The National Register (NR) of Historic Places is the
nation's official list of cultural resources, 50
years or older, worthy of preservation. Authorized
under the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966, the National Register is part of a nationwide
program to coordinate and support public and private
efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our
historic and archaeological places.
Properties listed in the NR include districts,
sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are
significant in American history, architecture,
archaeology, engineering, and culture at the local,
state, and/or national level. The list is maintained
by the National Park Service.
Nominations to the National Register are submitted
from each state by the State Historic Preservation
Officer (SHPO). In Alabama, the SHPO is the
executive director of the Alabama Historical
Commission (AHC). The section within the AHC that
administers the National Register and related
programs is the Survey and Registration Section of
the Historic Preservation Division. The personnel
of Survey and Registration serve as staff for the SHPO in National Register activities and duties.
In every state, a review board examines potential
nominations and makes recommendations to the SHPO
regarding the eligibility of properties and the
adequacy of nominations. The Alabama National
Register Review Board consists of scholars and
citizens from across the state. The board meets
three times a year (March, June, October) to
consider the eligibility of properties for
nomination to the National Register. Nominations
approved by the review board are forwarded to the
Keeper of the National Register in the National Park
Service in Washington, D.C. Final authority to list
properties in the National Register resides with the
National Park Service.
The National Register DOES:
. Identify historically significant buildings,
structures, sites, objects, and districts, according
to the National Register criteria for evaluation.
. Encourage the preservation of historic properties
by documenting the significance of historic
properties and by lending support to local
. Enable federal, state, and local agencies to
consider historic properties in the early stages of
. Provide for review of federally funded, licensed,
or sponsored projects which may affect historic
. Make owners of historic properties eligible to
apply for federal grants-in-aid for preservation
. Encourage the rehabilitation of income-producing
historic properties which meet preservation
standards through tax incentives; discourage the
demolition of income-producing properties through
The National Register DOES NOT:
. Restrict the rights of private property owners in
the use, development, or sale of private historic
. Lead automatically to historic district zoning.
. Force federal, state, local, or private projects
to be stopped.
. Provide for review of state, local, or privately
funded projects which may affect historic
. Guarantee that grant funds will be available for
all significant historic properties.
. Provide tax benefits to owners of residential
historic properties, unless those properties are
rental and treated as income-producing by the IRS.
For more information, contact David Ray, National
Register Coordinator, at (334) 230-2688 or
For detailed information concerning the National
Register go to the National Park Service website at