Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part III

Welcome to Part III in a series regarding Historic Homes!  In Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part I we defined what a historic home is and some of the resources available for finding a historic home.  With the basics out of the way we moved on to….

Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part II which highlighted some of the financial resources available as well as incentives for owning a historic home. 

In Part III we will look at the process entailed in having a property designated as a Historic Home.

It is important to note again that the information within these posts regarding Historic Homes are specific to North Carolina.  Please check with your local State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for information specific to your area.

There are several criteria for a property that should be considered before proceeding with the Study List Application and they are:

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

  • that are associated with events that have made significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  • that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
  • 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
  • that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

Moving beyond that there are exceptions to the criteria which are too numerous to list.  However, should your property fall within the general criteria mentioned above then I would highly suggest that you complete a Study List Application for your property.

A Study List Application is the formal process by which you can submit your property to your SHPO for them to evaluate your home for designation.  You must provide photos of your property as well as detailed information regarding your property on the Application.  Filling out the form DOES NOT constitute your property being designated.  Once your Study List Application is submitted it will be reviewed by the NRAC (National Register Advisory Committee) which is comprised of professional historians, archaeologists, architectural historians, and architects as well as other citizens having a demonstrated interest and expertise in historic preservation.  If it is of the opinion of the NRAC that your property could be potentially eligible for the National Register it will then be placed on a Study List.  Upon your property succesfully making it to the Study List phase the NRAC will authorize HPO staff to work with you to coordinate a formal nomination of the property to the National Register.

Once a property is adeqately reviewed and ready for National Nomination the services of a private consultant are most commonly employed to navigate the process.  Private owners MAY prepare the nomination themselves and are capable of doing so via a packet available to them with instructions, forms and sample nominations for guidelines.  Substandard nominations will NOT be submitted to Washington and the Historic Preservation Office will NOT make revisions to your application.

After a nomination is reviewed by the NRAC and recommends the property be submitted to the National Register it is signed off by the SHPO Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register where the nomination will be reviewed and a decision will be made to list or not to list the property.  A decision will be made no less than 15 days and no more than 45 days from the date of receipt.  Should your property be listed on the National Register the Historic Preservation Office will notify you and provide you with a certificate stating that the property has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

While this process may seem time-consuming it is well worth itDetails are key and cooperation with the local SHPO is a must. 

Join me for Part IV coming soon!  In Part IV we will explore “Restoration“.  Quite an interesting topic!

For more information regarding historic homes in My Back Yard…. please feel free to call or email anytime!