Georgia Historic Preservation Division

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Historic Preservation Division  

The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is Georgia’s state historic preservation office (SHPO). As established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, each state is required to have a SHPO which serves several functions as part of the national historic preservation program.

  • Through the Section 106 compliance program, HPD consults on projects that involve federal funding, licensing, or permitting to ensure historic resources are considered during the project planning process.
  • We work with partners both inside and outside state government to encourage regional and local planning, neighborhood conservation, downtown revitalization, heritage tourism and archaeological site protection through programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Governments, and others.
  • HPD administers economic development programs, like tax incentives and grants, which leverage private capital to encourage business growth, especially in smaller towns and communities.

The HPD also manages statewide programs authorized or mandated by the Georgia General Assembly. These include a number of specific preservation programs such as a state property tax freeze, state rehabilitation grants, and stewardship of state-owned buildings. 

Our Mission

The Historic Preservation Division's mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia.

Documents

Newsroom

Announcements

  • Georgia Statewide Historic Preservation Conference 2023

    September 13 - 15, 2023

    Augusta, GA

    Click here to download the conference program

    The Historic Preservation Division and Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation invite you to join us for the 2023 Georgia Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Augusta on September 13-15! 

    CONFERENCE INFORMATION UPDATES

    official Conference program

    Download here

    Parking

    Welcome Reception - Wednesday, Sep 13 5:00 - 6:30pm, Springfield Village Park, 1211 Jones St, Augusta, GA 30901

    There is a public parking deck across the street – Nathan Deal Campus Parking for a small fee. We are not able to provide validated parking. Please note the deck is cashless, but accepts all major credit cards.

    Main Conference Sessions - Thursday, Sep 14 9am-5pm & Friday, Sep 15, 9:45am-1:15pm; Marion Hatcher Center and 2KM Architects Chapel, 519 Greene St, Augusta, GA 30901

    Please park in the Marion Hatcher center parking lots. DO NOT PARK IN THE 2KM ARCHITECTS LOT. See map below. The two venues are next door to each other and can easily be walked between (less than 1 minute walk). 

     

    Opening Reception - Thursday, Sep 14 5:30-7:00pm; Old Government House 432 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901

    Street parking is available along Telfair Street.

    GAPC Breakfast and Annual Meeting - Friday, Sep 15 8:30-9:15am; Joseph Rucker Lamar Boyhood Home 415 7th St, Augusta, GA 30901

    It’s a short walk from the Marion Hatcher Center (7 minutes), so if you’d like to park and walk over, we encourage that. There is a small parking lot available at the site, as well as parking along Telfair St

    Registration and Check-in

    Online registrants can stop by the registration tables to check-in and pick up their badge and program. For people looking to register onsite, please visit the registration tables at the beginning of the day of your arrival. Please note that onsite registration has an increased fee.

    HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION TRAINING CREDIT 

    Sign-in sheets will be available in each session. Please be sure to sign in if you are looking to receive training credit.

    tours

    All tour options are FULL. If you are on a tour list, you received an email on September 11 with instructions - please check your spam if you cannot find it in your inbox. The waitlists have been closed and cleared at this time.

    OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER

    We are excited to announce our keynote speaker, Sehila Mota Casper.

    Sehila Mota Casper is the inaugural Executive Director for Latinos in Heritage Conservation, where she works to ensure that the preservation field is inclusive, equitable, and rooted in communities. She previously worked as a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the City of Austin, where she has championed systemic transformations and a just preservation movement. 

    Over the past decade, she has organized national Latinx preservation conferences, led efforts to save National Treasure campaigns, such as the LULAC Council 60 Clubhouse and Rio Vista Farm, the first U.S. Bracero Reception and Processing Center. She serves on the board of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, Preservation Texas, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, the State Board of Review, and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. Sehila is the recipient of the 2014 National Trust for Historic Preservation Mildred Colodny Diversity scholarship and a 2013 Texas Historical Commission Preservation Scholar. Sehila is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University Department of Visual Arts and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. 

     

     

  • September 18-20, 2024 | Columbus, GA

    We are excited to announce the 2024 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Historic Preservation Division and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, will be held in Columbus, Georgia on September 18-20, 2024. 

    Stay up to date by signing up for HPD emails and following us on Instagram and facebook. And keep an eye on this space for more information as it is announced!

    Session proposals NOW BEING ACCEPTED!

    Proposals for speaker sessions and speaker nominations are being accepted through April 1, 2024. This year we're introducing an online application process. Submit your proposal on the new form.

    The statewide preservation conference brings together preservationists, preservation professionals, preservation non-profit members, board members, planners, architects, architectural historians, archaeologists, city and county administrators, city and county council members, city and county attorneys, landscape architects, historic preservation commission members, genealogists, historians, and planning and preservation students from across Georgia. All sessions will be open to all attendees.

    Sessions should highlight current Georgia preservation, history, architectural history, archeology, cultural landscapes, Georgia regional history, landscape architecture, preservation law, and other closely related topics. The conference session committee desires sessions that will be interactive, engage the audience, present fresh approaches, and be easily applicable to a variety of participants from all over Georgia.

    Please submit your proposal via this form by Monday, April 1, 2024. Multiple proposals may be submitted, but please limit one session proposal per submission form. Applicants will be notified by email in early June.  Questions may be submitted to outreach@dca.ga.gov.

    Sponsors and Partners

    We are happy to announce that the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network and Georgia Alliance of Planning Commissions are returning as sponsors for the conference. And we are delighted to welcome Historic Columbus Foundation as a Local Planning Partner.

  • By Noah Bryant, Environmental Review Archaeologist, Historic Preservation Division

     

    Archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the materials that people left behind. The identification and analysis of this material hinges on the proper identification of archaeological sites. Understanding what makes a place an archaeological site is the foundation for archaeology as a discipline, as it establishes the framework for interpreting the materials left behind by people who previously lived on and used the land that we occupy today.

    A general definition of an archaeological site is as follows:

    a site formed from a concentration of cultural materials, typically referred to as artifacts, ecofacts (naturally organic or inorganic remains found in a site – think charcoal, seeds, minerals, or unmodified shell or bone), or areas of modified landscape that are associated with past human activity.

    Burying a bunch of objects in a backyard does not automatically form an archaeological site. To clarify historic classification, the age of the deposits is taken into account when identifying sites. The magic number for archaeology and above-ground resources is 50 years, that’s when a simple trash dump site can become a “historic” trash dump.

    Now that we have established the basics of defining an archaeological site in the most general terms, let us turn our attention to more specific criteria. In Georgia there is no legal definition of an archaeological site; however, the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists developed standards and guidelines that help define more precisely what is considered an archaeological site. In addition to the age requirement of 50 years or older, The Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists defines a site as:

    • Surface scatter that yields three or more artifacts from the same broad cultural period (i.e., historic (after written documentation introduced) or precontact (prior to 1492)) within a 30-meter radius;
    • Two or more shovel tests yielding at least one artifact each within 30m of each other;
      • Shovel tests are used by archaeologists to systematically test an area for archaeological materials below the ground’s surface.
    • A single shovel test that yields three or more artifacts from the same broad cultural period, as long as the artifacts cannot be fitted together (i.e., they are not fragments of the same artifact);
    • An area with visible or cultural features (e.g., shell midden, graves, rock shelters, petroglyphs, chimney fall, brick walls, stone piled features, piers, stills, prospect pits, military earthworks, etc.);
    • An abandoned cemetery or grave; or
    • A singular artifact if its significance can be justified as culturally meaningful (e.g., Paleo projectile point) and/or it is associated with specific surface or landscape features.

    That seems like a lot, but standards like those listed above help archaeologists properly identify and record archaeological sites throughout Georgia. You may be wondering, what do archaeologists do once they identify an archaeological site in the field – well they record and report! Properly recording and reporting the location and type of site that has been identified is an important part of archaeology. In Georgia that information is recorded using an Official State Site Form, which is submitted to Georgia Archaeological Site File,  housed at the University of Georgia then the site can receive an Official State Site Number. For example, the Etowah Mounds State Historic Site has the site number 9BR1. Nine indicates the state of Georgia, BR indicates Bartow County, and one since it was the first site recorded in the county.

    While anyone can submit an archaeological site form to get an official site number, it is typically the best practice to employ a professional archaeologist to identify and complete the form, as they are familiar with the ins and outs of archaeology. HPD maintains a self-nominated directory of consultants that may be able to assist in investigating potential archaeological sites on your property.

    Archaeological sites and the artifacts documented from them are crucial for understanding the history of Georgia. During the Environmental Review process, our team works closely with projects when Section 106 review is triggered. If you would like to know more about our Environmental Review Archaeology program, please email archaeology@dca.ga.gov.

    Additionally, our colleagues at the Office of the State Archaeologist handle archaeology in the state more broadly. Learn more about their work at https://gastateparks.org/archaeology

    Now that you are familiar with what makes a site a site, you’re on your way to becoming a regular Archaeologist; however, it is always best to consult a professional archaeologist if you ever have questions about what you can and cannot do to archaeological sites. Please use your resources and follow all related laws and regulations before disturbing any archaeological site.

  • In 2020, Georgia HPD received a federal grant to rebuild and enhance Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources Geographic Information System (GNAHRGIS). This project was completed this summer, and new tools are available for surveyors completing data entry in the Historic Resources module of GNAHRGIS. The consolidated rebuilt platform now allows users to download results of searches to Excel. Users can also query historic resources by survey attributes, as well as via the map. For example, a user can layer attributes to perform advanced searches, such as how many front gable bungalows in Lowndes County have been recorded in GNAHRGIS. Another new feature is that all of the properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia have been added to the database, along with digitized nominations and maps. Currently, there are 127,384 historic resources in GNAHRGIS.

    Along with these research tools, GNAHRGIS now includes two new tools aimed at facilitating data entry for surveyors – the windshield district polygon tool and integration of the mobile app, ESRI Field Maps.

    Windshield District Polygon tool

    The windshield district polygon tool allows surveyors to record the following attributes for a grouping of physically similar or related, geographically proximate resources: resource category, basic resource information, general characterization, approximate resource count, primary resource types, primary architectural styles, development time period, boundary types, acreage, boundary description, boundary justification, description, history, and field survey evaluation. Surveyors can also attach photographs and other documentation. These records can now have polygon data attached via ArcGIS Online. This tool allows surveyors to represent these resources as polygons in GNAHRGIS, instead of just points. HPD’s Historic Resources Survey Program offers specific guidance and training for using this tool. It can be used to record neighborhoods of similar resources, resources with large acreage, complexes, and resources with multiple buildings.

    esri field maps app integration

    As part of the GNARHGIS rebuild and update, HPD partnered with ITOS of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Transmission Corporation, and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) to integrate the NAPC’s CRSurveyor App to GNARHGIS. The app is designed to help communities survey cultural resources digitally. This solution allows a survey team from a community or organization to take phones or tablets into the field and accurately capture location and specific details about historic sites. The data is saved into a data structure that matches the National Park Service cultural resource standards and catalogs many historic resources survey attributes. This data can be collected offline and ‘synced’ when the surveyor obtains connectivity.

    The solution uses the ESRI ArcGIS platform and was designed using Field Maps for ArcGIS. Field data is collected using the ESRI Field Maps Application on a mobile device. The data and maps are stored in the ESRI cloud-based ArcGIS Online platform. Surveyors will access ArcGIS Online through ITOS, so a surveyor does not need an independent ArcGIS license to use the tool.

    Field Maps is available for communities to use in CLG surveys, locally funded surveys, and environmental review mitigation surveys if the survey area does not contain any resources that are already in GNAHRGIS; the app does not allow for resurvey of pre-existing resource points. HPD hopes that Field Maps is a useful tool in reducing the amount of time required for historic resources survey data entry, facilitating survey work statewide.

           

    Ready to get started?

    If a CLG or community is interested in using Field Maps or the windshield district polygon tool for a forthcoming project, please contact survey@dca.ga.gov to ensure the project is a good fit for the tools. Both the app and the polygon tool should be used by professional consultants or volunteers with required additional training. Field Maps may be used in conjunction with traditional fieldwork and GNAHRGIS entry if clear boundaries are defined for the project for areas previously surveyed. CLGs and communities would be expected to work with HPD staff to clearly define the project in this way.

    Additional information on windshield surveys and user guidance for the polygon tool and Field Maps is available on HPD’s website here.

    HPD is looking forward to working with communities and surveyors statewide to experiment with these new tools in support of improved historic resources survey in Georgia!

  • Agenda for the November 3, 2023 National Register Review Board Meeting

    The following properties were listed on the Georgia Register of Historic Places during the November 3, 2023 National Register Review Board Meeting.

    Brown's Mill Battlefield; Newnan, Coweta County

    Summary and Map

     

    Dooly County Campground; Vienna, Dooly County

    Summary and Map

     

    Fountain Hill; Conyers, Rockdale County

     

    Lemon Street School; Marietta, Cobb County

    Summary and Map