National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places recognizes districts, buildings, structures, objects, and sites for their significance in American history, archeology, architecture, engineering, or culture, and identifies them as worthy of preservation. The National Register is a program of the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and is administered at the State level by the Maryland Historical Trust.
The National Register currently comprises over 1300 listings in Maryland, including some 200 historic districts. Listed properties span a wide variety of types and periods, ranging from prehistoric archeological sites to buildings of the recent past, and include rural landscapes, urban and suburban neighborhoods, bridges, sailing vessels, and more.
For more information on the National Register of Historic Places please contact Peter Kurtze, Administrator of Registration and Evaluation at (410) 514-7649.
How are properties listed?
National Register Criteria
To be eligible for the National Register, a property must demonstrate significance in terms of one or more of four broad criteria
- events or trends;
- association with individuals who made a demonstrable and lasting contribution;
- architectural merit;
- or the potential to yield information that will contribute to a better understanding of our past.
Significance is evaluated in a national, state, or local context.
In addition to demonstrating significance, a property must retain physical integrity to reflect that significance; it must not have been substantially altered since the period when the event occurred, or the person lived there.
- Architecturally significant properties must retain the majority of the features that characterize their type.
- Archeological sites must remain intact.
Information concerning the physical character and historical development of a property is presented in a specific format on a National Register nomination form. Nomination forms and instructions are available from MHT.
Determinations of Eligibility
For purposes of regulatory compliance, agencies may request a determination of eligibility (DOE). DOEs are only made in the course of compliance projects. However, MHT staff can offer an informal, preliminary opinion on a property’s potential eligibility upon request. To find out how to determine whether a property may be a likely candidate for listing in the Register, contact Peter Kurtze.
The Review Process
- National Register nominations are submitted to MHT, where staff performs an initial review.
- Nominations are then scheduled for presentation to the Governor’s Consulting Committee on the National Register (GCC), which meets three times a year.
- If the GCC’s recommendation is favorable, and the State Historic Preservation Officer concurs, the nomination is forwarded to the National Register office of the National Park Service for final action.
Certain local governments in Maryland have been certified by NPS to participate in the National Register review process. [Link to CLG list] In these jurisdictions, the local Historic Preservation Commission and chief elected official are also charged with reviewing nominations and making recommendations concerning their eligibility for the National Register.
Benefits and Protections
Listing in the National Register honors the property by recognizing its importance to its community, State, or to the Nation, and confers a measure of protection from harm by Federal or State activities. [Link to Section 106 process] It does not, however, place any restrictions on the actions of private property owners.
Listing in the National Register is the effective threshold for eligibility for a variety of programs designed to assist in the preservation of significant properties, including Federal and State tax credits for certain types of rehabilitation work. Other financial incentives for preservation include grants and loans.
Donations of preservation easements on Register-listed properties may qualify for charitable tax deductions.
National Historic Landmarks
The National Historic Landmarks program is administered by the National Park Service; the Maryland Historical Trust plays an advisory role in the designation process. Properties designated National Historic Landmarks are have been determined by the Secretary of the Interior to have exceptional value in representing or illustrating an important theme in the history of the Nation as a whole.
Maryland Register of Historic Properties
Properties listed in the National Register, or determined eligible for the National Register by the Director of the Maryland Historical Trust, are included in the Maryland Register of Historic Properties.
The Maryland Register is a list of properties recognized by the State of Maryland for their significance in American history or culture. Properties listed in the Maryland Register are afforded certain regulatory protections, and are eligible for MHT grants and loans.
This page updated: September 21, 2010
- National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service
- National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service
- Historic American Buldings Survey
- Historic American Engineering Record
- Historic American Landscape Survey
- Maryland State Archives
- Maryland Historical Society
- Vernacular Architecture Forum