Property type (National Register of Historic Places)


Property type (National Register of Historic Places)

The U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) classifies its listings by various types of properties. Listed properties generally fall into one of five categories, though there are special considerations for other types of properties which do not fit into these five broad categories or fit into more specialized subcategories. The five general categories for NRHP properties are: building, structure, object, site, and district. In addition, historic districts consist of contributing and non-contributing properties. Historic districts possess a concentration, linkage or continuity of the other four types of properties. Objects, structures, buildings and sites within a historic district are united historically or aesthetically, either by choice or by the nature of their development.

Buildings, as defined by the National Register, are distinguished in the traditional sense. Examples include a house, barn, hotel, church or similar construction. They are created primarily to shelter human activity. The term building, as in outbuilding, can be used to refer to historically and functionally related units, such as a courthouse and a jail or a barn and a house.

Structures differ from buildings, in that they are functional constructions meant to be used for purposes other than sheltering human activity. Examples include, an aircraft, a grain elevator, a gazebo and a bridge. Objects are usually artistic in nature, or small in scale when compared to structures and buildings. Though objects may be movable they are generally associated with a specific setting or environment. Examples of objects include, monuments, sculptures and fountains. Sites are the location of significant events which can be prehistoric or historic in nature and represent activities, buildings (standing, ruined or vanished). With sites it is the location itself which is of historical interest and it possesses cultural or archaeological value regardless of the value of any structures which may currently exist on the location. Examples of sites include, shipwrecks, battlefields, campsites, natural features and rock shelters.

General categories

Listed properties generally fall into one of five categories, though there are special considerations for other types of properties which do not fit into these five broad categories or fit into more specialized subcategories. The five general categories for NRHP properties are: building, structure, object, site, and district. In addition, historic districts consist of contributing and non-contributing properties.

When multiple like properties are submitted as a group and listed together, they are know as a Multiple Property Submission.

Building

Buildings, as defined by the National Register, are distinguished in the traditional sense. Examples include a house, barn, hotel, church or similar construction. They are created primarily to shelter human activity. The term building, as in outbuilding, can be used to refer to historically and functionally related units, such as a courthouse and a jail or a barn and a house." [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb15/nrb15.pdf How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation] ," (PDF), National Register Bulletins, "National Park Service". Retrieved 22 March, 2007.]

Buildings included on the National Register of Historic Places must have all of their basic structural elements as parts of buildings, such as ells, wings, interiors or facades are not independently eligible for the National Register. As such, the whole building is considered during the nomination and its significant features must be identified. If a nominated building has lost any of its basic structural elements it is considered a ruin and categorized as a site.

Historic districts

The National Register of Historic Places defines a historic district per U.S. federal law, last revised in 2004. According to the Register definition a historic district is: "a geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development. A district may also comprise individual elements separated geographically but linked by association or history." [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/regulations.htm#603 Title 36: Section 60.3] , Parks Forests and Public Property, Chapter One, Part 60. National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 19 February 2007.]

A contributing property is any building, structure, object or site within the boundaries of the district which contributes to its historic associations, historic architectural qualites or archaeological qualites of a historic district. Another key aspect of the contributing property is historic integrity. Significant alterations to a property can damage its physical connections with the past, lowering its historic integrity. [http://www.state.sc.us/scdah/NRhdQ&A.htm National Register Historic Districts Q&A] , South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 19 February 2007.]

As a general rule, contributing properties are what help make a historic district historic. A 19th century Queen Anne mansion, such as the David Syme House, is a contributing property while a modern gas station within the boundaries of historic district is a non-contributing property.

Object

Objects are usually artistic in nature, or small in scale when compared to structures and buildings. Though objects may be movable they are generally associated with a specific setting or environment. Examples of objects include, monuments, sculptures and fountains.

Objects considered for inclusion on the NRHP, individually or as part of districts, should be designed for a specific location, that is objects such as transportable sculpture, furniture and other decorative arts that lack a specific place are discouraged. Fixed outdoor sculpture, an example of public art, would be a good object for inclusion on the Register. The setting of an object is important in relation to the Register. It should be appropriate to their significant historical use, roles, or character. In addition, objects that have been relocated to a museum are not considered for inclusion on the Register.

ite

Sites are the location of significant events which can be prehistoric or historic in nature and represent activities, buildings (standing, ruined or vanished). With sites it is the location itself which is of historical interest and it possesses cultural or archaeological value regardless of the value of any structures which may currently exist on the location. Examples of sites include, shipwrecks, battlefields, campsites, natural features and rock shelters.

Sites often possess significance for their potential to yield information in the future, though they are added to the Register under all four of the criteria for inclusion. Sites need not have actual physical remains if it marks the location of a prehistoric or historic event or if there were no buildings or structures present at the time of the events marked by the site. Site determination can take careful evaluation when the location of prehistoric or historic events cannot be conclusively determined.

Sites are represented by different locales. Sites can be a natural landmark strongly associated with significant prehistoric or historic events. Though, in general, the Register excludes natural waterways or bodies of water, even if they were significant in the historical development of an area. More appropriate documentation of the importance of natural waterways is through nomination and Register inclusion of properties affiliated with the waterways.

tructure

Structures differ from buildings, in that they are functional constructions meant to be used for purposes other than sheltering human activity. Examples include, an aircraft, a ship, a grain elevator, a gazebo and a bridge.

For nominated structures the criteria are applied in much the same fashion as they are for buildings. The basic structural elements must all be intact, no individual parts of the structure are eligible for separate inclusion on the NRHP. An example would be a truss bridge being considered for inclusion. Said truss bridge is composed of metal or wooden truss, abutments and supporting piers; for the property to be considered eligible for the Register all of these elements must extant. Structures which have lost their historic configuration or pattern of organization through demolition or deterioration, much like buildings, are considered ruins and classified as sites.

Other categories

There are several other different types of historic preservation associated with the properties on the National Register of Historic Places that do not fall into the categories with simple buildings and historic districts. Through the National Park Service the National Register of Historic Places publishes a series of bulletins designed to aid in evaluating and applying the criteria for evaluation against different types of properties. Though the criteria are always the same, the way they are applied can differ slightly, depending upon the type of property involved. The Register bulletins cover application of the criteria for: aids to navigation, historic battlefields, archaeological sites, aviation properties, cemeteries and burial places, historic designed landscapes, mining sites, post offices, properties associated with significant persons, properties achieving significance within the last 50 years, rural historic landscapes, traditional cultural properties, and vessels and shipwrecks.

Archaeological sites

Archaeological properties are subject to the same four criteria as other properties under consideration for the NRHP. Archaeological sites also must meet at least one of the criteria. Many listed properties which joined the Register under the first, second and fourth criteria contain intact archaeological deposits. Often, these deposits are undocumented, for example a 19th century farmstead is likely to contain intact, undocumented archaeological deposits.Little, Barbara, Seibert, Erika Martin, et al. " [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/arch/pt4.htm Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Archaeological Properties] ," (Section IV - Evaluating the Significance of Archaeological Properties), National Register Bulletin, National Register Publication, "National Park Service", 2000. Retrieved 22 March, 2007.]

Cultural landscapes

Maritime sites

By the tenth year of the National Register's existence, 1976, there were 46 shipwrecks and vessels listed on the NRHP.Delgado, James P. " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0848-8525%281987%2919%3A1%3C34%3ATNROHP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-R The National Register of Historic Places and Maritime Preservation] ," "APT Bulletin," Vol. 19, No. 1, Maritime Preservation. (1987), pp. 34-39. Retrieved 21 March 2007.] In 1985 Congress mandated that the National Park Service undertake a survey of historic maritime sites, including military sites, in tandem with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the maritime preservation community. The program was known as the National Maritime Initiative.Delgado, James P. " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0272-3433%28199122%2913%3A3%3C75%3ATNMIAI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E The National Maritime Initiative: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Maritime Preservation (in Preservation Technology)] ," "The Public Historian", Vol. 13, No. 3, Preservation Technology. (Summer, 1991), pp. 75-84. Retrieved 22 March, 2007.] The goal of the program was to establish priorities for the preservation of maritime resources and recommend roles for the federal government and the private sector in addressing those priorities. The program categorized the known maritime resources of the United States into one of eight categories. They included: preserved historic vessels, shipwrecks and hulks (those ships not afloat but not submerged entirely), documentation (logs, journals, charts, photos, etc.), aids to navigation (including coast guard stations and life-saving stations), marine sites and structures (wharves, warehouse, waterfronts, docks, canals, etc.), small craft (less than 40 feet long, less than 20 tons displacement), artifact collections (fine art, tools, woodwork, parts of vessels, etc.), intangible cultural resources (shipwright and rigging skills, oral traditions, folklore, etc.).Wall, Glennie Murray. " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0848-8525%281987%2919%3A1%3C2%3ATNMI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-O The National Maritime Initiative (in Opinion)] ," (JSTOR), "APT Bulletin", Vol. 19, No. 1, Maritime Preservation. (1987), pp. 2-3+18. Retrieved 22 March, 2007.]

Traditional cultural properties

1992 amendments to the NHPA allowed for a new designation of property type, that of the traditional cultural property (TCP). The amendments established that properties affiliated with traditional religious and cultural importance to a Native American tribe or Native Hawaiian group were eligible for the National Register. TCPs include sacred sites, natural resource collection areas and the occasional archaeological site associated with ancestral Native American groups. [A German critique about the concept of 'Traditional Cultural Properties', see: Michael Falser: Denkmalpflege und nationale Identität in den USA: Vom exklusiven Kulturerbe zum Konzept des ‚Traditional Cultural Property’. In: Köth, A., Krauskopf, K., Schwarting, A.(Eds.) Building America. Vol 2 (Migration der Bilder). Dresden 2007, pp. 299-324.] Ferguson, T. J. " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0084-6570%281996%292%3A25%3C63%3ANAATPO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-B Native Americans and the Practice of Archaeology] ," (JSTOR), "Annual Review of Anthropology", Vol. 25. (1996), pp. 63-79. Retrieved 23 March 2007.]

ee also

* Historic preservation
* National Register of Historic Places

Notes


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