The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation. 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 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 rest are contributing resources within historic districts. Each year approximately 30,000 properties are added to the National Register as part of districts or by individual listings.
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, 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.
Preservation focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property's form as it has evolved over time;
Rehabilitation acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property's historic character,
Restoration is undertaken to depict a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods; and,
Reconstruction re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes.
IMPORTANCE Is the building a nationally significant resource? Did an important event take place in it?
CONDITION What is the existing condition of the building prior to work?
BUILDING USE Will the building be used as it was historically or will it be given a new use?
BUILDING CODE Regardless of the treatment, code requirements will need to be taken into consideration.
The Historic District Commission exists to help preserve the heritage of the region's built environment. Assuming that these standards are followed, and that details and elements of the structure's envelope are to be preserved (or replaced "in kind"), approval should granted. Thoughtful consideration of the process used to approve or reject proposed actions before making application will increase the likelihood of your plan being approved.