To give a little background of West Palm Beach or any historic site or property within the State of
Florida, it’s important to understand the broader layers of pertinent historic governmental bodies and
not-for-profit organizations.

Properties and sites in Florida included in the National Register of Historic Places

GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT

The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, maintains the National Register of
Historic Places.  Properties identified and placed in the National Register have historical,
architectural, archaeological, engineering, or cultural significance for the nation, a state, or a local
area.  Over 85,000 properties have been placed on the National Register.  Of these, 13,594 are
historic districts.  Collectively the Register contains “1.4 million individual resources (buildings, sites,
districts, structures and objects.”  

The website of the National Park Service is: www.cr.nps.gov.  This is a very comprehensive site
outlining all of the wide areas which this U.S. governmental arm controls.  You can learn about
available grants, how to apply for a lighthouse, document a historic site, list in the National Register,
apply for a grant, and get a tax credit. There are tools for management of museums, archeological
sites and historic building preservation. Naturally, their publications are all featured on this site. The
site also contains areas for travelers, teachers and kids.

The sites that the National Park Service itself maintains and runs are:

Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA
Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, NY
Cliveden in Philadelphia, PA
Kykuit in Tarrytown, NY
Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC
Decatur House in Washington, DC
Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, VA
The Pope Leighey House in Alexandria, VA
Oatlands in Leesburg, VA
Montpelier in Montpelier Station, VA
Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, VA
Shadows on the Teche in New Iberia, LA
Dayton Hall in Charlestown, SC
Brucemore in Cedar Rapids, IA
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park, IL
Cooper Molera Adobe in Monterey, CA
Filoli in Woodside, CA

The History of the National Register is as follows.  In 1935 the National Historic Sites Act authorized
the U.S. Dept. of the Interior to survey and acquire historic properties.  In 1966 the National Historic
Preservation Act established the National Register for Historic Places.  In 1982 Congress created
tax incentives for certain historic property owners.  In 1990 the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for
Rehabilitation were amended.

To be placed in the National Register, a property must be proposed at the local level, nominated at
the state level, evaluated by a National Park Service advisory board, and reviewed and approved by
the Secretary of the Interior.  Potential entries are reviewed by established criteria and are classified
as sites, buildings, structures, objects, or districts.  National Register properties are protected from
federally assisted or licensed undertakings.  They also are eligible for certain tax benefits and funding
programs that encourage the rehabilitation of income-producing and commercial properties listed in
the National Register.  There are certain restrictions, so it is wise to check before beginning
rehabilitation.

CLICK HERE for properties and sites in Florida included in the National Register of
Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places for the whole country can be found at www.
nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com.  On this site you can search for listings by state. You can also
search by historic district.  They hope soon to have travel destinations; while that is being developed,
you can link from their site to Top Ten Inns and search by state and county: www.top10inns.com.

The National Park Service has written extensive standard (and guidelines within the standards) for (a)
preservation, (b) rehabilitation, (c) restoration, and (d) reconstruction.  These are national in scope,
and are reached online at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/standguide/.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT OVERSIGHT

A not-for-profit organization, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was created in 1949 when
President Harry Truman signed legislation creating the Trust. The mission of the Trust is to foster an
appreciation of the diverse character and meaning of our American cultural heritage and to preserve
and revitalize the livability of our communities by leading the nation in saving America.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy, and
resources to save America’s diverse historic places and revitalize communities. It is a private,
nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places.

As their site states, “The need for the Trust has increased since its founding in 1949. When historic
buildings and neighborhoods are torn down or allowed to deteriorate, a part of our past disappears
forever. When that happens, we lose history that helps us know who we are, and we lose
opportunities to live and work in the kinds of interesting and attractive surroundings that older
buildings can provide.”

In 1951 Woodlawn Plantation in Virginia became the first site the Trust administered. In 1966 the
Trust helped frame the National Historic Preservation Act. In 1988 it published the first list of
American’s 11 most Endangered Historic Places: www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-
endangered/. In 1989 it launched Historic Hotels of America: www.preservationnation.org/travel-
and-sites/travel/historic-hotels.html.

The National Trust For Historic Preservation also has a very comprehensive site:  www.nationaltrust.
org.  When you join the Trust, you receive “Preservation Magazine” – a true treasure of a
publication.  Their site details many resources available. It invites you to take action. It has a section
on current issues like sustainability, Gulf Coast recovery and lots more. There is a nice travel section.
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