National Register of Historic Places

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The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is a program operated by the National Park Service. Qualifying sites and districts are deemed worthy of preservation for their contribution to an understanding of American history. The program was founded in 1966 and now includes more than 80,000 individual property listings, and more than a million properties which contribute to listed historic districts.

Criteria for nomination favor sites on which significant historical events have taken place, sites associated with prominent historical figures, structures notable for distinctive features of design or construction, and sites which contain abundant historical information (such as archeological sites). Sites that have undergone significant alteration, sites having only minor associations with history (e.g. birthplaces and graves), and sites significant primarily for religious association are generally excluded from listing.

Recognition is granted only with the submission of detailed documentary information about a site's history and significance. This usually includes a physical description of the property, but does not normally include measured drawings or other visual records. Special categories of listings have been developed for historic districts and for multiple property listings; groups of properties that share a common theme and together represent a significant historical concept (such as the Birmingham Historic Fire Stations)

Listing on the National Register does not provide any legal protection against alteration or destruction. Listing may, however, qualify owners to receive certain tax credits to offset the cost of documentation, conservation or adaptive re-use.

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