Talk:Historic districts in the United States

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Good article Historic districts in the United States has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 5, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
October 23, 2009 Good article reassessment Kept
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 25, 2007.
Current status: Good article


The rest of the history can be seen at the redirect at Historic District which leads here.A mcmurray 06:20, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


I've added template:globalize, but there could alternative be an argument for removing any reference to this as a worldwide phenomenon and restricting the article to the United States, where a Historic District is legally defined. Warofdreams talk 18:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Could be. Although, I am not sure if there is any way to know if there is or is not legal protection in every nation on Earth.A mcmurray 20:03, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I guess you could look at having more than one country. You don't need to have every country in the world. In Australia we have the National Trust which owns/manages many historic areas. Ozdaren 08:13, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Or you could just do what Kpalion did and change the name of the page. Ozdaren 08:17, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think that was the best thing that could be done with this page as it is. Of course, that shouldn't stop anybody from writing an article on historic districts from a global perspective. — Kpalion(talk) 08:28, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree. That was the best thing to do, I would have included more global perspective but I lack them. I hope someone writes other articles as sometimes I think redirect tend to discourage that.A mcmurray 13:04, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Historic district (United States)[edit]

I looked over the article (sorry for taking so long, I had a busy day of classes) and found a few minor things, mostly grammar issues. I think once you fix the below suggestions you should nominate it (and then wait a month for it to be reviewed!). Let me know if you want any further clarification on these and thanks for the offer of reviewing an article of mine down the road. I want to work on the Leslie Nielsen article soon, but I'm waiting for some free time in my schedule.

  • In the intro sentence, entities is spelled wrong. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "All but the eponymous district category are also applied to historic districts listed on the National Register. [5]" Remove space between punctuation and inline citation. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • In the Property types section, integrity and integral are spelled wrong. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • In Federal historic districts, physical and separated are misspelled. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "The Register is the official recognition by the U.S. government concerning the historic or architectural significance of a district or property." This could use an inline citation. Not done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)  Done IvoShandor 07:44, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "However, if a property falls under one of those categories and are "ntegral parts of districts that do meet the criteria" then the exception for their listing will be made." Integral is spelled wrong. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • In Local historic districts section, Regulations is spelled wrong twice, once in the citation and again in the last paragraph of the section. Done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "In addition, the property becomes protected under specific state laws." Could you possibly explain what type of protection? I think you do include some information in a later statement ("Local historic districts usually enjoy the greatest level of protection, under law, from any threats that may compromise their historic integrity."), but maybe move this up earlier if applicable. Not done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC) DoneIvoShandor 08:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I have somewhat reworded this. I can include some specific state laws that protect properties more (Tennessee) but I think Nevada and North Carolina should be suffcient for the opposite (no real protections). If not let me know. IvoShandor 08:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Possibly expand the significance section if possible and integrity is misspelled. Not done IvoShandor 06:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)  Done IvoShandor 08:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

--Nehrams2020 03:55, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Good job on fixing all of those (I'm sure the spelling wasn't that difficult). The only other thing I would suggest is to adjust the bottom two images by spacing them out more (perhaps put one in the significance section) and maybe going through and adding more wikilinks you think are necessary. I'd recommend nominating it at GAC whenever you're ready. --Nehrams2020 08:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

In the discussion about resitance to local historic districts, a significant issue was overlooked. The concerns are not only about having an appropriate level of regulation, but also about interpretation and enforcement of regulations. Judgments by regulatory entities can be arbitrary and capricious.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

A level of detail I would certainly like to see this article get to. Any reliable sources I could use? (Also, try to remember to sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). IvoShandor 13:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Here's a couple examples of the arbitrary and capricious nature of historic district enforcements. In May of 2003, there was a widely publicized incident at the Avondale Estates historic district near Atlanta, GA. A homeowner with a non-historic, contemporary-style, non-contributing home was denied permisssion to modify his front steps by the town's historic preservation commission. In protest, the homeowner painted the house lime green with purple polka dots. In Chicago, a lawsuit challenging the city's landmarks ordinance has been filed in response to historic district designations. I believe it is presently known as "Albert C. Hanna and Carol C. Mrowka vs. the City of Chicago, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks,... etc.". It's a lengthy complaint containing many arguments. Among them are the suggestion that historic district designations are a tool for racial segregation. It also claims that historic district designations are being used as an improper substitution for failed downzoning attempts. It also claims that the criteria used to justify proposed landmark status are so broad that they are meaningless and really don't exclude any structure anywhere. This is all of particular concern in a place like Chicago where machine politics and "aldermanic prerogative" have a history of making a mockery of rule of law. 16:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The process in Chicago is very very very politically charged, as a regular reader of the Sun Times and Trib, I realize this. I will search out the info on Avondale Estates as soon as I get a chance. As for the Chicago may merit its own article or Commission on Chicago Landmarks could need a page, it could go there. Once I complete research on it, I will likely include some info here, so as not to stray to far into another topic, link wherever it seems that info would be best. There is already Chicago Landmark. Hmm. What do you think? IvoShandor 16:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think mention of this kind of controversy should be isolated on pages referring to specific locales. Widespread adoption of historic district ordinances in the US is a fairly recent phenomenon that swept the country overnight, and the forces that both encourage and resist this change in the landscape are deserving of identification. 19:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Neither do I. The only thing I wonder about is how much to include here. How much to include there, eventually, if I include every example, it could get unusably long and merit its own article, perhaps Local historic district, or something to that effect. That's what I was getting at. I have found several references to the Avondale Estates situation. I have access to complete historical archives of the Chicago Tribune as well as the Chicago Defender, so that won't be a problem. I am probably going to break this into a "Criticism" section. IvoShandor 19:25, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I will be adding this after the GA process is over. Unless the reviewer asks for it, which for GA criteria this article is probably broad enough. IvoShandor 15:14, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


Many historic districts from the days before cars try to keep the noise levels low and therefore, the streets might be one-way to keep the traffic low and have parking limits to keep the parking level low.

I have removed the above added by anonymous editor My reasoning: A) it had no source, see WP:RS. B)It doesn't belong in the lead, see WP:LEAD. IvoShandor 13:01, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

As a note, the first American historic district didn't appear until well after the invention of the automobile, the above addition contradicted the whole article in it's current form. IvoShandor 13:03, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

GA Passed[edit]

Article looks well, very clear and to the point. Automatic peer review suggestions are:

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas.

Congratulations. DoomsDay349 16:29, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

"...on the heels of a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors which stated Americans suffered from "rootlessness." This comes from where?? I removed the reference since they were very likely more concerned with population flight to the suburbs than historic preservation.

Well it comes from a citation, I will add it. IvoShandor 22:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
And perhaps you should read the article that it was cited to before making snap judgements, I will re read it to make sure I didn't misinterpret anything but the citation is in line and provided right there. Go to a library and read it. IvoShandor 22:13, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I added back what you removed and added a citation, which is redundant to what already appeared in the article, read the whole thing please, before commenting in the future. If you read the article its cited to you will see that it is in fact the case that the mayors recommeded historic preservation as one way to alleviate this "rootlessness." IvoShandor 22:30, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Inaccuracies in article[edit]

Just glancing at one paragraph now, i see some ncorrect assertions. The paragraph:

Districts established under U.S. federal guidelines generally begin the process of designation through a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the official recognition by the U.S. government of cultural resources worthy of preservation.[8] While designation through the National Register does offer a district or property some protections, it is only in cases where the threatening action involves the federal government. If the federal government is not involved, then the listing on the National Register provides the site, property or district no protections.[9] For example, if company A wants to tear down the hypothetical Smith House and company A is under contract with the state government of Illinois, then the federal designation would offer no protections. If, however, company A was under federal contract the Smith House would be protected. A federal designation is little more than recognition by the government that the resource is worthy of preservation.

First, it is is inaccurate, or at least imprecise, to say that listin starts by nomination to the National Register, implying an application document is being submitted to a Federal official. That would be late in the process, after possibly working with local government level and in almost every case it will go to a state level review first. (Certainly a preliminary process like that occurs in all states, not necessarily in U.S. territories or other non-states, there may be some exception.)

Second it is false to assert that National Register listing offers protection "only" in cases involving Federal action. The fact of National Register listing provides a handy hook for local zoning ordinances, which can easily require different review processes needed for any local properties that achieve National Register-listing. I think that is part of why some lawyers will advise their clients not to accept National Register listing, because future changes to local ordinances or California-style propositions or whatever can latch in protections, even in jurisdictions where there is no explicit protection. Also, it is false to imply there is no protection in the court of public opinion. A proposed demolition of any old building is one thing; a proposed demolition of a National Register-listed old building is a different matter. So there can be both other formal, legal protection and also informal, indirect protection from National Register listing.

I am not taking time now to review the whole article, but this excerpt makes me worry about overall quality of this article. I am surprised, somewhat, that it is GA listed. It certainly should not go to FA like this. It needs a good review. doncram (talk) 06:30, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Blah, blah, blah. Either fix it, or come with sources to back up your lambasting of an article. Your insolent nonsense is the reason I left the NRHP project to begin with. Buzz off, I don't care what you think.--IvoShandor (talk) 07:00, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
That's not to say that someone else doesn't. Or might not. But you need sources to back up what your saying, I'm pretty sure the material currently in the article is pretty well referenced. From what I have seen you do this all the time, with nothing, or almost nothing to back up what you say. So bring something to the table and I can work with you. What I can't abide is someone who goes around roundly criticizing articles with no evidence, and belittling the hard work that others have put into the project. There's a right way and wrong way to go about that, blatantly declaring the article to be false, when it is sourced, is not constructive. Neither is me telling to buzz off, so for that I apologize.--IvoShandor (talk) 07:06, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Yikes, sorry. I didn't mean to be offensive, but i guess my comments were over a certain line. You do have a fair point that i should fix rather than just criticize. Honestly, I'm sorry. I was just in a hurry to note something and then go elsewhere. doncram (talk) 07:50, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, your first point is fair, their is a nomination process that usually begins at the local level, though local governments are not always involved (though in an ideal world they would be). The other stuff really has to have sources to contradict the article I would think. But I don't really care about the arbitrary review processes on Wikipedia that much. And I certainly am not considering actively working in this area again, so do whatever you want to it, you already stripped the NRHP article of any all criticism (over my objections) without a second glance (or another source to back up your assertions). Just don't bother me about anything in the future and I will do my best to ignore your presence.--IvoShandor (talk) 08:06, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Hey, i am sorry that you were offended. About the NRHP article a way back, I do recall removing some criticisms that were sourced but which I thought were given undue weight in the article. My interpretation of wikipedia guideline wp:UNDUE and/or the facts of the situation could have been wrong. As I recall though, the criticisms were from a couple articles that appeared to me to be opinion pieces from the 1980's or so, which essentially said that NRHP-listing was random or biased. It might have been fair criticism when written, although it would have been appropriate to have some official response or other perspective (not saying you wouldn't have added that, if available, but if in fact there was never any response tends to suggest to me that the criticism was isolated or unimportant, meaning the notability of those criticisms is in some question). Date-wise, I believe that they preceded many MPS and TR type studies at state and national levels which sought, and in broad terms I believe largely succeeded, in bringing a lot more balance to NRHP listings. I imagine the same authors would have different opinions now. No, I can't back that supposition up with a source, it is a supposition. At any rate, I don't recall edit warring about this, I believe i removed the material to the Talk page or removed it plus opened a discussion at the Talk page. It would be fine by me for it to be discussed again, for other editors' opinions to be sought, and for the criticism to be restored. Also, I am surprised that you took this so personally. I thought we were friends, actually, in general sharing similar views and interests and working on a productive hobby. I will try not to bother you, but I thought I should at least respond here. doncram (talk) 01:05, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

"In fact, the most valuable properties in many communities are those within designated historic districts" POV, as usual —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:24, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Historic district (United States)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.
Notified: IvoShandor (talk · contribs), Doncram (talk · contribs), Wikipedia talk:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Urban studies and planning--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 22:45, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Keep--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 03:40, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I am reviewing this article as part of GA Sweeps. This is in pretty good shape, but it needs some work to bring it in line with the current standards of WP:WIAGA. I am about to outline a partial list of issues that need to be addressed. After I post this listing, I will give concerned and interested editors a week before I reevaluate the article's quality rating. I will be following along with the progress of the article and may make additional comments as it is appropriate.
The six dead links were all to a NIU library website that enables access to the referenced print journal articles. I have removed the links as they are not necessary for print sources. I've also replaced the suspiscious link with one from the National Park Service that says the same thing as the referenced sentence. --Polaron | Talk 02:10, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Alt text has been added all the images and captions have been fixed to conform with WP:CAPTION#Wording. --Polaron | Talk 05:07, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I would like to suggest that the images could be more representative of the topic. As I understand historic districts refer to a group of buildings which provide a larger area a historic character, and is distinct from individual historic buildings. However, from the six examples the article currently presents four only show individual buildings while only two images show a group. Elekhh (talk) 04:38, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Yes. Please swap out individual building images for district images.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 06:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Just a suggestion: North Water Street, New Bedford, MA, part of the New Bedford Historic District, a U.S. National Historic Landmark District North Water Street, New Bedford, MA.jpg Elekhh (talk) 13:20, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Progress was being made and then all of a sudden nothing more got done. I hope to see this cleanup resumed. I will check back.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 07:50, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

POV propaganda continues, Tony the Tiger should be banned from this topic[edit]

The main reason to devote so much space to identification of studies that suggest historic district designations are good for property values is to promote historic districts, but the studies of designated historic districts are intrinsicly flawed because the designations always occur after development pressures appear, meaning the market demand was building prior to the designation.

Historic preservation activists never tire of mentioning the 1966 US Conference of Mayors that declared we suffer from 'rootlessness', but they never provide the 1966 context of urban decline and middle class flight that caused mayors to be defensive and look for excuses. Was it rootlessness or flight from rot caused by political corruption? Anyone seeking truth would run from a 1966 conference of mayors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

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