Designation


Designation of a New National Historic Landmark


After the National Park System Advisory Board National Historic Landmarks Committee approves a nomination, the Advisory Board will make a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior whether to designate the property.

Role of the Secretary of the Interior


After the Landmarks Committee meeting, NHL staff prepare a report for the National Park System Advisory Board summarizing the Landmarks Committee's recommendations about the nominated properties. The Advisory Board then makes its recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior about whether to designate, not designate, or ask for further review of each nominated property.

The final decision about whether to designate a new NHL rests with the Secretary of the Interior. They review all documentation before making a final determination about whether to designate, not designate, or ask for further review of a nominated property.

After Designation


After the Secretary of the Interior has designated an NHL, the NPS notifies the owner(s) and the other original parties of notification, and invites the owner(s) to accept a bronze plaque, free of charge, bearing the name of the property and its year of designation. This plaque attests to a property's national significance. The plaque is presented to owner(s) who then display it publicly and appropriately. The plaque may be presented to the owner(s) at a public ceremony by a representative of the NPS or the Department of the Interior. The NPS will contact the owner(s) regarding the bronze plaque.

In addition, the NHL Program sends the owner(s) a certificate recognizing the property's designation as a National Historic Landmark.

NHL designation implies no intention on the part of the Federal government to acquire the property. Although some NHLs have later become units of the National Park System, most are not suitable for use as parks and are better cared for in the hands of other public or private owners.

Learn more about what it means to be an NHL and the potential benefits of being an NHL, including technical assistance from the National Historic Landmarks Program.

Last updated: August 29, 2018