How to Put an Old House on the Historical Homes List

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To add a house to the historical homes list, the property must be registered with the National Register of Historic Places, which is a division of the United States National Park Service. The process of adding a home to this list is not difficult, but certain standards must be met to fit nationally designated interpretations of historic significance. According to the National Park Service's website guide to historic property submission, the first step of the certification process is to determine if the home can be deemed "historic."

Determine if the house you would like to designate can be considered historic. According to the National Park Service, a house is deemed historic by evaluating its age, integrity and significance. A property for consideration should be at least 50 years old. The "integrity" of the property concerns any changes that have occurred over the lifetime of the home; the appearance of the home should be relatively unchanged from its initial construction. The historical significance of the home is also key. If the home was part of a socially, politically or architecturally historic event, this will be relevant to the nomination.

Locate your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). For a link to all 50 SHPO websites, consult the National Park Service's listing at NPS.gov, National Register of Historic Places.

Submit a nomination to the State Historic Preservation Office. Nominations do not need to be made by property owners but can be made by any individual or organization. To nominate a home, fill out the nomination form on your state's SHPO website. Other information, such as the state's individual requirements for historic designation, can also be found an each state's SHPO website. If you are not the property owner, the SHPO will notify the home's property owners once the nomination form has been submitted. If the owners veto, the nomination cannot go forward. However, the nomination can still be evaluated by the National Park Service to determine if the house qualifies as a historic home. If the property owners do not veto the nomination, the SHPO will take the listing into consideration. This process, which varies by state, will last a minimum of 90 days.

If the home meets the criteria for historical designation, the SHPO will send the nomination to the National Park Service for final consideration. The decision-making process can take up to 45 days. If approved, the home will be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

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