CCT: National Register of Historic Places - Listing Process


National Register of Historic Places designation is a special status that a property or area can have, which promotes stewardship through recognition and appreciation. The National Register is a National Park Service (NPS) program. Listing is achieved through a specific process that involves archival research, documentation, and the completion of a National Register nomination form.

The nomination form is a scholarly document that is used to communicate what important themes in history a resource is associated with and how the property is significant to our culture. The format of this document follows NPS standards. Nomination forms include architectural descriptions, focused statements of historical significance with references, a bibliography, photographs, and maps.

Any entity (such as property owners, community groups, or municipal staff) may nominate a property for National Register listing. Completion of the nomination form is the responsibility of the applicant. Since the nomination form requires intensive research and an understanding of the National Register Criteria for Evaluation, many applicants choose to hire a cultural resource professional to complete the form. Municipalities and non-profit groups may apply for grant assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for National Register nominations. All owners of nominated property are notified during the nomination process.

STEP 1: Contact the National Register Coordinator at the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

*Before beginning a nomination project, please contact Jenny Scofield, National Register Coordinator at

SHPO staff will first check whether the resource you are interested in nominating currently has a historic designation. Staff can also explain the different types of historic designations, help determine which of our programs match your goals, and describe what makes resources eligible for National Register listing.

STEP 2: Preliminary Evaluation of National Register Eligibility

During your initial communication with SHPO, staff will request some basic information about the property or area you would like to nominate. Staff completes a preliminary evaluation of National Register eligibility to make sure the resource is eligible for listing. If you are not sure whether to apply for State or National Register listing, staff will assist you with this during the preliminary evaluation. State Register listing also occurs as part of the National Register nomination process.

Send an e-mail to Jenny Scofield with a few current photographs of the resource you would like to nominate, along with any information you already know about its history and alterations that may have occurred over time. Staff reviews this information to evaluate whether the resource physically retains historic features/materials and assess what types of historical significance may apply. For districts, please also email a map with a proposed district boundary and the reason for the boundary delineation.

Staff will contact the applicant and discuss whether or not the resource appears eligible for National Register listing. During the preliminary review, additional information may be requested or staff may ask to visit the property.  If the property is eligible for listing, staff will provide the National Register forms and appropriate NPS guidance to the applicant or nomination author. This is also a good time to discuss what to focus on in the nomination text.

*SHPO will not accept nominations without prior communication and preliminary review.

If the historical significance of the property is not clear or the applicant disagrees with SHPO’s preliminary opinion, staff may present the proposed district or individual property to the State Historic Preservation Review Board for evaluation.

*It is highly recommended that the applicant communicate with the owners of property proposed for nomination at the beginning of a project, before a nomination is drafted. SHPO staff is available to meet with property owners and offers community presentations for proposed districts.

STEP 3: Draft National Register Nomination

A standard National Register Nomination Form for the district or individual property is prepared by the applicant or by a professionally qualified National Register consultant. National Register Bulletin 16A provides guidance on the completion of the form and is available for download from the NPS site. Additional bulletins on specific topics such as forming districts or how to list cemeteries are also available at the website. SHPO staff is available to provide technical assistance, but will not be able to prepare the nomination form. If SHPO staff did not visit the nominated property during the preliminary evaluation, staff will schedule a field visit while the nomination is being drafted or upon receipt of the first draft.

Schedule of Submittals:

First Draft(s)

The first complete draft of the nomination should be digitally submitted to the NR Coordinator as a Word file. A PDF including the photographs may also be sent. The first draft is edited by staff and comments are returned to the author in track changes. Applicants are welcome to reach out to SHPO with questions while completing a draft nomination. Draft nominations are generally reviewed in the order received. A nomination will not be placed in queue for review until all sections are adequately completed. Review time is dependent on the number of active nominations and the amount of editing needed. Some nominations may require multiple drafts.

State Review Board Draft

SHPO will notify the applicant/nomination author once a draft is ready for review by the State Historic Preservation Review Board (SRB). At this time, the applicant must send one digital copy of the nomination and 11 hard copies of the nomination to the National Register Coordinator. The National Register Coordinator will post the digital copy of the nomination on SHPO’s website and mail the hard copies to members of the SRB approximately 30 days before the SRB meeting.

Please note that the SHPO has established priorities for processing nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. These priorities guide the SHPO in scheduling the preparation and review of nominations. They are particularly useful during periods of unusually high nomination activity and in assisting in the administration of the SHPO’s National Register grant-in-aid and contract projects.

Priority may be given to:

  1. Nominations of threatened properties for which registration could significantly assist in the prevention of adverse alterations, neglect or demolition.
  2. Nominations comprising a large number of historic resources, such as historic districts or multiple property format nominations for which a solid context for evaluation exists (historic property surveys are a prerequisite).
  3. Nominations which are associated with minority groups or the disabled.
  4. Nominations containing properties seeking certification for purposes of the rehabilitation benefits under the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, as amended.
  5. Nominations which are located in areas that are underrepresented in Connecticut’s National Register listings.

STEP 4: Public Notifications of National Register District and Individual Property Nominations

SHPO follows federal regulations regarding notification of pending National Register nominations. At least 30 days before the State Historic Preservation Review Board meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, property owners, and Municipal Preservation Board will be notified that the nomination is on the SRB’s meeting agenda. The Chief Executive Officer of the municipality is notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, and email. The municipal board or other local preservation groups are typically notified by email.

For individually nominated properties, property owners are notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, and email if an email is known.

For districts, property owners are notified either by first class mail or newspaper. If the district nomination was supported by the municipality, notice is also typically posted on the municipal website.  For districts of substantial scale (at least more than 50 properties), the State Historic Preservation Officer will publish a legal notice in a newspaper if the property owners will not be notified individually. The newspaper must have substantial local circulation and the notice will inform the public when and where the Review Board will meet to evaluate a proposed district; a second legal notice will be published at least seven (7) days later.

If a district contains less than 50 properties and when SHPO staff is able, property owners will be individually notified, by first class mail, of when and where the meeting will be held. The time period for the SHPO to receive written comments on a district’s or property’s significance is 30 days, with the comment period beginning on the date of publication of the first legal notice. Written comments received during the 30 days’ period will be presented at the Review Board meeting. Public comments may also be made orally at the State Historic Preservation Review Board meeting. The Municipal Preservation Board, or the Chief Executive Officer, or a community organization is urged to hold a local public information meeting to explain the consequences of listing a district on the National Register and to answer questions from the public regarding the nomination. SHPO staff may be available to attend a National Register district public information meeting, if one is held. 

STEP 5: State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting

The individuals who prepare National Register nomination forms are required to attend the State Historic Preservation Review Board meeting at which the forms they prepared are evaluated; their absence may be waived only with the prior permission of the State Historic Preservation Officer. A majority of the entire SRB must vote to approve the district or individual property nomination to the National Register. The SRB may have suggestions or edits which will need to be incorporated before final submission to the NPS.

STEP 6: SHPO Transmittal of the Nomination to the National Park Service

*The applicant/nomination author must address all comments and edits requested by SHPO and the SRB. Once these revisions are made, email a digital version of the final nomination to the National Register Coordinator. SHPO staff will review the final draft.

Staff will notify the preparer when the nomination is ready for final submittal. This submittal requires the following items:

·         1 Non-rewritable CD or DVD with the digital nomination file, labeled to NPS standards

·         1 Non-rewritable CD or DVD of the National Register photographs, saved as TIFFs, with digital labels and resolution meeting NPS standards

·         1 Non-rewritable CD or DVD with the above-mentioned files and any geospatial points or layers (if created) for SHPO archives.

·         1 color hard copy of the nomination for SHPO files. Photos may be printed on regular paper.


SHPO will sign the nomination and then forward both the approved National Register nomination and the written comments received regarding the district’s or property’s significance to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. Any letters of support for or objection to the nomination from property owners received during the noticing period are also forwarded to the National Park Service.


STEP 7: Listing in the National Register of Historic Places


Once the nomination is received by the NPS it is listed in the Federal Register as "pending National Register approval". The NPS has 45 days from receipt to respond with further edits or list a property. When a district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an announcement is sent by first class mail to the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality. When an individual property is listed on the National Register, an announcement is sent by first class mail to the owner and a copy of this letter is sent by first class mail to the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality. The owners of a National Register property or of a property within a National Register district may purchase a plaque from the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development.


The National Register of Historic Places is administered in accordance with federal regulations established by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Where State procedures are inconsistent with federal regulations, the federal regulations shall prevail.



Content Last Modified on 3/29/2018 10:01:08 AM