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National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Maine Historic Preservation Commission, a state governmental agency, has been designated as the State Historic Preservation Office, and it oversees the administration of the National Register program in the State of Maine.

All properties listed in the National Register must meet the criteria established by the National Park Service. This criteria is applied national wide, and seeks to ensure that all listed property are both significant, within the areas of architecture, archaeology, engineering, culture or history, and that they retain their historic designs, materials, workmanship and sense of time and place.

There are many misconceptions about what results when a property is listed in the National Register.

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 grants for preservation activities.
  • Encourage the rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties which meet preservation standards through tax incentives

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.

Coming up...

     ...nominations to be presented at the next Commission Meeting.

New listings...

      ...properties recently listed in the National Register in Maine

To learn more you can...

National Register Property Owners