What Designates a Property as "Historic"?

What Designates a Property as

While new buildings and commercial construction projects keep popping up around the country at a rapid pace, it begs the question of what will be considered “historic” in years to come. Will our minimalist office spaces be looked at as historic in the same way we look at places like craftsman homes built in the 1920s or old hotels built during the oil boom of the late 19th century?

Just because a building is old doesn’t make it a historic property and some properties can be rejected based on a number of factors. So, what exactly designates a property as historic? Let’s take a better look at that.


Is It Listed?

Professional preservations are likely to ask if a place is listed, as in if it’s a historical landmark. Is it covered in a state or local designation? Is it a National Historic Landmark? It’s not always easy to know what separates a national landmark from a local one or to understand what exactly designates a property as historic.

To start, it’s important to note that properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state or local register are considered historic. Next, any building that contributing to a historic district and those built before 1950 and having the same coverage needs as listed designated historic properties are considered historic.

These are set rules that the National Register of Historic Places uses to outline whether an old house or property is considered historic. If a property is associated with significant events in history, such as a war/battle, it can be considered historic. If a home was once occupied by a president or a prominent citizen, it can fall in line with this designation as well.

If a property embodies distinctive characteristics, construction techniques, or other elements that make it a unique building with historical value, it can also be considered historic. Think of buildings created by architect Frank Lloyd Wright like the Guggenheim or Taliesin West.

If a property yields important information about a certain time period, including houses that were built with particular construction techniques or materials, it can be considered historic.

If you’re wondering if your home or property merits historic status, there should be research launched to determine everything you can. When a property is declared historic, homeowners and historical societies might be able to receive more funding for the restoration and general upkeep of the property.