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Listing Historic Districts in the National Register
Before You Begin
Oakland Historic District, Oakland
Oakland Historic District, Oakland
Is it Eligible?
 
A historic district is an area or neighborhood that has a concentration of buildings, associated landscape, and streetscape features that are at least 50 years old or older. To be eligible for the National Register the district must maintain its historic appearance and be associated with an important aspect of the area’s history. Before beginning a nomination, consult with SHPO staff to ensure that your potential historic district meets these minimum requirements, and to receive information on how to complete the nomination.
 
Before beginning a historic district nomination, submit a Historic Resource Record (HRR) to the SHPO. The HRR asks those interested in listing a property to briefly describe the district and why they believe it is eligible for the National Register, as well as to submit photographs of the district. HRRs can be submitted in person, by regular mail, or email. SHPO staff will answer these requests within two to four weeks, often sooner.

Using standards established by the National Park Service and information provided in the HRR, SHPO staff will give their opinion on the property's eligibility for the National Register, and give advice on potential research strategies. SHPO staff will also include useful information about the National Register and how to complete a nomination form in the HRR response.
 
Although it is possible for an individual or group to nominate a historic district, the SHPO suggests that historic preservation professionals prepare historic district nominations. Historic district nominations are often multi-year projects requiring specialized knowledge of local history, architecture, and National Register documentation. Professionals should submit a HRR before beginning work on a potential historic district.
 
Historic Resource Record (HRR) [doc]

What Does Listing Mean?
 
The SHPO and the federal government do not regulate private property unless the owner chooses to take advantage of federal and state tax incentives or grants. Local county and city governments, however, are required by state law to protect properties listed in the National Register. Because local laws vary from place to place, property owners or those looking to purchase properties listed in the National Register should contact their local planning office.

For More Information
 
National Register Program - SHPO webpage that describes what the National Register and listing process
 
Historic District Fact Sheet [pdf] - Fact sheet about historic districts and property owners' rights and responsibilities
 
National Register Benefits and Responsibilities - SHPO webpage that describes programs available to property owners with National Register properties and applicable land-use laws

Oregon Grants - SHPO webpage that describes available grants to owners of National Register properties and other cultural resources and institutions

Tax Incentives Program - SHPO webpage that describes tax benefit programs available to National Register properties
 
Professional Contractors List - Directory of contractors offering various services from historic building repair to National Register nomination preparation

Completing the National Register Nomination
Oregon State University Historic District
Oregon State University Historic District
 
The National Register nomination is a federal document that has specific technical requirements. While SHPO staff can assist preparers in completing nominations, staff do not write nominations for preparers.
 
Proper documentation for a historic district includes a completed National Register nomination form (Sections 1-10); photographs, photograph continuation sheet, and photograph location map; a completed survey database for the potential historic district, and accompanying property and statistical reports; and a historic district map. All documentation must meet requirements specified by the National Park Service and the Oregon SHPO.
 
The following documents and guides include all necessary instructions for completing a National Register nomination. Please note that the example nomination in National Register Bulletin 16A, "How to Complete the National Register Registration Form," is outdated and does not meet current National Register standards. Please contact the SHPO if you would like a current example nomination.

Instructions and Forms

National Register Forms

- Historic Resource Record (HRR) 

- National Register Form

- National Register Form Cover Sheet

Useful Resources

- Preparing National Register Nominations in Oregon

- NR Bulletins and Brochures