Teaching > RWU
Preservation Research Fall 2002 >
National Register Nomination Assessment
This assignment will help you: (1) understand the process
of obtaining a copy of an existing National Register nomination
form for a property and (2) assessing the criteria employed to
develop the nomination, with reference to NPS standards and research
The National Register (NR) is the official federal listing of historic,
architectural, and archeological resources worthy of preservation.
The National Park Service, Department of the Interior, provides
matching funds to each state to conduct a comprehensive survey of
its cultural resources and nominate significant buildings, structures,
sites, objects, and historic districts to the National Register
of Historic Places. The National Register program in each state
is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
1. Find a structure that is listed on the National Register as
an individual structure and that has also been surveyed by
the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) or Historic American
Engineering Record (HAER). While this assignment focuses on the
National Register nomination, documentation provided by HABS will
help to assess the NR nomination. NR and HABS databases are located
National Register Information System (NRIS)
Instructions are found at:
This database is maintained by the National Register of Historic
Places Program, National Park Service
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/ (This URL will change in the near
future. PCM 11/02)
Some states have their own NR databases, with added information.
Minnesota Historical Society
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American
Engineering Record (HAER) collections in the Prints and Photographs
Division of the Library of Congress. Download the survey (drawings,
photographs, photograph ID sheets, data sheets) from the Internet.
This database is maintained by HABS/HAER Division, National Park
2. To obtain a copy of the NR form, contact the State Historic
Preservation Office (if you are calling in-state) or the National
Park Service (if from another state).
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers,
which provides a list of all SHPOs
National Register of Historic Places Program, National Park Service
If requesting information, please include your mailing address,
and for nominations, please include the property name, county,
3. Once the NR nomination form is received, review it. Reference
the HABS or HAER documentation, too.
4. Read the following National Register Bulletins:
5. If possible, visit the property for an on-site evaluation of
the NR nomination (and HABS/HAER records). Take photographs as needed,
to help in writing the assessment. Label all photographs using the
same standards employed by the National Register.
6. Assess the National Register nomination, with reference to the
National Park Service standards and methods, and guidelines of the
National Register Bulletins cited above.
Answer the following questions, which are based mainly on the publication
How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation
(#15), with added material from Researching a Historic Property
(#39). Read all the questions before developing answers.
- Define National Register's meaning of the term "historic
context." Include the five things that must be determined
to determine whether a property is significant within its historic
- Identify the historical context(s) associated with the property?
- Is the historic context local, state, or national?
How is this substantiated?
- Did the property have to be evaluated against other examples
of the property type to determine its eligibility? If not,
why not? If so, how was the evaluation accomplished?
- How does the context substantiate the structure's significance?
- What is the period of significance?
- Define the association between the historic context and
the specific areas of significance?
- Based on the National Register list of Areas of Significance,
what is/are the theme(s)?
- Which of the four values (criteria) defined by the National
Register Criteria for Evaluation does the property embody,
based on its/their relation to the context and significance?
- Did the property have to meet special requirements called Criteria
Considerations, in addition to being eligible under one or
more of the four criteria? If so, why did it have to meet Criteria
Considerations. How were they met?
- Define integrity, according to the National Register.
- List the four steps needed to establish integrity, once
significance is established.
- List the seven aspects of integrity. Identify the aspects
that contribute to the property's integrity.
- In summary, list the primary and secondary source material
used as research resources for the nomination. Describe,
when possible, the information yielded from the resources
and its application to the National Register nomination.
- Consider what documentary research is employed to establish
- geography of context;
- period of significance;
- comparison with other properties of the same type (when
- criteria considerations (when necessary);
Consider employing a table, as illustrated in Bulletin Researching
a Historic Property (#39) in the printed copy and in the table
below. (Note: The electronic copy at http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb39/nrb39_IV.htm
does not employ tables at the Web site. )
||Potential (here, Actual) Information Yielded
||Possible (here, Actual) Application to National
Hand in the National Register nomination and the HABS/HAER recording
(drawings, photographs, photograph ID sheets, data sheets) with