Portal:National Register of Historic Places

The NRHP Portal

Old Slater Mill, a historic district in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was the first property listed in the National Register, on November 13, 1966.

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually. The remainder are contributing resources within historic districts.

For most of its history, the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service (NPS), an agency within the United States Department of the Interior. Its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as to coordinate, identify and protect historic sites in the United States. While National Register listings are mostly symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians.

Occasionally, historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States (such as the American Embassy in Tangiers) are also listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts and multiple property submissions (MPS). The Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, site, structure, building or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties. Some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service. These include National Historic Landmarks (NHL), National Historic Sites (NHS), National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials and some National Monuments. (Federal properties can be proclaimed National Monuments under the Antiquities Act because of either their historical or natural significance. They are managed by multiple agencies. Only monuments that are historic in character and managed by the National Park Service are listed administratively in the National Register.)

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Indianapolis-indiana-soldiers-sailors-monument.jpg

The Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a 284-feet tall neoclassical oolitic limestone and bronze monument in the center of Indianapolis (and Marion County, Indiana). It was erected to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Revolution, territorial conflicts that partially led up to the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, and the US Civil War. It was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, and was completed in 1901. In addition to its external commemorative statuary and fountains, the basement of the monument is the Colonel Eli Lilly Museum, a museum of Indiana history during the American Civil War. There is also an observation deck that can be reached by stairs for free or by elevator for a $1.00 charge.

The circle is the standard symbol of the city of Indianapolis, and the city's flag is an iconic representation of Monument Circle and the two streets (Meridian and Market) that feed into and out of it. One of Indy's recognizable nicknames, "the Circle City" comes from Monument Circle. At one time, it was illegal to build any building taller than the monument within Indianapolis city limits, although there are now many skyscrapers exceeding its size.

The poem America, Messiah of Nations was written by James Whitcomb Riley for the dedication of the monument and was transformed into a march by John Philip Sousa. Both Riley and Sousa performed the poem and march at the dedication ceremonies. Learn more...

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Manhattan Bridge
The Manhattan Bridge in New York City, New York

Photo credit: Irving Underhill, 1872-1960, American photographer

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Ammi Burnham Young (by Cyrus Rogers, 1846).jpg
Ammi Burnham Young (June 19, 1798 - March 14, 1874) was an important 19th century American architect whose commissions transitioned from the Greek Revival to the Neo-Renaissance styles. His Second Vermont State House brought him fame and success, which eventually led him to become the first Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department. As federal architect, he was responsible for creating across the United States numerous custom houses, post offices, courthouses and hospitals, many of which are today on the National Register. His traditional architectural forms lent a sense of grandeur and permanence to the new country's institutions and communities. Young pioneered the use of iron in construction. Learn more...

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