The process of including properties on the National Register of Historic Places is designed with several levels of review. These review levels, and the processes of documentation required are arranged in an orderly and systematic way to ensure that the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places is maintained. All procedural considerations are governed by National Park Service regulations (36 CFR 60). The National Register of Historic Places process requires the applicant to research and document the property being nominated. Applicants should be aware that the process follows a schedule and can be lengthy.
The first step in the process is to evaluate and research the property you wish to nominate. The property should be evaluated using the National Park Service's Criteria for Evaluation. Extensive research and documentation are also required to determine the significance and integrity of the property. If you are considering nominating a barn, school or relocated structure, there are additional guidelines to review.
Nomination Registration Forms must be prepared on a computer. Read the Nomination Checklist for detailed instructions on how to prepare nomination materials.
Nominations will undergo a minimum of three reviews by the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa prior to being forwarded to the National Park Service for final review and listing. All research, writing and revisions during the nominating process are the responsibility of the applicant. The State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa may be contacted for technical assistance.
All submissions prior to the State Nomination Review Committee meeting are considered drafts and should not be on archival paper.
The first draft review by the State Historic Preservation Office will focus on considerations of the potential eligibility of the property. This preliminary review will also identify potential weaknesses in documentation and areas that need additional research. The applicant will be contacted with the date and time of the review with a request to participate either in person or by conference call. The applicant must revise the nomination, addressing all comments.
The review of the second draft of the nomination will be scheduled for a group review within the State Historic Preservation Office. Members of the staff review the nomination individually, then meet together for final editing of content, and technical materials. The applicant will be contacted with the date and time of the review with a request to participate either in person or by conference call.
The final, revised nomination form and materials, will be reviewed to verify that all comments have been addressed. If all revisions and materials are in order, the nomination will be scheduled for review by the State Nominations Review Committee. Completed forms must be received in accordance with the review schedule. This allows time to process the nomination under notification and procedural requirements for a 60-day notification of the Certfied Local Government prior to a scheduled meeting. If the nomination form requires additional revisions and materials, the reviews by the State Historic Preservation Office will continue until the nomination is adequate for review by the State Nominations Review Committee.
Many Iowa cities and counties have established local historic preservation commissions and participate in the Certified Local Government program which assists them in local preservation efforts. If a nominated property is located in one of these cities or counties, the Local Historic Preservation Commission receives a copy of the nomination and a set of photographs 60 days in advance of the State Nominations Review Committee meeting. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Mayor or Chairman of the Board of Supervisors will review the nomination at a public meeting. The commission will notify and invite the property owner and preparer of the nomination to participate.
The State Nominations Review Committee (SNRC) meets at least three times each year to review requests for National Register of Historic Places. The committee is composed of professionals in architecture, archeology, architectural history, as well as interested lay persons. View the meeting schedule.
Any person or government entity may appeal to the National Park Service the nomination or listing of any historical property in the National Register of Historic Places. Appeals for nominations may also be made if a state or federal agency fails or refuses to nominate a property. Procedures for appeals can be found in the National Register of Historic Places regulations.
The final review and approval of a nomination rests with the Keeper of the National Register, National Park Service. Owners, consultants, and elected officials are notified of listing in writing.
Elizabeth Foster Hill
State Historic Preservation Office