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Historic Preservation

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register is the official source for federally recognized historic resources of value.  It lists those places deemed significant due to their history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.  Eligibility of buildings, sites, districts or objects is based on specific criteria defined by the National Register.  A description of the types of resources, the criteria used in evaluating resources, and the process for placing a resource on the National Register is available from the National Park Service.

It is important to note that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is the agency responsible for determining whether the nominated resource is eligible for the National Register.  This Determination of Eligibility (DOE) carries with it the same advantages as those resources that are actually listed on the National Register, which is also reviewed by PHMC. These advantages consist of the following:

  • Recognition of the historic significance of the resource
  • Special consideration if a federally funded project is found to affect the resource in any way
  • Eligibility for federal tax credits (must become listed during the process)
  • Qualification for special funding from state or federal source

Districts or clusters of historic buildings or resources (such as an industrial complex or a village of residences) may also be placed on the National Register as a district.  In this case, each building contributing to the district’s historic significance is considered to have the same benefits of an individual building on the National Register.

It should also be stressed the National Register designation places absolutely no obligations on the property owner.  The owner is free to do whatever he wishes to his property.  In extreme cases, the only penalty would be having the National Register designation removed.


  • A good first step toward recognition of the community’s goals
  • Prestige and status given to the resource and community
  • Special consideration on the effect of a project funded by state or federal funds
  • Special funding opportunities


  • No protection from any private or local project

A list of those resources in Delaware County listed in the National Register of Historic Places are available here.


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