What Does it Mean to List a Property on the National Registry of Historic Places

What Does it Mean to List a Property on the National Registry of Historic Places

Since 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act has helped establish a federal program meant to protect the history of American architecture.

Almost every county in the United States has at least one place listed in the National Register, according to the National Park Service (NPS). While it’s not against the law to not have your property registered, there are benefits to being on the National Register.

However, maybe you’re not sure what all of this is supposed to mean. You know you’ve got a property that’s old and considered “historic”, but what can you do in order to help with the preservation of it? What other perks are there to listing your property? Whether state or federal, there’s going to be more than a few things one should know about their historic property.

When looking for historic insurance, getting on the National Register can also be beneficial. If you’re looking for everything you need to know, check out this blog below.

Common Myths Behind Getting on The National Register

Unfortunately, just because you list your property doesn’t mean it will be protected through future owners. So if there’s a private commercial or federally funded project that happens to pass through the area of your property, being registered isn’t going to save it from any major changes.

Registering your property also does not mean a regulated historic district is going to be automatically created. And just because you register your property does not mean you’re exempt from code compliance in certain counties.

How to Properly Evaluate a Historic Property, and Why

If you want to see if your property can be considered eligible, you must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, which examines the property’s age, significance and integrity. With more than 94,000 properties registered that represent over 1.8 million resources across the nation, it’s imperative to get the details of a historic property right the first time.

If a property is over 50 years old and has held on to its historic quality over the years, it’s eligible. And the property has to hold enough cultural significance to be protected. Once a property is listed, it also means that you might be eligible for pertinent federal tax credits through NPS grant programs like Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America.

The Results of Becoming a Part of The National Register

Besides possible state tax benefit and grant opportunities, networking with other property owners and getting a  bronze plaque to commemorate your property, here are some of the other results of becoming a part of the National Register.

  • Being a part of the National Register Archives means that you are now part of a public, searchable database that provides a wealth of research information.
  • By documenting a property’s historic significance, you’re encouraging the preservation of historic resources.
  • Providing opportunities for preservation incentives, including federal preservation grants, federal investment tax credits, preservation easements to nonprofit organizations and international building code and life safety code alternatives.