National Register Nomination Process in Georgia

Tab Group

Basic Info

The Steps of Nomination

The National Register of Historic Places establishes a uniform standard for evaluating and documenting historic places that are worthy of preservation. The process for listing a property or district in the National Register begins with our office. As Georgia’s SHPO, the Historic Preservation Division has a user-friendly process for submitting proposed nominations to our office. We are continually revising and updating the process for efficiency and clarity.

Start Here: Is this property eligible for nomination?

The first step is to determine what historic property you want to nominate. “Historic property” is a general term for historic places listed in the National Register. For this purpose, a "property" is a building, site, structure, object, or district. The National Register lists individual historic properties such as a building (e.g. a house, school, or courthouse), site (e.g. a cemetery or battlefield), structure (e.g. a bridge, tunnel, or bandstand), or object (e.g. a monument, fountain, or sculpture). The National Register also lists historic districts. A district is defined as a concentration of historic buildings, sites, structures, and objects in their historical setting (e.g. neighborhoods, downtowns, large farms, or whole cities). "Historic" in terms of the National Register generally means 50 years old or older, although there are exceptions (see below). For districts, a majority of properties within the district are generally 50 years old or older, although again, there are exceptions.

Historic properties listed in the National Register must have historic significance and integrity. Significance is defined by the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. A property must meet at least one of the four National Register Criteria:

  • Association with historic events or activities
  • Association with important persons
  • Distinctive design or physical characteristics (architecture, landscape architecture and/or engineering)
  • The potential to provide important information about prehistory or history (usually through archaeological investigation).

Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its significance through its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. In a short version: integrity = retains historic character.

As mentioned above, certain property types must meet special, heightened considerations (called Criteria Considerations) in order to be determined eligible for nomination to the National Register. These types are italicized below, and the applicable Criteria Consideration follows:

  1. Religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance
  2. Building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event
  3. Birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his or her productive life
  4. Cemetery that derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events
  5. Reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived
  6. Property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance
  7. Property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance 

The process, criteria, and application forms for listing properties in the Georgia Register of Historic Places are the same as listing properties in the National Register in Georgia.

To assist you in determining whether your historic property has historic significance and integrity and might qualify for listing in the National Register, we encourage you to send preliminary information to our office. Our National Register staff will review the preliminary information and give you guidance regarding whether your property appears eligible for nomination, and if so, how to craft a successful nomination and move to the next step in the process.

Preliminary application links:

Please send the information in hard copy format with clear, well-focused, well-lit photographs printed on photograph paper. At this time, our email server does not allow for large files so unfortunately we are unable to electronically review preliminary information.

If your historic property appears to be eligible for listing, we will send you a letter along with suggestions for research, sources of information, and a sample nomination of a similar property that you will use as a model as you move forward in the National Register process. If the property does not appear to meet the National Register Criteria, we will send a letter of explanation. We may also send a letter requesting clarification, additional information, or a site visit to the property


The time required to nominate a property depends on a number of variable factors, including complexity of the property, accessibility of historical documentation, and aptitude of the preparer. Most nominations require multiple drafts to satisfy HPD and NPS requirements. The typical nomination process takes over a year. Particularly complex nominations (for instance, large districts, unusual properties, or nominations based on multiple criteria) may require additional time.

Jump to other steps in the process