Frequently Asked Questions from the National Park Service website
What are the Listing Criteria?
The National Register's standards for evaluating the significance of properties were developed to recognize the accomplishments of
all peoples who have made a significant 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.
Criteria for Evaluation The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is
present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials,
workmanship, feeling, and association, and:
A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. That are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master,
or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack
individual distinction; or
D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history
Criteria Considerations Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, 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
shall not be 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:
a. A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or
b. A building or structure removed from its original location but which is primarily significant for architectural value, or which is
the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event; or
c. A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no appropriate site or building directly
associated with his or her productive life; or
d. A cemetery which derives its primary importance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from
distinctive design features, or from association with historic events; or
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; or
f. A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own exceptional
significance; or
g. A property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.
How old does a property have to be?
Generally, properties eligible for listing in the National Register are at least 50 years old. Properties less than 50 years of age
must be exceptionally important to be considered eligible for listing.
How long does the process take?
The process varies from State to State depending on State workload, planning, and registration priorities, and the schedule of
the review board. The process takes a minimum of 90 days to fulfill all of the review and notification requirements provided that a
complete and fully documented nomination form has been completed for the property.
Upon submission to the National Park Service, a decision on whether to list the property is made within 45 days.