answer, in ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES
whole or in part, those types of Eligible
research questions. The most com- Criterion D most commonly
mon type of property nominated • A building exhibiting a local
applies to properties that contain or variation on a standard design
under this Criterion is the archeologi- are likely to contain information
cal site (or a district comprised of or construction technique can
bearing on an important archeological be eligible if study could yield
archeological sites). Buildings, research question. The property must
objects, and structures (or districts have characteristics suggesting the important information, such as
comprised of these property types), likelihood that it possesses configura- how local availability of mate-
however, can also be eligible for their tions of artifacts, soil strata, structural rials or construction expertise
information potential. remains, or other natural or cultural affected the evolution of local
Criterion D has two requirements, features that make it possible to do building development.
which must both be met for a property the following: Not Eligible
to qualify:
• Test a hypothesis or hypotheses • The ruins of a hacienda once
• The property must have, or have contained murals that have
had, information to contribute to about events, groups, or pro-
cesses in the past that bear on im- since been destroyed. Histori-
our understanding of human his- cal documentation, however,
tory or prehistory, and portant research questions in the
social or natural sciences or the indicates that the murals were
• The information must be consid- humanities; or significant for their highly un-
ered important. usual design. The ruins can
• Corroborate or amplify currently not be eligible under Criterion
Under the first of these require- available information suggesting D for the importance of the de-
ments, a property is eligible if it has that a hypothesis is either true or stroyed murals if the informa-
been used as a source oi data and false; or tion is contained only in the
contains more, as yet unretrieved documentation.
data. A property is also eligible if it • Reconstruct the sequence of ar-
has not yet yielded information but, cheological cultures for the pur-
through testing or research, is deter- pose of identifying and explain-
mined a likely source of data. ing continuities and discontinu-
Under the second requirement, the ities in the archeological record
information must be carefully evalu- for a particular area.
ated within an appropriate context to
determine its importance. Informa-
tion is considered "important" when
it is shown to have a significant
bearing on a research design that
addresses such areas as: 1) current

property. Research questions can be
related to property-specific issues, to
broader questions about a large
geographic area, or to theoretical
issues independent of any particular
geographic location. These questions
may be derived from the academic
community or from preservation
programs at the local, regional, State,
or national level. Research questions
are usually developed as part of a
"research design," which specifies not
only the questions to be asked, but
also the types of data needed to
supply the answers, and often the
techniques needed to recover the data.

Criterion D - Chantpe-Frentont 1 Archeological Site, Omaha vicinity, Douglas

County, Nebraska. This archeological site, dating from ca. 1100-1450 A.D., consists of • When a site consisting of a vil-
pit houses and storage pits which have the potential to yield important information lage occupation with midden
concerning the subsistence patterns, religious and mortuary practices, and social deposits, hearths, ceramics,
organization of the prehistoric residents of eastern Nebraska. (Nebraska State and stratified evidence of sev-
Historical Society) eral occupations is being
evaluated, three possible re-
search topics could be: 1) the
HUMAN ACTIVITY CONTEXT occupants were indigenous to
the area prior to the time of oc-
A property must be associated with The information that a property cupation or recent arrivals, 2)
human activity and be critical for yields, or will yield, must be evalu- the investigation of the settle-
understanding a site's historic environ- ated within an appropriate historic ment-subsistence pattern of
ment in order to be eligible under context. This will entail consulting the occupants, 3) the question
Criterion D. A property can be linked the body of information already of whether the region was a
to human activity through events, collected from similar properties or center for the domestication of
processes, institutions, design, con- other pertinent sources, including plants. Specific questions
struction, settlement, migration, ideals, modern and historic written records. could include: A) Do the de-
beliefs, lifeways, and other facets of the The researcher must be able to posits show a sequential de-
development or maintenance of anticipate if and how the potential velopment or sudden intro-
cultural systems. information will affect the definition duction of Ceramic Type X?
The natural environment associated of the context. The information likely B) Do the dates of the occupa-
with the properties was often very to be obtained from a particular tions fit our expectations based
different from that of the present and property must confirm, refute, or on the current model for the
strongly influenced cultural develop- supplement in an important way reoccupation behavior of
ment. Aspects of the environment that existing information. slash-and-burn agricultural-
are pertinent to human activities A property is not eligible if it ists? C) Can any genetic
should be considered when evaluating cannot be related to a particular time changes in the food plant re-
properties under Criterion D. period or cultural group and, as a mains be detected?
Natural features and paleontological result, lacks any historic context Not Eligible
(floral and faunal) sites are not usually within which to evaluate the impor-
eligible under Criterion D in and of tance of the information to be gained. • A property is not eligible if so
themselves. They can be eligible, little can be understood about
however, if they are either directly DEVELOPING RESEARCH it that it is not possible to de-
related to human activity or critical to termine if specific important
understanding a site's historic environ- QUESTIONS research questions can be an-
ment. In a few cases, a natural feature swered by data contained in
or site unmarked by cultural materials, Having established the importance the property.
that is primarily eligible under Crite- of the information that may be
rion A, may also be eligible under recovered, it is necessary to be explicit
Criterion D, if study of the feature, or in demonstrating the connection
its location, setting, etc. (usually in the between the important information
context of data gained from other and a specific property. One ap-
sources), will yield important informa- proach is to determine if specific
tion about the event or period with important research questions can be
which it is associated. answered by the data contained in the

The assessment of integrity for
DATA properties considered for information The current existence of appropri-
potential depends on the data require- ate physical remains must be ascer-
To support the assertion that a ments of the applicable research
property has the data necessary to tained in considering a property's
design. A property possessing ability to yield important information.
provide the important information, information potential does not need to
the property should be investigated Properties that have been partly
recall visually an event, person, excavated or otherwise disturbed and
with techniques sufficient to establish process, or construction technique. It
the presence of relevant data catego- that are being considered for their
is important that the significant data potential to yield additional impor-
ries. What constitutes appropriate contained in the property remain
investigation techniques would tant information must be shown to
sufficiently intact to yield the ex- retain that potential in their remaining
depend upon specific circumstances pected important information, if the
including the property's location, portions.
appropriate study techniques are
condition, and the research questions employed.
being addressed, and could range
from surface survey (or photographic Eligible
survey for buildings), to the applica- • A site that has been partially
tion of remote sensing techniques or Eligible
excavated but still retains sub-
intensive subsurface testing. Justifica- • An irrigation system signifi- stantial intact deposits (or a
tion of the research potential of a cant for the information it will site in which the remaining de-
property may be based on analogy to yield on early engineering posits are small but contain
another better known property if practices can still be eligible critical information on a topic
sufficient similarities exist to establish even though it is now filled in that is not well known) is eli-
the appropriateness of the analogy. and no longer retains the ap- gible.
pearance of an open canal.
Not Eligible
Not Eligible
Eligible • A totally collected surface site
• A plowed archeological site or a completely excavated bur-
• Data requirements depend on contains several superimposed
the specific research topics and ied site is not eligible since the
components that have been physical remains capable of
questions to be addressed. To mixed to the extent that arti-
continue the example in "De- yielding important informa-
fact assemblages cannot be re- tion no longer exist at the site.
veloping Research Questions" constructed. The site cannot
above, we might want to ascer- (See Completely Excavated Sites,
be eligible if the data require- on page 24, for exception.)
tain the following with refer- ments of the research design
ence to questions A, B, and C: Likewise, a site that has been
call for the study of artifacts looted or otherwise disturbed
A) The site contains Ceramic specific to one component.
Type X in one or more occupa- to the extent that the remain-
tion levels and we expect to be ing cultural materials have lost
able to document the local their important depositional
evaluation of the type or its in- context (horizontal or vertical
trusive nature. B) The hearths location of deposits) is not eli-
contain datable carbon deposits gible.
and are associated with more • A reconstructed mound or
than one occupation. C) The other reconstructed site will
midden deposits show good
floral/faunal preservation, and generally not be considered
we know enough about the eligible, because original cul-
physical evolution of food tural materials or context or
plants to interpret signs that both have been lost.
suggest domestication.
Not Eligible
• Generally, if the applicable re-
search design requires clearly
stratified deposits, then subsur-
face investigation techniques
must be applied. A site com-
posed only of surface materials
can not be eligible for its poten-
tial to yield information that
could only be found in strati-
fied deposits.

Properties that have yielded
important information in the past and
that no longer retain additional
research potential (such as completely
excavated archeological sites) must be
assessed essentially as historic sites
under Criterion A. Such sites must be
significant for associative values
related to: 1) the importance of the
data gained or 2) the impact of the
property's role in the history of the
development of anthropology/
archeology or other relevant disci-
plines. Like other historic properties,
the site must retain the ability to
convey its association as the former
repository of important information,
the location of historic events, or the
representative of important trends.

• A property that has been exca-
vated is eligible if the data re-
covered was of such impor-
tance that it influenced the di-
rection of research in the disci-
pline, as in a site that clearly
established the antiquity of the
human occupation of the New
World. (See Criterion A in
Part VI: How to Identify the
Type of Significance of a Property
and Criteria Consideration G
in Part VII: How to Apply the
Criteria Considerations.)
Not Eligible
• A totally excavated site that at
one time yielded important in-
formation but that no longer
can convey either its historic/
prehistoric utilization or sig-
nificant modern investigation
is not eligible.

the property is of a type that is b. a building or structure removed
INTRODUCTION usually excluded from the Na- from its original location but
tional Register. The sections that which is significant primarily for
Certain kinds of properties are not follow also list specific examples architectural value, or which is
usually considered for listing in the of properties of each type. If the surviving structure most im-
National Register: religious proper- your property clearly does not fit portantly associated with a his-
ties, moved properties, birthplaces one of these types, then it does toric person or event; or
and graves, cemeteries, reconstructed not need to meet any special re- c. a birthplace or grave of a histori-
properties, commemorative proper- quirements. cal figure of outstanding impor-
ties, and properties achieving signifi-
cance within the past fifty years. • If your property does fit one o^ tance if there is no appropriate
These properties can be eligible for these types, then it must meet the site or building directly associ-
listing, however, if they meet special special requirements stipulated ated with his or her productive
requirements, called Criteria Consid- for that type in the Criteria Con- life; or
erations, in addition to meeting the siderations. d. a cemetery which derives its pri-
regular requirements (that is, being mary significance from graves of
eligible under one or more of the four persons of transcendent impor-
Criteria and possessing integrity). CRITERIA
tance, from age, from distinctive
Part VII provides guidelines for CONSIDERATIONS* design features, from association
determining which properties must with historic events; or
meet these special requirements and Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces,
for applying each Criteria Consider- or graves of historical figures, proper- e. a reconstructed building when
ation. ties owned by religious institutions or accurately executed in a suitable
The Criteria Considerations need to used for religious purposes, structures environment and presented in a
be applied only to individual proper- that have been moved from their dignified manner as part of a res-
ties. Components of eligible districts original locations, reconstructed toration master plan, and when
do not have to meet the special historic buildings, properties prima- no other building or structure
requirements unless they make up the rily commemorative in nature, and with the same association has
majority of the district or are the focal properties that have achieved signifi- survived; or
point of the district. These are the cance within the past fifty years shall f. a property primarily commemo-
general steps to follow when applying not be considered eligible for the rative in intent if design, age, tra-
the Criteria Considerations to your National Register. However, such dition, or symbolic value has in-
property: properties will qualify if they are vested it with its own exceptional
integral parts of districts that do meet significance; or,
• Before looking at the Criteria the criteria or if they fall within the
Considerations, make sure your following categories: g. a property achieving significance
property meets one or more of within the past 50 years if it is of
a. a religious property deriving pri- exceptional importance.
the four Criteria for Evaluation mary significance from architec-
and possesses integrity. tural or artistic distinction or his-
• If it does, check the Criteria Con- torical importance; or *The Criteria Considerations are taken from
siderations (next column) to see if the Criteria for Evaluation, found in the Code of
Federal Regulations, Title 36, Part 60.

A religious property is eligible if it derives its primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical

Examples of Properties that MUST

UNDERSTANDING Meet Criteria Consideration A: Reli- APPLYING
gions Properties
CONSIDERATION • A historic church where an inipor- CONSIDERATION
tant non-religious event occurred,
A: RELIGIOUS such as a speetfi by Patrick Henry. A: RELIGIOUS
PROPERTIES • A historic synagogue that is signifi-
cant for architecture. PROPERTIES
A religious property requires • A private residence is the site of a
justification on architectural, artistic, meeting important to religious his- ELIGIBILITY FOR HISTORIC
or historic grounds to avoid any tory. EVENTS
appearance of judgment by govern- • A commercial block that is currently
ment about the validity of any reli- owned as an investment property by
gion or belief. Historic significance A religious property can be eligible
a religious institution. under Criterion A for any of three rea-
for a religious property cannot be
established on the merits of a reli- • A historic district in which religion sons:
gious doctrine, but rather, for archi- was either a predominant or signifi- • It is significant under a theme in
tectural or artistic values or for cant function during the period of the history of religion having
important historic or cultural forces significance. secular scholarly recognition; or
that the property represents. A Example of Properties that DO NOT
religious property's significance • It is significant under another his-
Need to Meet Criteria Consideration torical theme, such as explora-
under Criterion A, B, C, or D must be A: Religious Properties
judged in purely secular terms. A tion, settlement, social philan-
religious group may, in some cases, thropy, or education; or
• A residential or commercial district
be considered a cultural group whose that currently contains a small num- • It is significantly associated with
activities are significant in areas ber of churches that are not a pre- traditional cultural values.
broader than religious history. dominant feature of the district.
Criteria Consideration for Reli- • A town meeting hall that serves as
gious Properties applies: the center of community activity and
houses a wide variety of public
• If the resource was constructed and private meetings, including reli-
by a religious institution. gious service. The resource is sig-
nificant for architecture and politics,
• If the resource is presently and the religious function is inciden-
owned by a religious institution tal
or is used for religious purposes.
• A town hall, significant for politics
• If the resource was owned by a from 1875 to 1925, that housed
religious institution or used for religious services during the 1950s.
religious purposes during its Pe- Since the religious function occurred
riod of Significance. after the Period of Significance, the
• If Religion is selected as an Area Criteria Consideration does not ap-
of Significance.

A religious property can be eligible
if it is directly associated with either a When evaluating properties A religious property can be eligible
specific event or a broad pattern in the associated with traditional cultures, it for association with a person impor-
history of religion. is important to recognize that often tant in religious history, if that
these cultures do not make clear significance has scholarly, secular
Eligible distinctions between what is secular recognition or is important in other
and what is sacred. Criteria Consider- historic contexts. Individuals who
• The site of a convention at ation A is not intended to exclude would likely be considered significant
which a significant denomina- traditional cultural resources merely are those who formed or significantly
tional split occurred meets the because they have religious uses or influenced an important religious
requirements of Criteria Con- are considered sacred. A property or institution or movement, or who were
sideration A. Also eligible is a natural feature important to a tradi- important in the social, economic, or
property that illustrates the tional culture's religion and mythol- political history of the area. Proper-
broad impact of a religious in- ogy is eligible if its importance has ties associated with individuals
stitution on the history of a lo- been ethnohistorically documented important only within the context of a
cal area. and if the site can be clearly defined. single congregation and lacking
Not Eligible It is critical, however, that the activi- importance in any other historic
ties be documented and that the context would not be eligible under
• A religious property cannot be associations not be so diffuse that the Criterion B.
eligible simply because was physical resource cannot be ad-
the place of religious services equately defined.8
for a community, or was the Eligible
oldest structure used by a reli-
gious group in a local area. Eligible • A religious property strongly
associated with a religious
• A specific location or natural leader, such as George
feature that an Indian tribe be- Whitefield or Joseph Smith, is
OTHER HISTORICAL lieves to be its place of origin eligible.
THEMES and that is adequately docu-
mented qualifies under Crite-
A religious property can be eligible ria Consideration A.
if it is directly associated with either a
specific event or a broad pattern that
is significant in another historic
context. A religious property would
also qualify if it were significant for
its associations that illustrate the
importance of a particular religious
group in the social, cultural, eco-
nomic, or political history of the area.
Eligibility depends on the importance
of the event or broad pattern and the
role of the specific property.

• A religious property can
qualify for its important role
as a temporary hospital during
the Revolutionary War, or if its
school was significant in the
history of education in the
Not Eligible
• A religious property is not sig-
nificant in the history of edu-
cation in a community simply
because it had occasionally
served as a school. 8
For more information on applying Criteria Consideration A to traditional cultural properties,
refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural
A religious property, whether a As with all eligible properties,
A religious property significant for district, site, building, structure, or religious properties must physically
its architectural design or construc- object, is eligible if it can yield impor- represent the period of time for which
tion should be evaluated as are other tant information about the religious they are significance. For instance, a
properties under Criterion C; that is, practices of a cultural group or other recent building that houses an older
it should be evaluated within an historic themes. This kind of property congregation cannot qualify based on
established architectural context and, should be evaluated as are other the historic activities of the group
if necessary, compared to other properties under Criterion D, in because the current building does not
properties of its type, period, or relation to similar properties, other convey the earlier history. Likewise,
information sources, and existing data an older building that housed the
method of construction. (See "Com- historic activities of the congregation
paring Related Properties" in Part V: gaps.
is eligible if it still physically repre-
How to Evaluate a Property Within Its sents the period of the congregation's
Historic Context.) significance. However, if an older
building has been remodeled to the
• A 19th century camp meeting extent that its appearance dates from
Eligible site that could provide infor- the time of the remodeling, it can only
• A historic camp meeting dis- mation about the length and be eligible if the period of significance
trict that meets the require- intensity of site use during re- corresponds with the period of the
ments of Criterion C for its sig- vivals of the Second Great alterations.
nificance as a type of construc- Awakening is eligible.
tion is eligible. • Rock cairns or medicine
wheels that had a historic reli- Eligible
gious mythological function • A church built in the 18th cen-
and can provide information tury and altered beyond recog-
about specific cultural beliefs nition in the 19th century is
are eligible. eligible only if the additions
are important in themselves as
an example of late 19th cen-
tury architecture or as a reflec-
tion of an important period of
the congregation's growth.
Not Eligible
• A synagogue built in the 1920s
cannot be eligible for the im-
portant activities of its congre-
gation in the 18th and 19th
centuries. It can only be eli-
gible for significance obtained
after its construction date.
• A rural 19th century frame
church recently sheathed in
brick is not eligible because it
has lost its characteristic ap-
pearance and therefore can no
longer convey its 19th century
significance, either for archi-
tectural value or historic asso-

Criteria Consideration A - Religious Properties. A religious property can qualify

as an exception to the Criteria if it is architecturally significant. The Church of the
Navity in Rosedale, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, qualified as a rare example in the State
of a 19th century small frame Gothic Revival style chapel. (Robert Obier)

A property removed from its original or historically significant location can be eligible if it is significant primarily
for architectural value or it is the surviving property most importantly associated with a historic person or event.

Examples of Properties that MUST

UNDERSTANDING APPLYING Meet Criteria Consideration B:
Moved Properties
CRITERIA CRITERIA • A resource moved from one location
CONSIDERATION CONSIDERATION on its original site to another loca-
tion on the property, during or after
B: MOVED B: MOVED its Period of Significance.

PROPERTIES PROPERTIES • A district in which a significant

number of resources have been
moved from their original location.
The National Register criteria limit ELIGIBILITY FOR
the consideration of moved properties • A district which has one moved
because significance is embodied in ARCHITECTURAL VALUE building that makes an especially
locations and settings as well as in the significant contribution to the dis-
properties themselves. Moving a A moved property significant trict.
property destroys the relationships under Criterion C must retain enough
historic features to convey its architec- • A portable resource, such as a ship or
between the property and its sur- railroad car, that is relocated to a
roundings and destroys associations tural values and retain integrity of
design, materials, workmanship, place incompatible with its original
with historic events and persons. A function.
move may also cause the loss of feeling, and association.
historic features such as landscaping, • A portable resource, such as a ship or
foundations, and chimneys, as well as railroad car, whose importance is
loss of the potential for associated critically linked to its historic loca-
archeological deposits. Properties tion or route and that is moved.
that were moved before their period of
Examples of Properties that DO NOT
significance do not need to meet the
Need to Meet Criteria Consideration
special requirements of Criteria
B: Moved Properties
Consideration B.
One of the basic purposes of the • A property that is moved prior to its
National Register is to encourage the Period of Significance.
preservation of historic properties as
living parts of their communities. In • A district in which only a small per-
keeping with this purpose, it is not centage of typical buildings in a dis-
usual to list artificial groupings of trict are moved.
buildings that have been created for • A moved building that is part of a
purposes of interpretation, protection, complex but is of less significance
or maintenance. Moving buildings to than the remaining (unmoved)
such a grouping destroys the integrity buildings.
of location and setting, and can create
a false sense of historic development. • A portable resource, such as a ship or
railroad car, that is eligible under
Criterion C and is moved within its
natural setting (water, rails, etc.).
• A property that is raised or lowered
on its foundations.

A moved property significant In addition to the requirements For a property whose design values
under Criteria A or B must be demon- above, moved properties must still or historical associations are directly
strated to be the surviving property have an orientation, setting, and dependent on its location, any move
most importantly associated with a general environment that are compa- will cause the property to lose its
particular historic event or an impor- rable to those of the historic location integrity and prevent it from convey-
tant aspect of a historic person's life. and that are compatible with the ing its significance.
The phrase "most importantly associ- property's significance.
ated" means that it must be the single
surviving property that is most Eligible
closely associated with the event or Eligible
with the part of the person's life for • A farm structure significant
which he or she is significant. • A property significant as an only as an example of a
example of mid-19th century method of construction pecu-
rural house type can be eli- liar to the local area is still eli-
Eligible gible after a move, provided gible if it is moved within that
that it is placed on a lot that is local area and the new setting
• A moved building occupied by sufficient in size and character is similar to that of the original
an business woman during the to recall the basic qualities of location.
majority of her productive ca- the historic environment and
reer would be eligible if the setting, and provided that the Not Eligible
other extant properties are a building is sited appropriately • A 19th century rural residence
house she briefly inhabited in relation to natural and that was designed around par-
prior to her period of signifi- manmade surroundings. ticular topographic features,
cance and a commercial build- reflecting that time period's
ing she owned after her retire- Not Eligible
ideals of environment, is not
ment. • A rural house that is moved eligible if moved.
Not Eligible into an urban area and a
bridge that is no longer situ-
• A moved building associated ated over a waterway are not
with the beginning of rail eligible.
transportation in a community
is not eligible if the original
railroad station and ware-
house remained intact on their
original sites.

A moved portion of a building,
A property designed to move or a An artificially created grouping of structure, or object is not eligible
property frequently moved during its buildings, structures, or objects is not because, as a fragment of a larger
historic use must be located in a eligible unless it has achieved signifi- resource, it has lost integrity of
historically appropriate setting in cance since the time of its assemblage. design, setting, materials, workman-
order to qualify, retaining its integrity It cannot be considered as a reflection ship, and location.
of setting, design, feeling, and associa- of the time period when the indi-
tion. Such properties include automo- vidual buildings were constructed.
biles, railroad cars and engines, and

Eligible • A grouping of moved historic

buildings whose creation
• A ship docked in a harbor, a marked the beginning of a ma-
locomotive on tracks or in a jor concern with past lifestyles
railyard, and a bridge relo- can qualify as an early attempt
cated from one body of water at historic preservation and as
to another are eligible. an illustration of that genera-
tion's values.
Not Eligible
Not Eligible
• A ship on land in a park, a
bridge placed in a pasture, or a • A rural district composed of a
locomotive displayed in an in- farmhouse on its original site
door museum are not eligible. and a grouping oi historic
barns recently moved onto the
property is not eligible.

A birthplace or grave of a historical figure is eligible if the person is of outstanding importance and if there is no
other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life.


strongly associated with a person of
C: BIRTHPLACES C: BIRTHPLACES outstanding importance has lost all
other properties directly associated
AND GRAVES AND GRAVES with his or her formative years or
productive life, a birthplace or grave
Birthplaces and graves often attain PERSONS OF may be eligible.
importance as reflections o( the origins OUTSTANDING
of important persons or as lasting
memorials to them. The lives of IMPORTANCE
persons significant in our past nor-
mally are recognized by the National The phrase "a historical figure of
Register through listing of properties outstanding importance" means that
illustrative of or associated with that in order for a birthplace or grave to
person's productive life's work. qualify, it cannot be simply the
Birthplaces and graves, as properties birthplace or grave of a person
that represent the beginning and the significant in our past (Criterion B). It
end of the life of distinguished indi- must be the birthplace or grave of an
viduals, may be temporally and individual who was of outstanding
geographically far removed from the importance in the history of the local
person's significant activities, and area, State, or nation. The birthplace
therefore are not usually considered or grave of an individual who was
eligible. one of several people active in some
aspect of the history of a community,
Examples of Properties that MUST a state, or the Nation would not be
Meet Criteria Consideration C: Birth- eligible.
places and Graves
• The birthplace of a significant person
who lived elsewhere during his or her
Period of Significance.
• A grave that is nominated for its as-
sociation with the significant person
buried in it.
• A grave that is nominated for infor-
mation potential.
Examples of Properties that DO NOT
Need to Meet Criteria Consideration
C: Birthplaces and Graves
• A house that was inhabited by a sig-
nificant person for his or her entire
• A grave located on the grounds of the
house where a significant person
spent his or her productive years.
A birthplace or grave can also be
eligible if it is significant for reasons
other than association with the
productive life of the person in
question. It can be eligible for signifi-
cance under Criterion A for associa-
tion with important events, under
Criterion B for association with the
productive lives of other important
persons, or under Criterion C for
architectural significance. A birth-
place or grave can also be eligible in
rare cases if, after the passage of time,
it is significant for its commemorative
value. (See Criteria Consideration F
for a discussion of commemorative
properties.) A birthplace or grave can
also be eligible under Criterion D if it
contains important information on
research, e.g., demography, pathol-
ogy, mortuary practices, socioeco- Criteria Consideration C - Birthplaces. A birthplace of a historical figure is eligible
nomic status differentiation. if the person is of outstanding importance and there is no other appropriate site or
building associated with his or her productive life. The Walter Reed Birthplace,
Gloucester vicinity, Gloucester County, Virginia is the most appropriate remaining
building associated with the life of the man who, in 1900, discovered the cause and
mode of transmission of the great scourge of the tropics, yellow fever. (Virginia
Historic Landmarks Commission)

A cemetery is eligible if it derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from
age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events.

Examples of Properties that MUST

UNDERSTANDING Meet Criteria Consideration D: APPLYING
CONSIDERATION • A cemetery that is nominated indi-
vidually for Criterion A, B, or C,
Examples of Properties that DO NOT
A cemetery is a collection of graves Need to Meet Criteria Consideration PERSONS OF
that is marked by stones or other D: Cemeteries
artifacts or that is unmarked but
recognizable by features such as • A cemetery that is nominated along IMPORTANCE
fencing or depressions, or through with its associated church, but the
maps, or by means of testing. Cem- church is the main resource nomi- A cemetery containing the graves
eteries serve as a primary means of an nated. of persons of transcendent importance
individual's recognition of family • A cemetery that is nominated under may be eligible. To be of transcendent
history and as expressions of collec- Criterion D for information poten- importance the persons must have
tive religious and/or ethnic identity. tial. been of great eminence in their fields
Because cemeteries may embody of endeavor or had a great impact
values beyond personal or family- • A cemetery that is nominated as part upon the history of their community,
specific emotions, the National of a district but is not the focal point State, or nation. (A single grave that
Register criteria allow for listing of of the district. is the burial place of an important
cemeteries under certain conditions. person and is located in a larger
cemetery that does not qualify under
this Criteria Consideration should be
treated under Criteria Consideration
C: Birthplaces and Graves.)

• A historic cemetery containing
the graves of a number of per-
sons who were exceptionally
significant in determining the
course of a State's political or
economic history during a par-
ticular period is eligible.
Not Eligible
• A cemetery containing graves
of State legislators is not eli-
gible if they simply performed
the daily business of State gov-
ernment and did not have an
outstanding impact upon the
Criteria Consideration D - Cemeteries. The Hancock Cemetery, Quincy, Norfolk nature and direction of the
County, Massachusetts meets the exception to the Criteria because it derives its State's history.
primary significance from its great age (the earliest burials date from 1640) and from
the distinctive design features found in its rich collection of late 17th and early 18th
century funerary art. (N. Hobart Holly)
Cemeteries can be eligible if they Cemeteries, both historic and
have achieved historic significance for Cemeteries may be associated with prehistoric, can be eligible if they
their relative great age in a particular historic events including specific have the potential to yield important
geographic or cultural context. important events or general events information. The information must be
that illustrate broad patterns. important within a specific context
and the potential to yield information
Eligible must be demonstrated.
Eligible A cemetery can qualify if it has
• A cemetery dating from a potential to yield important informa-
community's original 1830s • A cemetery associated with an tion provided that the information it
settlement can attain signifi- important Civil War battle is contains is not available in extant
cance from its association with eligible. documentary evidence.
that very early period.
• A cemetery associated with the
settlement of an area by an
ethnic or cultural group is eli- Eligible
ELIGIBILITY FOR DESIGN gible if the movement of the • A cemetery associated with the
group into the area had an im- settlement of a particular cul-
Cemeteries can qualify on the basis portant impact, if other prop- tural group will qualify if it
of distinctive design values. These erties associated with that has the potential to yield im-
values refer to the same design values group are rare, and if few portant information about sub-
addressed in Criterion C and can documentary sources have jects such as demography,
include aesthetic or technological survived to provide informa- variations in mortuary prac-
achievement in the fields of city tion about the group's tices, or the study of the cause
planning, architecture, landscape history. of death correlated with nutri-
architecture, engineering, mortuary tion or other variables.
art, and sculpture. As for all other Not Eligible
nominated properties, a cemetery • A cemetery associated with a
must clearly express its design values battle in the Civil War does
and be able to convey its historic not qualify if the battle was
appearance. not important in the history of
the war.
Eligible • A cemetery associated with an
area's settlement by an ethnic
• A Victorian cemetery is eli- or cultural group is not eli-
gible if it clearly expresses the gible if the impact of the group
aesthetic principlesrelated to on the area cannot be estab-
funerary design for that pe- lished, if other extant historic
riod, through such features as properties better convey asso-
the overall plan, landscaping, ciation with the group, or if
statuary, sculpture, fencing, the information that the cem-
buildings, and grave markers. etery can impart is available in
Not Eligible documentary sources.
• A cemetery cannot be eligible
for design values if it no
longer conveys its historic ap-
pearance because of the intro-
duction of new grave markers.

INTEGRITY NATIONAL CEMETERIES its history, the age of the cemetery is
not a factor in judging eligibility,
Assessing the integrity of a historic National Cemeteries administered although integrity must be present.
cemetery entails evaluating principal by the Veterans Administration are A national cemetery or a portion of
design features such as plan, grave eligible because they have been a national cemetery that has only been
markers, and any related elements designated by Congress as primary set aside for use in the future is not
(such as fencing). Only that portion memorials to the military history of eligible.
of a historic cemetery that retains its the United States. Those areas within
historic integrity can be eligible. If the a designated national cemetery that
overall integrity has been lost because have been used or prepared for the
of the number and size of recent grave reception of the remains of veterans
markers, some features such as and their dependents, as well as any
buildings, structures, or objects that landscaped areas that immediately
retain integrity may be considered as surround the graves may qualify.
individual properties if they are of Because these cemeteries draw their
such historic or artistic importance significance from the presence of the
that they individually meet one or remains of military personnel who
more of the requirements listed have served the country throughout

A reconstructed property is eligible when it is accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dig-
nified manner as part of a restoration master plan and when no other building or structure with the same associations
has survived. All three of these requirements must be met.


CRITERIA CRITERIA The phrase "suitable environment"
refers to: 1) the physical context
CONSIDERATION E: CONSIDERATION E: provided by the historic district and
2) any interpretive scheme, if the
RECONSTRUCTED RECONSTRUCTED historic district is used for interpretive
purposes. This means that the
PROPERTIES PROPERTIES reconstructed property must be
located at the same site as the original.
"Reconstruction" is defined as the It must also be situated in its original
ACCURACY OF THE grouping of buildings, structures, and
reproduction of the exact form and
detail of a vanished building, struc- RECONSTRUCTION objects (as many as are extant), and
ture, object, or a part thereof, as it that grouping must retain integrity.
appeared at a specific period of time. The phrase "accurately executed" In addition, the reconstruction must
Reconstructed buildings fall into two means that the reconstruction must be not be misrepresented as an authentic
categories: buildings wholly con- based upon sound archeological, historic property.
structed of new materials and build- architectural, and historic data con-
ings reassembled from some historic cerning the historic construction and
and some new materials. BotH catego- appearance of the resource. That Eligible
ries of properties present problems in documentation should include both
• A reconstructed plantation
meeting the integrity requirements of analysis of any above or below ground
manager's office building is
the National Register criteria. material and research in written and
considered eligible because it
other records.
is located at its historic site,
Examples of Properties that MUST grouped with the remaining
Meet Criteria Consideration E: Recon- historic plantation buildings
structed Properties and structures, and the planta-
• A property in which most or all of the tion as a whole retains integ-
fabric is not original. rity. Interpretation of the
plantation district includes an
• A district in which an important re- explanation that the manager's
source or a significant number of re- office is not the original build-
sources are reconstructions. ing, but a reconstruction.
Examples of Properties that DO NOT Not Eligible
Need to Meet Criteria Consideration E:
Reconstructed Properties • The same reconstructed plan-
tation manager's office build-
• A property that is remodeled or reno- ing would not qualify if it
vated and still has the majority of its were rebuilt at a location dif-
original fabric. ferent from that of the original
building, or if the district as a
whole no longer reflected the
period for which it is signifi-
cant, or if a misleading inter-
pretive scheme were used for
the district or for the recon-
struction itself.

Being presented "as part of a This consideration also stipulates After the passage of fifty years, a
restoration master plan" means that: that a reconstruction can qualify if, in reconstruction may attain its own
1) a reconstructed property is an addition to the other requirements, no significance for what it reveals about
essential component in a historic other building, object, or structure the period in which it was built,
district and 2) the reconstruction is with the same association has sur- rather than the historic period it was
part of an overall restoration plan for vived. A reconstruction that is part of intended to depict. On that basis, a
an entire district. "Restoration" is a restoration master plan is appropri- reconstruction can possibly qualify
defined as accurately recovering the ate only if: 1) the property is the only under any of the Criteria.
form and details of a property and its one in the district with which a
setting as it appeared at a particular particular important activity or event
period by removing later work or by has been historically associated or
replacing missing earlier work (as 2) no other property with the same
opposed to completely rebuilding the associative values has survived.
property). The master plan for the
entire property must emphasize
restoration, not reconstruction. In
other words, the master plan for the
entire resource would not be accept-
able under this consideration if it
called for reconstruction of a majority
of the resource.

• A reconstructed plantation
manager's office is eligible if
the office were an important
component of the plantation
and if the reconstruction is one
element in an overall plan for
restoring the plantation and if
no other building or structure
with the same associations has
• The reconstruction of the plan-
tation manager's office build-
ing can be eligible only if the
majority of buildings, struc-
tures, and objects that com-
prised the plantation are ex-
tant and are being restored.
For guidance regarding resto-
ration see the Secretary of the
Interior's Standards for Historic
Preservation Projects.

A property primarily commemorative in intent can be eligible if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested
it with its own historical significance.

UNDERSTANDING Examples of Properties that MUST

Meet Criteria Consideration F: APPLYING
CRITERIA Commemorative Properties
• A property whose sole or primary
CONSIDERATION F: function is commemorative or in CONSIDERATION F:
which the commemorative function
COMMEMORATIVE is of primary significance. COMMEMORATIVE
PROPERTIES Examples of Properties that DO NOT
Need to Meet Criteria Consideration
Commemorative properties are F: Commemorative Properties
designed or constructed after the
• A resource that has a non-
occurrence of an important historic commemorative primary function
event or after the life of an important A commemorative property derives
or significance. its design from the aesthetic values of
person. They are not directly associ-
ated with the event or with the • A single marker that is a component the period of its creation. A com-
person's productive life, but serve as of a district (whether contributing or memorative property, therefore, may
evidence of a later generation's assess- non-contributi ng). be significant for the architectural,
ment of the past. Their significance artistic, or other design qualities of its
comes from their value as cultural own period in prehistory or history.
expressions at the date of their cre-
ation. Therefore, a commemorative
property generally must be over fifty Eligible
years old and must possess signifi- • A commemorative statue situ-
cance based on its own value, not on ated in a park or square is eli-
the value of the event or person being gible if it expresses the aesthet-
memorialized. ics or craftsmanship of the pe-
riod when it was made, meet-
ing Criterion C.
• A late 19th century statue
erected on a courthouse square
to commemorate Civil War vet-
erans would qualify if it reflects
that era's shared perception of
the noble character and valor of
the veterans and their cause.
This was commonly conveyed
by portraying idealized soldiers
or allegorical figures of battle,
victory, or sacrifice.

VALUE • A commemorative marker AN EVENT OR PERSON
erected in the past by a cul-
A commemorative property cannot tural group at the site of an The loss of properties directly
qualify for association with the event event in its history would not associated with a significant event or
or person it memorializes. A com- be eligible if the marker were person does not strengthen the case
memorative property may, however, significant only for association for consideration of a commemorative
acquire significance after the time of with the event, and it had not property. Unlike birthplaces and
its creation through age, tradition, or become significant itself graves, a commemorative property
symbolic value. This significance must through tradition. usually has no direct historic associa-
be documented by accepted methods • A building erected as a monu- tion. The commemorative property
of historical research, including ment to an important histori- can qualify for historic association
written or oral history, and must meet cal figure would not be eligible only if it is clearly significant in its
one or more of the Criteria. if its only value lay in its asso- own right, as stipulated above.
ciation with the individual,
and it has not come to symbol-
Eligible ize values, ideas, or contribu-
• A commemorative marker tions valued by the generation
erected by a cultural group that erected the monument.
that believed the place was the • A commemorative marker
site of its origins is eligible if, erected to memorialize an
for subsequent generations of event in the community's
the group, the marker itself be- history would not qualify sim-
came the focus of traditional ply for its association with the
association with the group's event it memorialized.
historic identity.
• A building erected as a monu-
ment to an important histori-
cal figure will qualify if
through the passage of time
the property itself has come to
symbolize the value placed
upon the individual and is
widely recognized as a re-
minder of enduring principles
or contributions valued by the
generation that erected the
• A commemorative marker
erected early in the settlement
or development of an area will
qualify if it is demonstrated
that, because of its relative
great age, the property has
long been a part of the historic
identity of the area.

A property achieving significance within the last fifty years is eligible if it is of exceptional importance.

Examples of Properties that MUST Examples of Properties that DO NOT

UNDERSTANDING Meet Criteria Consideration G: Prop- Need to Meet Criteria Consideration
erties that Have Achieved Signifi- G: Properties that Have Achieved
CRITERIA cance Within the Last Fifty Years Significance Within the Last Fifty
CONSIDERATION • A property that is less than fifty
years old. • A resource whose construction be-
G: PROPERTIES • A property that continues to achieve
gan over fifty years ago, but the
completion overlaps the fifty year pe-
THAT HAVE significance into a period less than
fifty years before the nomination.
riod by a few years or less.

ACHIEVED • A property that has non-contiguous

• A resource that is significant for its
plan or design, which is over fifty
Periods of Significance, one of which
SIGNIFICANCE is less than fifty years before the
years old, but the actual completion
of the project overlaps the fifty year
WITHIN THE LAST • A property that is more than fifty
period by a few years.
• A historic district in which a few
FIFTY YEARS years old and had no significance
until a period less than fifty years
properties are newer than fifty years
old, but the majority of properties
The National Register Criteria for before the nomination.
and the most important Period of
Evaluation exclude properties that Significance are greater than fifty
achieved significance within the last years old.
fifty years unless they are of excep-
tional importance. Fifty years is a
general estimate of the time needed to
develop historical perspective and to
evaluate significance. This consider-
ation guards against the listing of
properties of passing contemporary
interest and ensures that the National
Register is a list of truly historic

For more information on Criteria Consideration G, refer to National Register Bulletin: Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have
Achieved Significance Within the Last Fifty Years.

The phrase "exceptional impor- VETERANS
APPLYING tance" does not require that the
property be of national significance. ADMINISTRATION
CRITERIA It is a measure of a property's impor- HOSPITALS
tance within the appropriate historic
CONSIDERATION context, whether the scale of that Hospitals less than fifty years old
context is local, State, or national.
G: PROPERTIES that were constructed by the Veterans
Bureau and Veterans Administration
THAT HAVE Eligible
can be evaluated because the collec-
tion of forty-eight facilities built be-
ACHIEVED • The General Laundry Building tween 1920 and 1946 has been ana-
lyzed in a study prepared by the
in New Orleans, one of the few
SIGNIFICANCE remaining Art Deco Style agency. The study provided a historic
and architectural context for develop-
buildings in that city, was
WITHIN THE PAST listed in the National Register ment of veteran's care within which
hospitals could be evaluated. The ex-
when it was forty years old be-
FIFTY YEARS cause of its exceptional impor- ceptional importance of specific indi-
vidual facilities constructed within the
tance as an example of that ar-
chitectural style. past fifty years could therefore be de-
ELIGIBILITY FOR termined based on their role and their
EXCEPTIONAL present integrity.
The phrase "exceptional impor- RELATED PROPERTIES
tance" may be applied to the extraor- A property that has achieved
dinary importance of an event or to significance within the past fifty years In justifying exceptional impor-
an entire category of resources so can be evaluated only when sufficient tance, it is necessary to identify other
fragile that survivors of any age are historical perspective exists to deter- properties within the geographical
unusual. Properties listed that had mine that the property is exception- area that reflect the same significance
attained significance in less than fifty ally important. The necessary per- or historic associations and to deter-
years include: the launch pad at Cape spective can be provided by scholarly mine which properties best represent
Canaveral from which men first research and evaluation, and must the historic context in question.
traveled to the moon, the home of consider both the historic context and Several properties in the area could
nationally prominent playwright the specific property's role in that become eligible with the passage of
Eugene O'Neill, and the Chrysler context. time, but few will qualify now as
Building (New York) significant as the In many communities, properties exceptionally important.
epitome of the "Style Moderne" such as apartment buildings built in
architecture. the 1950s cannot be evaluated because
there is no scholarly research avail- POST-WORLD WAR II
Properties less than fifty years old
that qualify as exceptional because the able to provide an overview of the PROPERTIES
entire category of resources is fragile nature, role, and impact of that
include a recent example of a tradi- building type within the context of Properties associated with the post-
tional sailing canoe in the Trust historical and architectural develop- World War II era must be identified
Territory of the Pacific Islands, where ments of the 1950s. and evaluated to determine which
because of rapid deterioration of ones in an area could be judged
materials, no working Micronesian NATIONAL PARK SERVICE exceptionally important. For ex-
canoes exist that are more than twenty ample, a public housing complex may
RUSTIC ARCHITECTURE be eligible as an outstanding expres-
years old. Properties that by their
nature can last more than fifty years sion of the nation's post-war urban
Properties such as structures built policy. A military installation could
cannot be considered exceptionally in a rustic style by the National Park
important because of the fragility of be judged exceptionally important
Service during the 1930s and 1940s because of its contribution to the Cold
the class of resources. can be evaluated because a broad War arms race. A church building in
study, National Park Service Rustic a Southern city may have served as
Architecture (1977), provides the the pivotal rallying point for the city's
context for evaluating properties of most famous civil rights protest. A
this type and style. Specific examples post-war suburban subdivision may
were listed in the National Register be the best reflection of contemporary
prior to reaching fifty years of age siting and design tenets in a metro-
when documentation concerning the politan area. In each case, the nomi-
individual properties established their nation preparer must justify the
significance within the historical and exceptional importance of the property
architectural context of the type and relative to similar properties in the
style. community, State, or nation.

Properties which have achieved
significance within the past fifty years THAN FIFTY YEARS IN
A property that has achieved SIGNIFICANCE
significance within the past fifty years can be eligible for the National
can qualify under Criterion D only if Register if they are an integral part of
it can be demonstrated that the a district which qualifies for National Properties that are more than fifty
information is of exceptional impor- Register listing. This is demonstrated years old, but whose significant
tance within the appropriate context by documenting that the property associations or qualities are less than
and that the property contains data dates from within the district's fifty years old, must be treated under
superior to or different from those defined Period of Significance and the fifty year consideration.
obtainable from other sources, includ- that it is associated with one or more
ing other culturally related sites. An of the district's defined Areas of
archeological site less than fifty years Significance. Eligible
old may be eligible if the former Properties less than fifty years old • A building constructed early
inhabitants are so poorly documented may be an integral part of a district in the twentieth century (and
that information about their lifeways when there is sufficient perspective to having no architectural impor-
is best obtained from examination of consider the properties as historic. tance), but that was associated
the material remains. This is accomplished by demonstrat- with an important person
ing that: 1) the district's Period of during the 1950s, must be
Significance is justified as a discrete evaluated under Criteria Con-
Eligible period with a defined beginning and sideration G because the Pe-
end, 2) the character of the district's riod of Significance is within
• Data such as the rate of adop- historic resources is clearly defined
tion of modern technological the past fifty years. Such a
and assessed, 3) specific resources in property would qualify if the
innovations by rural tenant the district are demonstrated to date
farmers in the 1950s may not person was of exceptional im-
from that discrete era, and 4) the portance.
be obtainable through inter- majority of district properties are over
views with living persons but fifty years old. In these instances, it is
could be gained by examina- not necessary to prove exceptional
tion of homesites. importance of either the district itself REQUIREMENT TO MEET
Not Eligible or the less-than-fifty-year-old proper-
ties. Exceptional importance still THE CRITERIA,
• A recent archeological site must be demonstrated for district REGARDLESS OF AGE
such as the remains of a where the majority of properties or
Navajo sheep corral used in the major Period of Significance is less Properties that are less than fifty
the 1950s would not be consid- than fifty years old, and for less-than- years old and are not exceptionally
ered exceptionally significant fifty-year-old properties which are important will not automatically
for its information potential on nominated individually. qualify for the National Register once
animal husbandry if better in- they are fifty years old. In order to be
formation on the same topic is listed in the National Register, all
available through ethno- properties, regardless of age, must be
graphic studies or living infor- demonstrated to meet the Criteria for
mants. Evaluation.



Design is the combination of
Integrity is the ability of a prop- elements that create the form, plan,
erty to convey its significance. To be • Location
space, structure, and style of a
listed in the National Register of • Design property. It results from conscious
Historic Places, a property must not decisions made during the original
only be shown to be significant under • Setting
conception and planning of a prop-
the National Register criteria, but it • Materials erty (or its significant alteration) and
also must have integrity. The evalua- applies to activities as diverse as
tion of integrity is sometimes a • Workmanship
community planning, engineering,
subjective judgment, but it must • Feeling architecture, and landscape architec-
always be grounded in an under- ture. Design includes such elements
standing of a property's physical • Association as organization of space, proportion,
features and how they relate to its scale, technology, ornamentation, and
significance. materials.
Historic properties either retain UNDERSTANDING A property's design reflects historic
integrity (this is, convey their signifi- functions and technologies as well as
cance) or they do not. Within the THE ASPECTS OF aesthetics. It includes such consider-
concept of integrity, the National ations as the structural system;
Register criteria recognizes seven INTEGRITY massing; arrangement of spaces;
aspects or qualities that, in various pattern of fenestration; textures and
combinations, define integrity. LOCATION colors of surface materials; type,
To retain historic integrity a amount, and style of ornamental
property will always possess several, detailing; and arrangement and type
and usually most, of the aspects. The Location is the place where the
historic property was constructed or of plantings in a designed landscape.
retention of specific aspects of integ- Design can also apply to districts,
rity is paramount for a property to the place where the historic event
occurred. The relationship between whether they are important primarily
convey its significance. Determining for historic association, architectural
which of these aspects are most the property and its location is often
important to understanding why the value, information potential, or a
important to a particular property combination thereof. For districts
requires knowing why, where, and property was created or why some-
thing happened. The actual location significant primarily for historic
when the property is significant. The association or architectural value,
following sections define the seven of a historic property, complemented
by its setting, is particularly important design concerns more than just the
aspects and explain how they com- individual buildings or structures
bine to produce integrity. in recapturing the sense of historic
events and persons. Except in rare located within the boundaries. It also
cases, the relationship between a applies to the way in which buildings,
property and its historic associations sites, or structures are related: for
is destroyed if the property is moved. example, spatial relationships be-
(See Criteria Consideration B in Part tween major features; visual rhythms
VII: How to Apply the Criteria Consider- in a streetscape or landscape
ations, for the conditions under which plantings; the layout and materials of
a moved property can be eligible.) walkways and roads; and the relation-
ship of other features, such as statues,
water fountains, and archeological

SETTING recent structure fabricated to look ASSOCIATION
historic is not eligible. Likewise, a
Setting is the physical environ- property whose historic features and Association is the direct link
ment of a historic property. Whereas materials have been lost and then between an important historic event
location refers to the specific place reconstructed is usually not eligible. or person and a historic property. A
where a property was built or an event (See Criteria Consideration E in Part property retains association if it is the
occurred, setting refers to the character VII: How to Apply the Criteria Consider- place where the event or activity
of the place in which the property ations for the conditions under which occurred and is sufficiently intact to
played its historical role. It involves a reconstructed property can be convey that relationship to an ob-
how, not just where, the property is eligible.) server. Like feeling, association
situated and its relationship to sur- requires the presence of physical
rounding features and open space. WORKMANSHIP features that convey a property's
Setting often reflects the basic historic character. For example, a
physical conditions under which a Workmanship is the physical Revolutionary War battlefield whose
property was built and the functions it evidence of the crafts of a particular natural and manmade elements have
was intended to serve. In addition, culture or people during any given remained intact since the 18th century
the way in which a property is posi- period in history or prehistory. It is will retain its quality of association
tioned in its environment can reflect the evidence of artisans' labor and with the battle.
the designer's concept of nature and skill in constructing or altering a Because feeling and association
aesthetic preferences. building, structure, object, or site. depend on individual perceptions,
The physical features that constitute Workmanship can apply to the their retention alone is never sufficient
the setting of a historic property can property as a whole or to its indi- to support eligibility of a property for
be either natural or manmade, includ- vidual components. It can be ex- the National Register.
ing such elements as: pressed in vernacular methods of
• Topographic features (a gorge or
the crest of a hill);
construction and plain finishes or in
highly sophisticated configurations
• Vegetation;
and ornamental detailing. It can be
based on common traditions or
• Simple manmade features (paths innovative period techniques.
or fences); and Workmanship is important because
it can furnish evidence of the technol-
• Relationships between buildings ogy of a craft, illustrate the aesthetic Integrity is based on significance:
and other features or open space. principles of a historic or prehistoric why, where, and when a property is
period, and reveal individual, local, important. Only after significance is
These features and their relation- fully established can you proceed to
ships should be examined not only regional, or national applications of
both technological practices and the issue of integrity.
within the exact boundaries of the The steps in assessing integrity are:
property, but also between the prop- aesthetic principles. Examples of
erty and its surroundings. This is workmanship in historic buildings • Define the essential physical fea-
particularly important for districts. include tooling, carving, painting, tures that must be present for a
graining, turning, and joinery. Ex- property to represent its signifi-
amples of workmanship in prehistoric cance.
MATERIALS contexts include Paleo-Indian clovis
projectile points; Archaic period • Determine whether the essential
Materials are the physical ele- beveled adzes; Hopewellian birdstone physical features are visible
ments that were combined or depos- pipes; copper earspools and worked enough to convey their signifi-
ited during a particular period of bone pendants; and Iroquoian effigy cance.
time and in a particular pattern or pipes.
configuration to form a historic • Determine whether the property
property. The choice and combination needs to be compared with simi-
of materials reveal the preferences of FEELING lar properties. And,
those who created the property and • Determine, based on the signifi-
indicate the availability of particular Feeling is a property's expression
of the aesthetic or historic sense of a cance and essential physical fea-
types of materials and technologies. tures, which aspects of integrity
Indigenous materials are often the particular period of time. It results
from the presence of physical features are particularly vital to the prop-
focus of regional building traditions erty being nominated and if they
and thereby help define an area's that, taken together, convey the
property's historic character. For are present.
sense of time and place.
A property must retain the key example, a rural historic district Ultimately, the question of integ-
exterior materials dating from the retaining original design, materials, rity is answered by whether or not the
period of its historic significance. If workmanship, and setting will relate property retains the identity for
the property has been rehabilitated, the feeling of agricultural life in the which it is significant.
the historic materials and significant 19th century. A grouping of prehis-
features must have been preserved. toric petroglyphs, unmarred by
The property must also be an actual graffiti and intrusions and located on
historic resource, not a recreation; a its original isolated bluff, can evoke a
sense of tribal spiritual life.
DEFINING THE ESSENTIAL of features, artifacts, and spatial in the National Register—a historic
relationships to the extent that these concert hall noted for the beauty of its
PHYSICAL FEATURES remains are able to illustrate a site auditorium and its fine acoustic
type, time period, method of construc- qualities would be the type of prop-
All properties change over time. It tion, or work of a master. erty that if it were to lose its interior,
is not necessary for a property to it would lose its value as a historic
retain all its historic physical features resource. In other cases, the over-
or characteristics. The property must CRITERION D
arching significance of a property's
retain, however, the essential physical exterior can overcome the adverse
features that enable it to convey its For properties eligible under
Criterion D, including archeological effect of the loss of an interior.
historic identity. The essential
physical features are those features sites and standing structures studied In borderline cases particular
that define both why a property is for their information potential, less attention is paid to the significance of
significant (Applicable Criteria and attention is given to their overall the property and the remaining
Areas of Significance) and when it was condition, than it they were being historic features.
significant (Periods of Significance). considered under Criteria A, B, or C.
They are the features without which a Archeological sites, in particular, do HISTORIC DISTRICTS
property can no longer be identified not exist today exactly as they were
as, for instance, a late 19th century formed. There are always cultural For a district to retain integrity as a
dairy barn or an early 20th century and natural processes that alter the whole, the majority of the compo-
commercial district. deposited materials and their spatial nents that make up the district's
relationships. historic character must possess
For properties eligible under integrity even if they are individually
CRITERIA A AND B Criterion D, integrity is based upon undistinguished. In addition, the
the property's potential to yield relationships among the district's
A property that is significant for its specific data that addresses important components must be substantially
historic association is eligible if it research questions, such as those unchanged since the period of signifi-
retains the essential physical features identified in the historic context cance.
that made up its character or appear- documentation in the Statewide When evaluating the impact of
ance during the period of its associa- Comprehensive Preservation Plan or intrusions upon the district's integ-
tion with the important event, histori- in the research design for projects rity, take into consideration the
cal pattern, or person(s). If the meeting the Secretary of the Interior's relative number, size, scale, design,
property is a site (such as a treaty site) Standards for Archeological Documenta- and location of the components that
where there are no material cultural tion. do not contribute to the significance.
remains, the setting must be intact. A district is not eligible if it contains
Archeological sites eligible under so many alterations or new intrusions
Criteria A and B must be in overall INTERIORS
that it no longer conveys the sense of
good condition with excellent preser- a historic environment.
vation of features, artifacts, and Some historic buildings are virtu-
ally defined by their exteriors, and A component of a district cannot
spatial relationships to the extent that contribute to the significance if:
these remains are able to convey their contribution to the built environ-
important associations with events or ment can be appreciated even if their • it has been substantially altered
persons. interiors are not accessible. Examples since the period of the district's
of this would include early examples significance or
of steel-framed skyscraper construc-
CRITERION C tion. The great advance in American • it does not share the historic asso-
technology and engineering made by ciations of the district.
A property important for illustrat- these buildings can be read from the
ing a particular architectural style or outside. The change in American
construction technique must retain popular taste during the 19th century, VISIBILITY OF PHYSICAL
most of the physical features that from the symmetry and simplicity of FEATURES
constitute that style or technique. A architectural styles based on classical
property that has lost some historic precedents, to the expressions of High Properties eligible under Criteria
materials or details can be eligible if it Victorian styles, with their combina- A, B, and C must not only retain their
retains the majority of the features tion of textures, colors, and asym- essential physical features, but the
that illustrate its style in terms of the metrical forms, is readily apparent features must be visible enough to
massing, spatial relationships, propor- from the exteriors of these buildings. convey their significance. This means
tion, pattern of windows and doors, Other buildings "are" interiors. that even if a property is physically
texture of materials, and ornamenta- The Cleveland Arcade, that soaring intact, its integrity is questionable if
tion. The property is not eligible, 19th century glass-covered shopping its significant features are concealed
however, if it retains some basic area, can only be appreciated from the under modern construction. Archeo-
features conveying massing but has inside. Other buildings in this logical properties are often the
lost the majority of the features that category would be the great covered exception to this; by nature they
once characterized its style. train sheds of the 19th century. usually do not require visible features
Archeological sites eligible under In some cases the loss of an interior to convey their significance.
Criterion C must be in overall good will disqualify properties from listing
condition with excellent preservation

If the historic exterior building A sunken vessel can be eligible
material is covered by non-historic under Criterion C as embodying the Comparative information is
material (such as modern siding), the distinctive characteristics of a method particularly important to consider
property can still be eligible if the of construction if it is structurally when evaluating the integrity of a
significant form, features, and detail- intact. A deteriorated sunken vessel, property that is a rare surviving
ing are not obscured. If a property's no longer structurally intact, can be example of its type. The property
exterior is covered by a non-historic eligible under Criterion D if the must have the essential physical
false-front or curtain wall, the prop- remains of either the vessel or its features that enable it to convey its
erty will not qualify under Criteria A, contents is capable of yielding signifi- historic character or information. The
B, or C, because it does not retain the cant information. For further infor- rarity and poor condition, however, of
visual quality necessary to convey mation, refer to National Register other extant examples of the type may
historic or architectural significance. Bulletin: Nominating Historic Vessels justify accepting a greater degree of
Such a property also cannot be and Shipwrecks to the National Register alteration or fewer features, provided
considered a contributing element in a of Historic Places. that enough of the property survives
historic district, because it does not for it to be a significant resource.
add to the district's sense of time and Natural Features
place. If the false front, curtain wall, A natural feature that is associated
or non-historic siding is removed and with a historic event or trend, such as Eligible
the original building materials are a rock formation that served as a trail
intact, then the property's integrity marker during westward expansion, • A one-room schoolhouse that
can be re-evaluated. must retain its historic appearance, has had all original exterior
unobscured by modern construction siding replaced and a replace-
PROPERTY CONTAINED or landfill. Otherwise it is not eli- ment roof that does not exactly
gible, even though it remains intact. replicate the original roof pro-
WITHIN ANOTHER file can be eligible if the other
PROPERTY COMPARING SIMILAR extant rare examples have re-
ceived an even greater degree
Some properties contain an earlier PROPERTIES of alteration, such as the sub-
structure that formed the nucleus for division of the original one-
later construction. The exterior For some properties, comparison room plan.
property, if not eligible in its own with similar properties should be
right, can qualify on the basis of the considered during the evaluation of Not Eligible
interior property only if the interior integrity. Such comparison may be • A mill site contains informa-
property can yield significant infor- important in deciding what physical tion on how site patterning re-
mation about a specific construction features are essential to properties of flects historic functional re-
technique or material, such as that type. In instances where it has quirements, but parts of the
rammed earth or tabby. The interior not been determined what physical site have been destroyed. The
property cannot be used as the basis features a property must possess in site is not eligible for its infor-
for eligibility if it has been so altered order for it to reflect the significance mation potential if a compari-
that it no longer contains the features of a historic context, comparison with son of other mill sites reveals
that could provide important infor- similar properties should be under- more intact properties with
mation, or if the presence of impor- taken during the evaluation of integ- complete information.
tant information cannot be demon- rity. This situation arises when
strated. scholarly work has not been done on a
particular property type or when
surviving examples of a property type
are extremely rare. (See Comparing
Related Properties in Part V: How to
Evaluate a Property within its Historic

RELEVANT ASPECTS OF Not Eligible Eligible
INTEGRITY A mid-19th century water- A 19th century wooden covered
powered mill important for its bridge, important for illustrating
Each type of property depends on association with an area's indus- a construction type, is eligible if:
certain aspects of integrity, more than trial development is not eligible
if: • the essential features of its de-
others, to express its historic signifi- sign are intact, such as abut-
cance. Determining which of the • it has been moved (Location, ments, piers, roof configura-
aspects is most important to a particu- Setting, Feeling, and Associa- tion, and trusses (Design,
lar property requires an understand- tion), or Workmanship, and Feeling),
ing of the property's significance and and
its essential physical features. • substantial amounts of new
materials have been incorpo- • most of the historic materials
CRITERIA A AND B rated (Materials, Workman- are present (Materials, Work-
ship, and Feeling), or manship, and Feeling), and
A property important for associa- • it no longer retains basic de- • evidence of the craft of
tion with an event, historical pattern, sign features that convey its wooden bridge technology re-
or person(s) ideally might retain some historic appearance or mains, such as the form and
features of all seven aspects of integ- function (Design, Workman- assembly technique of the
rity: location, design, setting, materi- ship, and Feeling). trusses (Workmanship).
als, workmanship, feeling, and
association. Integrity of design and • Since the design of a bridge re-
workmanship, however, might not be lates directly to its function as
as important to the significance, and CRITERION C a transportation crossing, it is
would not be relevant if the property also important that the bridge
were a site. A basic integrity test for a A property significant under still be situated over a water-
property associated with an important Criterion C must retain those physi- way (Setting, Location, Feel-
cal features that characterize the type, ing, and Association).
event or person is whether a historical
contemporary would recognize the period, or method of construction that Not Eligible
property as it exists today. the property represents. Retention of
For archeological sites that are design, workmanship, and materials For a 19th century wooden cov-
eligible under Criteria A and B, the will usually be more important than ered bridge, important for its
seven aspects of integrity can be location, setting, feeling, and associa- construction type, replacement
applied in much the same way as they tion. Location and setting will be of some materials of the flooring,
are to buildings, structures, or objects. important, however, for those proper- siding, and roofing would not
It is important to note, however, that ties whose design is a reflection of necessarily damage its integrity.
the site must have demonstrated its their immediate environment (such as Integrity would be lost, however,
designed landscapes and bridges). if:
ability to convey its significance, as
opposed to sites eligible under Crite- For archeological sites that are • the abutments, piers, or trusses
rion D where only the potential to eligible under Criterion C, the seven were substantially altered (De-
yield information is required. aspects of integrity can be applied in sign, Workmanship, and Feel-
much the same way as they are to ing) or
buildings, structures, or objects. It is
important to note, however, that the • considerable amounts of new
Eligible site must have demonstrated its ability materials were incorporated
to convey its significance, as opposed (Materials, Workmanship,
A mid-19th century waterpowered to sites eligible under Criterion D and Feeling).
mill important for its association where only the potential to yield
with an area's industrial develop- • Because environment is a
information is required. strong factor in the design of
ment is eligible if:
this property type, the bridge
• it is still on its original site would also be ineligible if it no
(Location), and longer stood in a place that
• the important features of its conveyed its function as a
setting are intact (Setting), and crossing (Setting, Location,
Feeling, and Association).
• it retains most of its historic
materials (Materials), and
• it has the basic features expres-
sive of its design and function,
such as configuration, propor-
tions, and window pattern

A lithic scatter site important for
For properties eligible under yielding data on lithic technology
Criterion D, setting and feeling may during the Late Archaic period
not have direct bearing on the can be eligible if:
property's ability to yield important
information. Evaluation of integrity • the site contains lithic
probably will focus primarily on the debitage, finished stone tools,
location, design, materials, and hammerstones, or antler
perhaps workmanship. flakers (Material and Design),
• the site contains datable mate-
Eligible rial (Association).
A multicomponent prehistoric Not Eligible
site important for yielding data
on changing subsistence patterns A lithic scatter site important for
can be eligible if: yielding data on lithic technology
during the Late Archaic period
• floral or faunal remains are would not be eligible if:
found in clear association with
cultural material (Materials • the site contains natural de-
and Association) and posits of lithic materials that
are impossible to distinguish
• the site exhibits stratigraphic from culturally modified lithic
separation of cultural compo- material (Design) or
nents (Location).
• the site does not contain any
Not Eligible temporal diagnostic evidence
A multicomponent prehistoric that could link the site to the
site important for yielding data Late Archaic period (Associa-
on changing subsistence patterns tion).
would not be eligible if:
• floral or faunal remains were
so badly decomposed as to
make identification impossible
(Materials), or
• floral or faunal remains were
disturbed in such a manner as
to make their association with
cultural remains ambiguous
(Association), or
• the site has lost its strati-
graphic context due to subse-
quent land alterations

A property being nominated to the 3. That represent some great idea
National Register may also merit or ideal of the American people; NATIONAL
consideration for potential designa- or
tion as a National Historic Landmark. HISTORIC
Such consideration is dependent upon 4. That embody the distinguishing
the stringent application of the characteristics of an architectural LANDMARK
following distinct set of criteria type specimen exceptionally
(found in the Code of Federal Regula- valuable for a study of a period, EXCLUSIONS
tions, Title 36, Part 65). style or method of construction,
or that represent a significant, Ordinarily, cemeteries, birthplaces,
distinctive and exceptional entity graves of historical figures, properties
NATIONAL whose components may lack in- owned by religious institutions or
dividual distinction; or used for religious purposes, structures
HISTORIC 5. That are composed of integral that have been moved from their
parts of the environment not suf- original locations, reconstructed his-
LANDMARKS ficiently significant by reason of toric buildings and properties that
have achieved significance within the
CRITERIA historical association or artistic
merit to warrant individual rec- past fifty years are not eligible for des-
ognition but collectively compose ignation. If such properties fall
The quality of national significance an entity of exceptional historical within the following categories they
is ascribed to districts, sites, buildings, or artistic significance, or out- may, nevertheless, be found to
structures, and objects that possess standingly commemorate or il- qualify:
exceptional value or quality in illus- lustrate a way of life or culture; 1. A religious property deriving its
trating or interpreting the heritage of or primary national significance
the United States in history, architec- from architectural or artistic dis-
ture, archeology, engineering, and 6. That have yielded or may be
likely to yield information of ma- tinction or historical importance;
culture and that possess a high degree or
of integrity of location, design, jor scientific importance by re-
setting, materials, workmanship, vealing new cultures, or by shed- 2. A building or structure removed
feeling, and association, and: ding light upon periods of occu- from its original location but
pation over large areas of the which is nationally significant
1. That are associated with events United States. Such sites are primarily for its architectural
that have made a significant con- those which have yielded, or merit, or for association with per-
tribution to, and are identified which may reasonably be ex- sons or events of transcendent
with, or that outstandingly repre- pected to yield, data affecting importance in the nation's his-
sent, the broad national patterns theories, concepts and ideas to a tory and the association conse-
of United States history and from major degree. quential; or
which an understanding and ap-
preciation of those patterns may 3. A site of a building or structure
be gained; or no longer standing but the per-
son or event associated with it is
2. That are associated importantly of transcendent importance in the
with the lives of persons nation- nations's history and the associa-
ally significant in the history of tion consequential; or
the United States; or

4. A birthplace, grave or burial if it texts are identified similarly; and district. Note that the language is
is of a historical figure of tran- comparative evaluation is carried out more restrictive than that of the
scendent national significance on the same principles enumerated in National Register Criterion in requir-
and no other appropriate site, Part V. ing that a candidate in architecture be
building, or structure directly as- There are some differences between "a specimen exceptionally valuable for
sociated with the productive life National Register and National the study of a period, style, or method
of that person exists; or Historic Landmarks Criteria. The of construction" rather than simply
following is an explanation of how embodying distinctive characteristics
5. A cemetery that derives its pri- of a type, period, or method of con-
mary national significance from each Landmark Criterion compares
with its National Register Criteria struction. With regard to historic
graves of persons of transcendent districts, the Landmarks Criterion
importance, or from an exception- counterpart:
requires an entity that is distinctive
ally distinctive design or an ex- and exceptional. Unlike National
ceptionally significant event; or CRITERION 1 Register Criterion C, this Criterion will
6. A reconstructed building or en- not qualify the works of a master, per
This Criterion relates to National se, but only such works which are
semble o^ buildings of extraordi- Register Criterion A. Both cover
nary national significance when exceptional or extraordinary. Artistic
properties associated with events. value is considered only in the context
accurately executed in a suitable The Landmark Criterion, however,
environment and presented in a of history's judgement in order to
requires that the events associated avoid current conflicts of taste.
dignified manner as part of a res- with the property be outstandingly
toration master plan, and when represented by that property and that
no other buildings or structures the property be related to the broad CRITERION 5
with the same association have national patterns of U.S. history.
survived; or Thus, the quality of the property to This Criterion does not have a strict
7. A property primarily commemo- convey and interpret its meaning counterpart among the National
rative in intent if design, age, tra- must be of a higher order and must Register Criteria. It may seem redun-
dition, or symbolic value has in- relate to national themes rather than dant of the latter part of Landmark
vested it with its own national the narrower context of State or local Criterion 4. It is meant to cover
historical significance; or themes. collective entities such as Greenfield
Village and historic districts like New
8. A property achieving national CRITERION 2 Bedford, Massachusetts, which qualify
significance within the past 50 for their collective association with a
years if it is of extraordinary na- nationally significant event, move-
tional importance. This Criterion relates to National
Register Criterion B. Both cover ment, or broad pattern of national
properties associated with significant development.
people. The Landmark Criterion
COMPARING THE differs in that it specifies that the CRITERION 6
association of a person to the property
NATIONAL in question be an important one and The National Register counterpart
that the person associated with the of this is Criterion D. Criterion 6 was
HISTORIC property be of national significance. developed specifically to recognize
archeological sites. All such sites must
LANDMARKS CRITERION 3 address this Criterion. The following
are the qualifications that distinguish
CRITERIA AND THE This Criterion has no counterpart this Criterion from its National Regis-
ter counterpart: the information
NATIONAL among the National Register Criteria.
It is rarely, if ever, used alone. While yielded or likely to be yielded must be
of major scientific importance by
REGISTER not a landmark at present, the Liberty
Bell is an object that might be consid- revealing new cultures, or by shedding
light upon periods of occupation over
CRITERIA ered under this Criterion. The appli-
cation of this Criterion obviously large areas of the United States. Such
requires the most careful scrutiny and sites should be expected to yield data
In general, the instructions for affecting theories, concepts, and ideas to a
preparing a National Register nomina- would apply only in rare instances
major degree.
tion and the guidelines stated in this involving ideas and ideals of the
highest order. The data recovered or expected to
bulletin for applying the National be recovered must make a major
Register Criteria also apply to Land- contribution to the existing corpus of
mark nominations and the use of the CRITERION 4 information. Potentially recoverable
Landmark criteria. While there are data must be likely to revolutionize or
specific distinctions discussed below, This Criterion relates to National substantially modify a major theme in
Parts IV and V of this bulletin apply Register Criterion C. Its intent is to history or prehistory, resolve a sub-
equally to National Register listings qualify exceptionally important works stantial historical or anthropological
and Landmark nominations. That is, of architecture or collective elements debate, or close a serious gap in a
the categories of historic properties are of architecture extraordinarily signifi- major theme of U. S. history or prehis-
defined the same way; historic con- cant as an ensemble, such as a historic tory.
architecture, or 2) the persons or EXCLUSION 4
EXCLUSIONS AND events with which they are associated
are of transcendent national signifi-
EXCEPTIONS TO cance and the association is conse-
This exclusion relates to Criteria
Consideration C of the National
THE EXCLUSIONS Transcendent significance means
Register Criteria. The only difference
is that a burial place qualifies for
an order of importance higher than Landmark designation only if, in
This section of the National His- that which would ordinarily qualify a addition to other factors, the person
toric Landmarks Criteria has its person or event to be nationally buried is of transcendent national
counterpart in the National Register's significant. A consequential associa- importance.
"Criteria Considerations/' The most tion is a relationship to a building that When evaluating properties at the
abundant difference between them is had an evident impact on events, national level for designation as a
the addition of the qualifiers "na- rather than a connection that was National Historic Landmark, please
tional," "exceptional," or "extraordi- incidental and passing. refer to the National Historic Land-
nary" before the word significance. marks outline, History and Prehistory
Other than this, the following are the EXCLUSION 3 in the National Park System and the
most notable distinctions: National Historic Landmarks Program,
This pertains to the site of a struc- 1987. (For more information about
EXCLUSION 2 ture no longer standing. There is no the National Historic Landmarks
counterpart to this exclusion in the program, please write to Department
Buildings moved from their National Register Criteria. In order of the Interior, National Park Service,
original location, qualify only if one of for such a property to qualify for National Historic Landmarks, 1849 C
two conditions are met: 1) the build- Landmark designation it must meet Street, NW, NC400, Washington, DC
ing is nationally significant for the second condition cited for Exclu- 20240.)
sion 2.

Associative Qualities - An aspect of a Historic Context - An organizing Listing - The formal entry of a prop-
property's history that links it with structure for interpreting history erty in the National Register of
historic events, activities, or that groups information about Historic Places. See also, Registra-
persons. historic properties that share a tion.
Code of Federal Regulations - common theme, common geo-
graphical area, and a common time Nomination - Official recommenda-
Commonly referred to as "CFR." tion for listing a property in the
The part containing the National period. The development of
historic contexts is a foundation for National Register of Historic
Register Criteria is usually referred Places.
to as 36 CFR 60, and is available decisions about the planning,
from the National Park Service. identification, evaluation, registra- Property Type - A grouping o^
tion, and treatment of historic properties defined by common
CLG - Certified Local Government. properties, based upon compara- physical and associative attributes.
Culture - A group of people linked tive historic significance. Registration - Process by which a
together by shared values, beliefs, Historic Integrity - The unimpaired historic property is documented
and historical associations, together ability of a property to convey its and nominated or determined
with the group's social institutions historical significance. eligible for listing in the National
and physical objects necessary to Register.
the operation of the institution. Historic Property - See Historic
Resource. Research Design - A statement of
Cultural Resource - See Historic proposed identification, documen-
Resource. Historic Resource - Building, site,
district, object, or structure evalu- tation, investigation, or other
Evaluation - Process by which the ated as historically significant. treatment of a historic property
significance and integrity of a that identifies the project's goals,
historic property are judged and Identification - Process through methods and techniques, expected
eligibility for National Register which information is gathered results, and the relationship of the
listing is determined. about historic properties. expected results to other proposed
activities or treatments.

The Basics
How to Apply National Register Criteria for Evaluation *

Guidelines for Completing National Register of Historic Places Form

Part A: How to Complete the National Register Form *
Part B: How to Complete the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form *

Researching a Historic Property *

Property Types
Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Historic Aids to Navigation *

Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering America's Historic Battlefields

Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Historical Archeological Sites

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Historic Aviation Properties

Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Cemeteries and Burial Places

How to Evaluate and Nominate Designed Historic Landscapes *

Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering Historic Mining Sites

How to Apply National Register Criteria to Post Offices *

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Properties Associated with Significant Persons

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Properties That Have Achieved Significance Within the Last Fifty Years *

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes *

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties *

Nominating Historic Vessels and Shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places
Technical Assistance
Defining Boundaries for National Register Properties*

Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning *

How to Improve the Quality of Photographs for National Register Nominations

National Register Casebook: Examples of Documentation *

Using the UTM Grid System to Record Historic Sites

To order these publications, write to: National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St., NC 400, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240, or
e-mail at: Publications marked with an asterisk (*) are also available in electronic form at
,_ . o U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 2005—717-788