Old buildings and other structures may possess significant historical value that teach people of later generations about architecture or recount important events that took place within their walls. Many people have heard of buildings designated as historic structures. That said, attaining that designation requires the participation in a process involving several steps which include:
Registering the Property in Question
Individuals or communities who believe a specific property or structure possesses some type of historical value, the land in question must first be registered. Designation is usually bestowed on a state level and ultimately national recognition. Therefore, the Federal Historic Preservation Office recommends that interested parties first register with their respective State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
Contact information about these state agencies can typically be found by conducting online research. Each SHPO website will provide information regarding the nomination process and the forms that must be filled out to initiate such an endeavor.
The Evaluation Process
Prospective statewide or nationally designated historical properties must meet specific criteria to be considered for such an honor. Evaluation provisions include that the property was owned or utilized by individuals who made a significant contribution to American culture or societal development, the structure played an appreciable role in an event of historical significance or that embody a specific type of architecture depicting a historical era in American history.
Additionally, age is an important contributing factor. In most instances, historically designated properties are at least 50 years old. However, properties less than 50 years old may still be considered for evaluation provided such locations meet other specific guidelines.
The Application Process
There is no specific criteria that limits any particular individual or organization from beginning the nominating process. That said, such efforts are often first executed by agencies like historical societies, governmental agencies and organizations committed to preserving historical locations.
Benefits of Historical Designation
Properties bestowed historical designation often enjoy several benefits. Arguably, stimulating interest and education is amongst the most significant benefits. Places bestowed landmarks often generate an increased public interest that could raise awareness of untapped or overlooked history. Moreover, such structures often receive state and federal funding for maintenance and improvement projects. This funding places less of a financial strain on local economies.
Designating a historical building is vital to maintaining our history, both locally and nationally. By following these steps, you can designate a historical building for all to enjoy.