National Register of Historic Places National Register of Historic Places
238 years, 54 days since July 4, 1776
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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the Listing Criteria?

The National Register's standards for evaluating the significance of properties were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a significant contribution to our country's history and heritage. The criteria are designed to guide State and local governments, Federal agencies, and others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register.


Criteria for Evaluation The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or

B. That are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or

C. That 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; or

D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.


Criteria Considerations Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

a. A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or

b. A building or structure removed from its original location but which is primarily significant for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event; or

c. A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life; or

d. A cemetery which derives its primary importance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events; or

e. A reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived; or

f. A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own exceptional significance; or

g. A property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.


How Old does the place have to be?

Generally, properties eligible for listing in the National Register are at least 50 years old. Properties less than 50 years of age must be exceptionally important to be considered eligible for listing.


How long does the process take?

The process varies from State to State depending on State workload, planning, and registration priorities, and the schedule of the review board. The process takes a minimum of 90 days to fulfill all of the review and notification requirements provided that a complete and fully documented nomination form has been completed for the property.

Upon submission to the National Park Service, a decision on whether to list the property is made within 45 days.


I own or am affiliated with one or more historic properties, how do I create a link?

Instructions for adding links can be found on our Ad Link page, or

you can click here to be taken directly to the Ad Link section of the website.


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