Part 3: HPD’s Review Process of Proposed Nominations
As Georgia’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), HPD is responsible for nominating eligible properties to the NRHP. The SHPO’s responsibilities, the NRHP, and the nomination process are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 60).
The state-level review process begins when a property owner(s) and/or sponsor makes an official request for nomination by submitting to HPD either a completed Packet for Nominating Individual Resources or Packet for Nominating Historic Districts.
Upon receipt at HPD, proposed nominations are entered into our National Register logging/tracking database and a checklist is completed to verify that requested supporting documentation is submitted (See Item 4 of the packets for the checklist). If information critical for a review, such as current photographs, floor plans, site plans, and/or district maps, is not included, we will notify the applicant in writing and the proposed nomination is put "on-hold" until the requested information is submitted. Proposed nominations that do include critical supporting documentation are then scheduled for review by HPD’s National Register staff during an in-house meeting. Federal regulations give a timeline of 60 days for review but we generally review proposed nominations within 30 days.
HPD’s National Register staff consists of architectural historians and historians under the direction of the National Register Program Manager and the Historic Resources Section Chief. Proposed nominations of archaeological sites are also reviewed by HPD’s deputy state archaeologist(s).
HPD’s National Register staff reviews proposed nominations and is charged with determining:
- Whether or not the property is adequately documented (a "property" is defined as a building, structure, site, object, or district);
- Whether or not the property appears to meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation
Reviews of proposed nominations follow the guidance set forth by the National Park Service in the National Register Bulletins.
Our staff reviews the written description and compares it to the current and historic photographs, floor plans, site plans, and maps for accuracy and completeness. Some of the things we look for are:
- Does the description provide a current "verbal photograph" of the entire property?
- Is the description cross-referenced to the photographs?
- Are all changes, alterations, and/or additions over time thoroughly described? For individual properties, exterior and interior changes to materials, design, floor plan, setting, and workmanship are reviewed. For historic districts, loss of historic buildings; new construction; and changes in design, materials, setting, and workmanship to historic buildings, sites, structures, and/or objects in the district are evaluated.
Next, we review the developmental history and all additional supporting documentation for accuracy and thoroughness. Some of the things we look for are:
- Is the developmental history a concise, factual account of the history and development of the property, from its origins to the present time?
- Is the information presented chronologically and organized by major historical periods or eras associated with the property with specific dates provided?
- Does the developmental history document specific important persons, events, and activities associated with the property?
- Are original, subsequent, and current uses and functions of the property identified?
- Is the acquisition of land, the construction of buildings and other structures, the development of landscaping, and any major changes to the property over time, with specific attention to extant buildings, structures, and landscape features thoroughly discussed?
- Are any known architects, engineers, builders, contractors, landscape architects, gardeners, and/or other artists or craftsmen identified with basic biographical information?
- Were critical primary and secondary sources of information researched and properly cited?
After our in-house review, we notify the property owner(s) and/or sponsors of the result in writing. The four possible outcomes of our state-level review are:
- The property is fully documented to National Register and HPD standards and the property appears to be eligible for listing in the National Register. The proposed nomination moves to the next step in the process.
- The property is not fully documented but appears to be eligible for listing. This is very common and a majority of proposed nominations need additional research and documentation so be prepared to follow up. We will send a letter requesting additional information and provide guidance on what is needed, why it is needed, and where to find the information. It is the responsibility of the property owner/sponsor to provide additional information. The proposed nomination is put "on hold" in our office until we receive the requested information. There is no deadline or expiration date and proposed nominations are kept in our office indefinitely until we receive the additional information.
- We cannot determine whether a property appears to be eligible for listing based on the information submitted. In this case, we will request a site visit to the property or additional information.
- We determine that the property is not eligible for listing in the National Register. In this case, we will send a letter explaining the basis for our decision. If you want to appeal our decision to the Keeper of the National Register, the appeals process is available online in the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 60.12).
Throughout the National Register nomination process, we encourage you to contact our National Register staff by email or phone if you have any questions. We can also suggest sources of information and provide further examples of similar National Register nominations that may be useful to you.