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Baseline Survey Effort, 2020-2024

​PA SHPO is undertaking a three-year effort to collect baseline information about thousands of older and historic places across a vast part of Pennsylvania that are underrepresented in Pennsylvania's statewide inventory.

Read PA SHPO's Plan for Baseline Survey in Pennsylvania, 2020-2024.

What is baseline survey?

Survey is the process of identifying and gathering data on a community's historic resources. It includes field survey, the physical search for and recording of historic resources on the ground, and it also includes public engagement, planning and background research before field survey begins.

This baseline survey will collect a minimum amount of locational and physical data and photographs about historic properties - what is known as the minimum record.  This effort is focused on adding new places to the PA Historic Places Inventory rather than updating existing information. The data will be integrated into the PA Historic Places Inventory and accessible through PA-SHARE.

There are several benefits of collecting data on historic resources in Pennsylvania. Historic places define the character, continuity, and a sense of uniqueness to a community. A locally important historic resource might never appear on a list of nationally significant places but undertaking this type of survey acknowledges that these resources have value to Pennsylvania's communities and future generations. Baseline survey data can inform inventories of National Register historic districts, which can lead to the use of historic preservation tax credits and grants to stimulate rehabilitation of historic buildings. Data from this baseline survey effort can also be used to assist municipalities and organizations in their efforts to interpret and celebrate an area's history.

Survey Scope

The PA SHPO has identified approximately 27,000 total resources to survey in 52 counties over 3 years.  Within these 52 counties, PA SHPO has identified specific municipalities for survey. 

You can learn more about the areas identified for survey in the Plan for Baseline Survey in Pennsylvania, 2020-2024.

Baseline Survey Effort County Map.jpg Map showing survey location by year. The specific number and order of counties to be surveyed may be subject to change.

Baseline Survey Priorities

PA SHPO has identified several survey priorities for this baseline survey effort. Priority resources for survey are those that reflect themes underrepresented in the PA Historic Places Inventory and those that are identified by local stakeholders.

These priorities are:

Baseline survey efforts will also collect information about these types of places:

  • Recreational properties
  • Urban redevelopment projects
  • Fraternal buildings
  • Representative mid-20th century resources
  • Industrial resources
  • Representative commercial and residential properties of local vernacular 

 You can learn more about the survey priorities and survey methodology in the Plan for Baseline Survey in Pennsylvania, 2020-2024.

Stakeholder Engagement

Engagement with local stakeholders is an important component of this survey effort. Not only will it provide an opportunity to build relationships and educate a broader audience on the importance of survey but will also help PA SHPO document the places and spaces Pennsylvanians value in their communities.

Local stakeholders and others are welcome to tell us about places in their communities using this link.  

Related Materials

Plan for Baseline Survey in Pennsylvania: 2020-2024

Baseline Survey Census Research: Lycoming County

Baseline Survey Census Research: Sullivan County