Valuable Information for Historic Districts and Preservation

Local Historic Districts & National Register Historic Districts
What is the difference?

There are two types of historic districts:
National Register Districts Designated by the US Department of the
Interior & the State Historic Preservation Office. Properties on the
National Register are subject to review only when federal funding is
involved.
Local Historic Districts Under the jurisdiction of the Vieux Carre
Commission and the Historic District Landmarks Commission.

Listing in the National Register contributes to preserving historic
properties in a number of ways
* Recognition that a property is of significance to the Nation, the
State, or the community.
*Consideration in the planning for Federal or federally assisted
projects.
* Eligibility for Federal tax benefits.
*Qualification for Federal assistance for historic preservation, when
funds are available.
Listing of private property as a National Historic Landmark or on the
National Register does not prohibit under Federal law or regulations any
actions which may otherwise be taken by the property owner with respect to
the property. The National Park Service may recommend to owners various
preservation actions, but owners are not obligated to carry out these
recommendations. They are free to make whatever changes they wish IF Federal
funding, licensing or permits are not involved (i.e. a federally funded
demolition of a private home within a National Register District. See
Undertaking below). Federal laws that involve National Historic Landmarks
are listed in the Federal regulations governing this program, specifically
in 36 CFR 65.2 “Effects of Designation” (c)(1-7)

The Historic District Landmarks Commission and the Central Business District
Historic District Landmarks Commission are the city commissions that oversee
exterior renovation, demolition and new construction on buildings within
Local Historic Districts (except the Vieux Carre, which falls under the
jurisdiction of the Vieux Carre Commission). The HDLC’s guidelines can be
found online at www.cityofno. com.

Also included in this email:
* Orgainzations involved in historic preservation
* Most commonly used preservation terms
* Other deffinitions

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City of New Orleans Local Historic Districts
Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) is the City’s regulatory
agency for local historic districts outside of the Vieux Carre. Established
in 1976, this agency provides the staff and office space for the two
Commissions, the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission and the
Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission. The two
Historic District Landmarks Commissions safeguard the heritage of the City
by preserving and regulating historic landmarks and districts which reflect
elements of its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural
history. They preserve and enhance the quality of neighborhoods,
strengthening the City’s economic base, stimulating the tourist industry,
improving property values, fostering economic development, and encouraging
growth.

State of Louisiana National Register Historic Districts
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Each state has a historic
preservation office which is responsible for nominating buildings, sites,
districts, etc. to the National Register of Historic Places. In Louisiana
this program is administered by the Division of Historic Preservation, which
is part of the Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture,
Recreation and Tourism.

US Government National Register Historic Districts
National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic
Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of
preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and
support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our
historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register
include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are
significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and
culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service,
which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. All National Register
Historic Districts are part of the National Park System. For more details,
visit http://www.cr. nps.gov/nr/ about.htm, http://www.cr. nps.gov/nhl/ and
http://crt.state. la.us/hp/ sect106.htm.

US Government – Keeper of the National Register. (NTHP Definition)
Individual in the National Park Service responsible for listing in and
determination of eligibility of properties for inclusion in the National
Register of Historic
Places.

Non-Profit – Preservation Resource Center (PRC). Founded in 1974 to promote
the preservation of New Orleans’ historic architecture by expanding the
constituency that understands the economic, cultural and aesthetic
importance of historic preservation, and by involving citizens in
preservation projects and services that enhance living in New Orleans. For
additional information, visit www.prcno.org.

Non-Profit – National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). The National
Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership
organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s
communities. The Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership,
education, advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that
tell America’s story.

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COMMONLY USED TERMS

Historic district. An area that generally includes within its boundaries a
significant concentration of properties linked by architectural style,
historical development, or a past event.

Landmark and Landmark Site. (HDLC Definition) An unimproved parcel of ground
(landmark site) or such parcel with improvements or such improvements
without grounds (landmark), wheresoever located in the City of New Orleans,
subject to the jurisdiction of the Historic District Landmarks Commission,
of particular historic, architectural, or cultural significance, which said
parcel or parcels, plus its improvements, if any, (1) exemplify or reflect
the broad cultural, political, economic, or social history of the nation,
state or community; or (2) are identified with historic personages or with
important events in national, state, or local history; or (3) embody
distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type, specimen,
inherently valuable for a study of a period, style, method of construction,
or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship; or (4) are representative of
the notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose
individual ability has been recognized. Landmark. (NTHP Definition) A site
or structure designated pursuant to a local preservation ordinance or other
law that is worthy of preservation because of its particular historic,
architectural, archeological, or cultural significance.

National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic
Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of
preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and
support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our
historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register
include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are
significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and
culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service,
which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. For more details,
visit http://www.cr. nps.gov/nr/ about.htm and
http://crt.state. la.us/hp/ sect106.htm.

National Historic Landmark (NHL). Property included in the National Register
of Historic Places that has been designated by the Secretary of the Interior
to have “national significance in American history, archeology,
architecture, engineering, and culture.” (36 C.F.R. Part 65)

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ADDITIONAL DEFINITIONS

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Independent federal agency
responsible for implementing the Section 106 review process. (16 U.S.C. §
470j)

Alteration. (HDLC Definition) Any change because of construction, repair,
maintenance, or otherwise to buildings located within an historic district
or designated as a landmark.

Applicant. (HDLC Definition) The record owner of the site and/or buildings
located thereon, the lessee thereof, or a person holding a “bona fide”
contract to purchase same.

Building. (HDLC Definition) Any structure, place, or any other construction
built for the shelter or enclosure of person, animals or chattels, or any
part of such structure when subdivided by division walls or part walls
extending to or above the roof and without openings in such separate walls.
The term “a building” shall be construed as if followed by the words “or any
part thereof.”

Certificate of Appropriateness. (HDLC Definition) A document evidencing
approval of the Commission for work proposed by an applicant.

Certified local government (CLG). (NTHP Definition) A city or town that has
met specific standards enabling
participation in certain National Historic Preservation Act programs.

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). (NTHP Definition) A
specialized financial institution
that works in market niches underserved by traditional financial
institutions. The CDFI must provide technical assistance that support
financial transactions and show that it is directly accountable to its
community or its customers.

Construction. (HDLC Definition) The erection of any on-site improvements on
any parcel of ground located within an historic district or on a landmark
site, whether the site is presently improved, unimproved, or hereafter
becomes unimproved by “demolition, ” “demolition by neglect,” destruction of
the improvements located thereon by fire, windstorm, or other casualty, or
otherwise (hereafter such a parcel of ground shall be referred to as
“site”).

Contributing structure. (NTHP Definition) Building or structure in historic
district that has historic, architectural, cultural, or archeological
significance.

Demolition. (HDLC Definition) The complete or constructive removal by an
applicant of a building on any site.

Demolition by neglect. (NTHP Definition) Process of allowing a building or
structure to deteriorate to the point that demolition is necessary to
protect public health and safety.

Demolition by Neglect. (HDLC Definition) Neglect in the maintenance of any
building resulting in any one or more of the following: (1) The
deterioration of a building to the extend that it creates or permits a
hazardous or unsafe condition as determined by the Department of Safety and
Permits. (2) The deterioration of a building(s) characterized by one or more
of the following: (a) Those buildings which have parts thereof which are so
attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
(b) Deteriorated or inadequate foundation. (c) Defective or deteriorated
floor supports or floor supports insufficient to carry imposed loads with
safety. (d) Members of walls, or other vertical supports that split, lean,
list, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration. (e) Members of
walls or other vertical supports that are insufficient to carry imposed
loads with safety. (f) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof
supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or buckle due to
defective material or deterioration. (g) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling
and roof supports, or other horizontal members that are insufficient to
carry imposed loads with safety. (h) Fireplaces or chimneys which list,
bulge, or settle due to defective material or deterioration. (i) Any fault,
defect, or condition in the building which renders the same structurally
unsafe or not properly watertight. (3) Action by the City, the State First
Marshall, or the Department of Safety and Permits relative to the safety or
physical condition of any building.

Design guidelines. (NTHP Definition) Interpretive standards which generally
are advisory in form.

Easement (preservation or conservation) . (NTHP Definition) Partial interest
in property that can be transferred to a nonprofit organization or
governmental entity by gift or sale to ensure the protection of a historic
resource and/or land area in perpetuity.

Executive order. (NTHP Definition) Official proclamation issued by the
President that may set forth policy or direction or establish specific
duties in connection with the execution of federal laws and programs.

Exterior. (HDLC Definition) All outside surfaces of any building.

Façade easement (see “easement”).

Historic district. (NTHP Definition) An area that generally includes within
its boundaries a significant concentration of properties linked by
architectural style, historical development, or a past event.

Historic District or District. (HDLC Definition) An area designated by the
City Council of New Orleans as an historic district and declared to be
subject to jurisdiction of the Commission.

Keeper of the National Register. (NTHP Definition) Individual in the
National Park Service responsible for listing in and determination of
eligibility of properties for inclusion in the National Register of Historic
Places.

Landmark. (NTHP Definition) A site or structure designated pursuant to a
local preservation ordinance or other law that is worthy of preservation
because of its particular historic, architectural, archeological, or
cultural significance.
Landmark and Landmark Site. (HDLC Definition) An unimproved parcel of ground
(landmark site) or such parcel with improvements or such improvements
without grounds (landmark), wheresoever located in the City of New Orleans,
subject to the jurisdiction of the Historic District Landmarks Commission,
of particular historic, architectural, or cultural significance, which said
parcel or parcels, plus its improvements, if any, (1) exemplify or reflect
the broad cultural, political, economic, or social history of the nation,
state or community; or (2) are identified with historic personages or with
important events in national, state, or local history; or (3) embody
distinguishing characteristics of an architectural type, specimen,
inherently valuable for a study of a period, style, method of construction,
or of indigenous materials or craftsmanship; or (4) are representative of
the notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose
individual ability has been recognized.

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). (NTHP Definition) Document executed by
consulting parties pursuant to the Section 106 review process that sets
forth terms for mitigating or eliminating adverse effects on historic
properties resulting from agency actions.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). (NTHP Definition) Primary federal
law requiring consideration of
potential impacts of major federal actions on the environment, including
historic and cultural resources. (42 U.S.C. § 4332/40 C.F.R. Part 1500)

National Historic Landmark (NHL). (NTHP Definition) Property included in the
National Register of Historic
Places that has been designated by the Secretary of the Interior to have
“national significance in American history, archeology, architecture,
engineering, and culture.” (36 C.F.R. Part 65)

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). (NTHP Definition) The federal law
that encourages the identification and preservation of cultural and historic
resources in the United States through partnership with state, tribal, and
local governments. (16 U.S.C. § 470 et seq.)

National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic
Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of
preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and
support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our
historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register
include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are
significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and
culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service,
which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. For more details,
visit http://www.cr. nps.gov/nr/ about.htm and
http://crt.state. la.us/hp/ sect106.htm.

Ordinary Repairs and Maintenance. (HDLC Definition) Work done on a building
in order to correct any deterioration, decay of, or damage to a building on
any part thereof in order to restore same as nearly as practical to its
condition prior to such deterioration, decay or damage.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). (NTHP Definition) Federal law
providing cause of action for
substantial burdens on the free exercise of religion, even if such burdens
resulted from neutral laws of general applicability, held unconstitutional
by the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).
(42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb-20000bb- 4 (1994)).

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). (NTHP
Definition) Federal law providing cause of action for religious property
owners whose free exercise rights are substantially burdened by land use
regulation, including historic preservation laws. (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000cc
(2000)).

Revolving fund. (NTHP Definition) Fund established by a public or nonprofit
organization to purchase land or buildings or make grants or loans to
facilitate the preservation of historic resources.

Save America’s Treasures (SAT). (NTHP Definition) A public-private
partnership between the National Park
Service, the federal cultural agencies, and the National Trust for Historic
Preservation, designed to celebrate American creativity, innovation, and
discovery by recognizing and supporting those historic sites and collections
that convey our nation’s rich heritage.

Section 106. (NTHP Definition) Provision in the National Historic
Preservation Act that requires federal agencies to consider the effects of
proposed undertakings on properties listed or eligible for listing in the
National Register of Historic Places. (16 U.S.C. § 470f, with regulations at
36 C.F.R. Part 800)

Section 4(f). (NTHP Definition) Provision in Department of Transportation
Act that prohibits federal approval or funding of transportation projects
that require “use” of any historic site unless (1) there is “no feasible and
prudent alternative to the project,” and (2) the project includes “all
possible planning to minimize harm.” (49 U.S.C § 303)

State Historic Preservation Officer. (NTHP Definition) Official appointed or
designated, pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act, to
administer a state’s historic preservation program.

“Taking” of property. (NTHP Definition) Act of confiscating private property
for governmental use either through “eminent domain” or by regulatory action
that denies all reasonable and beneficial use of property.

Tax act project. (NTHP Definition) Rehabilitation project undertaken in
accordance with the eligibility requirements the 20 percent rehabilitation
tax credit.

Transferable development right. (NTHP Definition) Technique allowing
landowners to transfer right to develop a specific parcel of land to another
parcel.

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). (NTHP Definition) Official who
has assumed the functions of a
State Historic Preservation Officer with respect to tribal lands.

Undertaking. Section 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966, as amended, requires that before approval of any Federal undertaking
which may directly and adversely affect any National Historic Landmark, the
head of the responsible Federal agency shall, to the maximum extent
possible, undertake such planning and actions as may be necessary to
minimize harm to such landmark, and shall afford the Advisory Council a
reasonable opportunity to comment on the undertaking.