Historic Preservation > National Register of Historic Places

Owners of National Register of Historic Places Properties

Nomination and Listing Process

  • Listing on the National Register of Historic Places honors a property by recognizing its importance to its community, state or nation.
  • Many property owners propose National Register of Historic Places nominations.
  • Under federal law, private property owners can do anything they wish with their National Register of Historic Places listed property, provided that no federal license, permit, or funding is involved.
  • Owners have no obligation to open their properties to the public, to restore them, or even to maintain them.
  • To ensure public participation in the nomination process, property owners and local officials are notified of proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and provided the opportunity to comment. In addition, once a nomination is submitted to the National Park Service another public comment period is published in the Federal Register.
  • Private property owners may object to the proposed nomination of their property to the National Register of Historic Places. If a majority of private property owners objects to a nomination, then the property cannot be listed.

Protection of Listed Properties

  • Federal agencies whose projects affect a listed property must give the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on the project and its effects on the property.
  • The powers of the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa are limited in protecting National Register of Historic Places properties. Those responsibilities are limited to reviewing projects which are funded, wholly or in part, by the federal government and which impact, directly or indirectly, listed or eligible properties. National Register of Historic Places status does not mean that a property cannot be destroyed by a highway, urban renewal, or some other project. It does mean that before a federal agency can be involved with such a project (i.e. by funding, licensing or authorizing it) the federal agency must consider alternatives by which National Register of Historic Places properties might be saved from destruction. After the review process has been completed, the agency may choose to avoid the property, or it may decide to go ahead with the project, even if a property is destroyed in the process.

Preservation Funding

  • Owners of listed properties may be able to obtain federal historic preservation funding, when funds are available. In addition, federal investment tax credits for rehabilitation and other provisions may apply.
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