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Historic Districts

As of the end of 2005 there are over 140 separate National Register listed Historic Districts in Maine. The size of the historic districts vary from small neighborhoods of four houses, to large farms, to campuses, to entire towns. Historic districts may contain buildings, structures, objects, sites, landscape features, or any combination of these resources. Grouping properties as an historic district provides the opportunity to explore the spatial, cultural, technological, and historical relationships between the contributing properties. As with individually listed properties, historic districts must retain overall integrity of design, workmanship, materials, location, association, setting, and feeling, and be significant within the areas of archaeology, architecture, engineering, history or culture.

As defined by the National Register Program…

… a historic district possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development

In every historic district the individual properties are defined as either contributing or non-contributing to the character and significance of the district. Each property that is defined as contributing to the character and significance of the district is considered to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Those properties identified as non-contributing, even if lying within the geographic boundaries of the district, are not listed in the National Register.

How do I find out if my property is located within a National Register Historic District?

To find out if your property is located within a National Register Historic District first check the List of Historic Districts in Maine to see if there are any districts in your community. Then consult the Historic District boundary map(s) for that district. If you are still unclear, or wish to know if your property is considered to be a contributing resource, contact the National Register Coordinator at the Commission. (207) 287-2132.

Local Historic Districts

Some communities establish separate locally recognized and locally defined historic districts. Upon occasion these districts may share the same boundaries as a National Register District. Local districts may be subject to local legislation (ordinances) or benefit from local incentives, including the Local Option Property Tax Credit. Contact your municipal officials to learn if your community has established any local historic districts.