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National Register Application Process

An overview of the process in Maine.

I. Determination of Eligibility

The first step towards having a property in Maine listed on the National Register of Historic Places is to determine if it is eligible for the program. Property owners who wish to have their properties evaluated are asked to complete a National Register Eligibility Assessment Form (Word), and return it to the Commission along with interior and exterior photographs of the property, and photographs of any notable features. A thorough and accurate response to the questions on the National Register Eligibility Assessment Form will enable the Commission staff to evaluate the potential eligibility of the property. In many instances the Commission can determine if the property meets the standards for National Register recognition based on the information submitted, but in other instances a staff member may need to make a site visit to further evaluated the resource. Once the review is completed, a letter outlining the staff's determination will be mailed to you along with a list of Architectural Historians qualified to prepare the nomination.

To obtain an National Register Eligibility Assessment Form please contact the National Register Coordinator at (207) 287-2132 x 2 or christi.mitchell@maine.gov

II. Nomination Preparation

The National Register Registration/Nomination form includes a detailed description of the property, an outline of its history, and a narrative that explains why the property is significant and how it meets the National Register criteria. In the past the registration/nomination form has been prepared by staff of the Commission, but during 2010, the staff of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission will not be writing or researching any new National Register nominations. While the staff may return to researching and writing nominations in the future, it is possible that the extent of these activities will be reduced. Property owners or other interested parties who wish to proceed immediately with nominating an eligible property should consider hiring an architectural historian to research and prepare the nomination documentation. A list of known to be working in Maine is available: those with asterisks at their names have prepared successful nominations in Maine within the last 10 years.

All nominations must be prepared in accordance with the MHPC National Register Submission Guidelines (PDF 51KB) (DOC 50KB), and the National Register Bulletin, 16A "How to Complete the National Register Registration Form," and the National Register Photographic Policy.

III. Nomination Submission Deadlines

In order to schedule presentation of a nomination to the Review Board a completed nomination must be received by the Commission in accordance with the Nomination Submission Deadline. The Commission reserves the right to postpone scheduling a submitted nomination if the Commission staff feel the document needs more than minimal revisions, or if it needs additional research and documentation.

IV. Review Board presentation

Each property recommended by the Commission for nomination is presented to the State Review board at one of their meetings, held each January, April, July and October. The State Review Board is a governor-appointed group of eleven professionals that must approve the staff's recommendations before they can be forwarded to the National Register office in Washington, D. C. Prior to the presentation of the completed nomination to the Review Board all the owners of the subject property, and the chief elected local officials, are formally notified of the pending nomination and given a chance to object to, or concur with the nomination. If a majority of property owners object to listing the historic district in the National Register, the nomination may be sent to the Keeper of the Register for an official Determination of Eligibility.

The presentation generally consists of a brief slide show depicting the property and an overview of its history and significance. The quarterly meeting is open to the public and property owners will receive a letter inviting them to attend if they wish.

If the board nominates the property, the nomination is forwarded to the National Park Service for final determination of whether the property is eligible for the National Register. A determination will be made by their staff within 45 days of receipt of the nomination. The Commission staff is notified if the property is listed in the Register, and in turn they notify the property owners and the local elected officials. At its discretion the Commission may also announce the listing via press releases. The owners of listed properties may request from the Commission a certificate, signed by the state historic preservation officer, signifying the National Register listing.

A note on National Register plaques

There is no official plaque program associated with the National Register of Historic Places. Owners of listed property may purchase and install any plaque or marker of their choosing. Several plaque manufactures and sign makers have provided the Commission with information on their products and copies of these can be requested by contacting the Commission.

If you have any questions regarding the National Register nomination process, please contact the National Register Coordinator at (207) 287-2132 x 2, or christi.mitchell@maine.gov.