Portal:National Register of Historic Places

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The NRHP Portal

Old Slater Mill, a historic district in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was the first property listed in the National Register, on November 13, 1966.

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. 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 in 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 remainder are contributing resources within historic districts.

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, as well as to 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. The application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians.

Occasionally, historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States (such as the American Embassy in Tangiers) are also listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts and multiple property submissions (MPS). The Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, site, structure, building or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties. Some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service. These include National Historic Landmarks (NHL), National Historic Sites (NHS), National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials and some National Monuments. (Federal properties can be proclaimed National Monuments under the Antiquities Act because of either their historical or natural significance. They are managed by multiple agencies. Only monuments that are historic in character and managed by the National Park Service are listed administratively in the National Register.)

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Waller Hall Willamette University - Salem Oregon.jpg

Waller Hall is the oldest building on the campus of Willamette University in Salem. Built in 1867 as University Hall, the five-story, brick structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The building has been gutted twice by fires with the interior rebuilt each time, and went through renovations in 1987–1989 and 2005. From 1872 when the Oregon Institute building burned down until 1906 the building was the only permenat structure on campus.

Built in the Renaissance style of architecture, it is currently used for administration offices and is the oldest university building west of the Mississippi River in the U.S. still in use. Waller Hall is located on the north end of campus opposite the Oregon State Capitol building across State Street. All of the bricks used in the construction were fired on campus using clay excavated from the construction site in order to build the foundation. The school renamed the building in 1912 to Waller Hall in honor of longtime university trustee Alvin F. Waller. Waller is used for administrative functions, including housing the office of the university's president (as of 2008 M. Lee Pelton), and contains the Cone Chapel. Learn more...

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Woolworth Building
1913 photo of the Woolworth Building in New York City
Photo credit: Pictorial News Co.

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Frank Lloyd Wright portrait.jpg

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the most prominent and influential architects of the first half of the 20th century. He not only developed a series of highly individual styles over his extraordinarily long architectural career (spanning the years 1887-1959), he influenced the whole course of American architecture and building. To this day he probably remains America's most famous architect. Learn more...

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