National Register of Historic Places

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Perhaps the best known and most popular of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Programs (AHPP's) programs, the National Register of Historic Places is the country's official list of historically significant sites 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 archaeological resources. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service under the Secretary of the Interior. Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the United States.

Shady Lake CCC Bridge #2, Athens vic., Polk County

Randolph James House, El Dorado, Union County

National Register properties are distinguished by having been documented and evaluated according to uniform standards. These standards were developed to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have made a contribution to our country's history and heritage. The criteria are designed to guide state and local governments, federal agencies, and others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register. Properties, whether sites, buildings, structures, objects, or districts, must possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. They must also fit one or more of the following criteria:

A. Association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history

B. Association with the lives of persons significant in our past

C. Embodiment of the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction; representation of the work of a master; possession of high artistic values; or representation of a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction

D. The potential to yield information important in prehistory or history

Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years are not considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

Robert E. Lee School, Little Rock, Pulaski County

Kansas City Southern Caboose #383, Gravette, Benton County

A. A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance

B. A building or structure removed from its original location but significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event

C. A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life

D. A cemetery that derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events

E. A reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived

F. A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance

G. A property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance

Listing in the National Register provides recognition that a property is of significance to the nation, the state, or the community; consideration in the planning for federal or federally assisted projects; eligibility for federal tax benefits; and qualification for federal assistance for historic preservation, when funds are available. Listing properties in the National Register also often changes the way communities perceive their historic resources and gives credibility to efforts of private citizens and public officials to preserve these resources as living parts of our communities. National Register status does not, however, interfere with a private property owner's right to alter, manage, or dispose of property. Historical commissions, design review committees, or special zoning ordinances are established by state legislation or local ordinances; they are not a part of the National Register program.

Taylor Field, Pine Bluff, Jefferson County)

Price Produce and Filling Station, Springdale, Washington County

In Arkansas, the National Register is administered by the AHPP, which is the agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage that is headed by the State Historic Preservation Officer. A constituent may receive an application from the agency. Upon completion and return to the agency, qualified staff members review the application. If determined eligible, the property is scheduled to be presented to the State Review Board, which must approve all staff nominations before they can be sent to the National Register office in Washington. The board meets quarterly and is composed of eleven governor-appointed professionals from various fields. In the process of nomination, the staff also conducts a site visit to the property to photograph and fill out an architectural resources survey form.

In addition to the National Register of Historic Places program, the AHPP also administers the Arkansas Register of Historic Places program. The Arkansas Register recognizes historically significant properties that for various reasons - usually relocation or incompatible alterations - do not meet the higher standards of National Register designation (all National Register properties also are listed on the Arkansas Register). Owners of Arkansas Register properties are, however, eligible to apply for grants for projects that can make their historic property eligible for listing on the National Register;  View information on Historic Preservation Restoration Grants

Note: Our databases are currently under construction as we transition to our new webpage design. Some National Register of Historic Places and Arkansas Register of Historic Places listings may be missing or inaccurate during this transition period. Please contact the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program directly with any questions about properties on the National Register of Historic Places or the Arkansas Register of Historic Places.