Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

National Register

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What are the State and National Registers?

The State and National Registers of Historic Places are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture of New York and the nation. The same eligibility criteria are used for both the State and National Registers. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the New York State Historic Preservation Act of 1980 established the National and State Registers programs. In New York, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, who is also the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), administers these programs.

What are the results of listing?

  • Registered properties and properties determined eligible for the Registers receive a measure of protection from the effects of federal and/or state agency sponsored, licensed or assisted projects through a notice, review, and consultation process.
  • Owners of depreciable, certified historic properties may take a 20 percent federal income tax credit for the costs of substantial rehabilitation as provided for under the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
  • Municipal and not-for-profit owners of listed historic properties may apply for matching state historic preservation grants.

There are no restrictions placed on private owners of registered properties. Private property owners may sell, alter or dispose of their property as they wish.

State and National Registers Nomination Process

The State and National Register nomination process is designed to assist in the development of complete and accurate documentation of each eligible property according to the professional and archival standards of the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The research and technical requirements of the nomination process encourage the active and ongoing participation of owners, sponsors, SHPO staff, and preservation consultants.

Evaluation and Nomination Process

The preparation of a State and National Registers nomination proposal is a cooperative effort between the sponsor -- most often the owner of the property -- and the staff of the State Historic Preservation Office.

A sponsor may initiate the nomination process by requesting, completing, and returning a State and National Registers Program Applicant Form and a Historic Resource Inventory Form and/or other explanatory materials to the State Historic Preservation Office. These materials will be evaluated by the staff of the Survey and National Register Unit using the National Register of Historic Places Criteria for Evaluation and other guidelines published by the National Park Service.

Proposals which appear to meet the criteria for listing are assigned to staff for further development on the basis of current preservation priorities. In most instances, staff site inspections will be required in order to develop a more in-depth understanding of the historic property and its documentation requirements prior to the preparation of a National Register Nomination Form. Preparing this form and the required research, maps, photographs, and other attachments is primarily the responsibility of the sponsor working closely with a National Register staff member. In some cases, staff may be able to assist with portions of this work, particularly for high priority projects in communities with limited resources. In other instances, it may be appropriate to consider contracting with private historic preservation consultants to develop the nomination information. A current list of consultants offering services in this area is available upon request.

Upon receipt of a satisfactory draft nomination, this office will formally seek the comments of the owner(s) and local officials, and schedule a review by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, more commonly referred to as the State Review Board. The board meets quarterly and nomination reviews must be scheduled three months in advance in order to satisfy public notification requirements. If recommended, the nomination form is finalized and forwarded to the State Historic Preservation Officer for review and signature. Once signed, the nomination is entered on the New York State Register of Historic Places and transmitted to the National Park Service where it is nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. If approved by the Keeper of the Register, the nomination is signed and listed on the National Register. Please note that the National Park Service will not place an individual, privately owned property on the National Register if its owner objects or if a majority of private property owners object to the proposed listing of a nomination containing multiple owners.

To receive more information and/or application package on the State and National Register programs, please Contact our office or go to our Territorial Map section to find contact information for the National Register Program Representative for your county.

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