The National Register is the official list of buildings, structures, objects, and sites recognized by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior for their importance to local, state, or national history. Properties must retain their historic integrity, and may be recognized for their connections to American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.
Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archaeological resources.
The National Register is administered by the National Park Service under the Secretary of the Interior. Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundation of the Nation.
In each state the National Register program is handled through the State Historic Preservation Office. Following inquiries, the state inventory of sites is checked. If a property has not been identified through a survey the inquirer is asked to complete a WV Historic Property Inventory Form so the property can be evaluated.
In West Virginia, all properties listed in the National Register are automatically listed in the State Register of Historic Places. Properties that are eligible for the State Register must also be eligible for the National Register.
36 CFR 60.1 through 60.15 – Regulations governing the National Register of Historic Places Program
A. that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
C. that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history. (Archaeology should be evaluated with a site visit or field work by a professional.)
Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for the National Register. However, such properties can qualify if they meet special extra requirements called Criteria Considerations. Bulletins are available to define the considerations.
National Register Listing Process
For more information see National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior: http://www.nps.gov/nr/