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National Register of Historic Places


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 preservation activities.
. Enable federal, state, and local agencies to consider historic properties in the early stages of planning projects.
. Provide for review of federally funded, licensed, or sponsored projects which may affect historic properties.
. Make owners of historic properties eligible to apply for federal grants-in-aid for preservation activities.
. Encourage the rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties which meet preservation standards through tax incentives; discourage the demolition of income-producing properties through tax disincentives.
The National Register DOES NOT:

. Restrict the rights of private property owners in the use, development, or sale of private historic property.
. 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 properties.
. 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