The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government’s inventory of historic structures. Ran by the National Park Service in cooperation with the states, the National Register is used to identify, evaluate, and inventory historically important buildings, sites, districts, and structures.
Listing in the National Register is primarily honorary. Contrary to popular belief, the designation does not carry restrictions to individual property owners. Listing does provide some protection from government action (such as the demolition of a structure to build a federal highway).
Both individual structures and entire districts can be listed in the National Register. To encourage preservation of historic buildings, various financial incentives are available for properties individually listed or that contribute to a historic district. Income tax credits, grants, easements, and low-interest loans may be available for the rehabilitation and preservation of structures meeting specific federal guidelines. (The benefits only apply to income-producing properties; private residences do not qualify.)
There are more than 150 individually listed properties and 42 National Register-listed districts located within the boundaries of the heritage area. Notable listed properties include Baltimore icons, such as the Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Union Baptist Church, and the Belvedere Hotel. Historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places include Fell’s Point, Old West Baltimore, Locust Point, and Waverly.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/history/nr to learn more about the National Register of Historic Places.
National Historic Landmarks
Places listed in the National Register of Historic Places do not have to be nationally significant; the register includes sites and structures of local and state significance. The National Historic Landmark designation is reserved for places recognized as nationally significant and exceptional in both quality and importance. Like with National Register properties and districts, the designation does not carry restrictions for property owners. It does provide protection from government action.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and the Apollo Mission Control Center in Texas are well-known National Historic Landmarks. There are 24 National Historic Landmarks located within the heritage area, including the USS Constellation, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, and the Baltimore Basilica.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/nhl/ to learn more about the National Historic Landmark program.