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SHPO Role and Listing Criteria

The National Register of Historic Places was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) manages the National Register program.



In the role of manager of the National Register program in Pennsylvania, the duties of the SHPO include:

  • Evaluating National Register eligibility
  • Making the official nomination of resources to the National Register of Historic Places
  • Providing information on historic properties, including National Register and National Historic Landmark listings
  • Providing guidance on conducting architectural and historic surveys
  • Providing technical assistance to preparers of National Register nominations

As per the Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR Part 60.6, nomination forms are prepared under the supervision of the SHPO. The SHPO reserves the right to make edits to all nominations in order to ensure they meet NPS guidance, criteria, and mandates.


National Register Listing Criteria

Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. National Register properties are distinguished by having been documented and evaluated according to uniform criteria established by the NPS.

National Register criteria recognizes the accomplishments of all peoples who have contributed to the history and heritage of the United States and are designed to help state and local governments, federal agencies, and others identify significant historic and archeological properties worthy of preservation and of consideration in planning and development decisions.

Listing in the National Register often changes the way communities perceive their historic resources and gives credibility to efforts to preserve these resources as irreplaceable parts of our communities.


Additional Resources

Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places

Chapter 5, sect;502(2), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute, Title 37, Historical and Museums, also known as The Pennsylvania History Code, empowers the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (Commission) to compile, maintain, revise and publish a selected inventory of significant historic resources in the Commonwealth, to be known as the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places, pursuant to criteria of significance approved by the Commission.

The policy and practice of the Commission is and has been that properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places shall constitute the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places.

The Commission's policy of maintaining a Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places parallels those listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. This policy was officially approved at its quarterly meeting on March 15, 2006 and recorded in the minutes of that meeting to confirm the existing practice.