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The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. More than 96,000 properties across the country, including nearly 2,000 in Michigan, have been listed in the National Register since it was initiated in 1966. The National Register is a historic designation program of the National Park Service and administered by the states. In Michigan, the National Register program is administered by the State Historic Preservation Officer and the staff of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
These historic properties tell the stories of our communities, our state, and our nation. They illustrate our shared history, instill a sense of pride in our communities, and provide recognition of our historic places. Listing in the National Register provides opportunities for promotion, makes available certain incentives like grants and tax credits that foster investment in our cities, towns, and villages, and allows for the consideration of historic resources when federal funding or permits are involved.
Properties are formally nominated to the National Register by the State Historic Preservation Officer, however anyone may prepare a National Register nomination. Learn more about the National Register program, how to nominate a property, and obtain forms and guidance from the National Park Service and SHPO, at the links below.
Note that the National Register is a completely different historic designation program, with separate application and criteria, from the Michigan Historical Marker program, which is a unit of the Michigan History Center/DNR. Learn more about the Michigan Historical Marker program.
Get Started with the National Register
National Register Guidance, Process, and Instructions
Listing Property in the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan: An Overview of the Process
An introduction to the National Register of Historic Places program in Michigan. This document provides an overview of the step by step process and requirements for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
Forms, Documents, and Guidance from the National Park Service
For National Register of Historic Places nomination forms, federal instructions and further guidance (photographs, mapping, etc), results of listing, information on tax benefits, and the rights of owners during the designation process, please visit the National Park Service's website.
Map Specifications for National Register nominations in Michigan
Maps are an integral part of a National Register of Historic Places nomination. Learn more about the required maps and explore a selection of sample nomination property maps for individual properties, complexes, and historic districts.