Preservation is about deciding what's important, figuring out how to protect it, and passing along an appreciation
for what was saved to the next generation. Preservation is hands on.

During the last decade of the 20th century, the scope of historic preservation planning practice expanded beyond
being primarily concerned with understanding the nature and significance of historic and cultural resources. With
the coming of the 21st century, historic preservation planning also embraces issues associated with integrating
historic preservation into the broader planning and decision-making arena, and making preservation relevant to
other social and economic concerns. Historic preservation planning practice faces sophisticated and complex
land-use challenges to the continued existence of valued historic and cultural resources across the country.

In response to the destruction of older buildings and neighborhoods in the immediate post-World War II years,
the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) signaled America 's commitment to preserving its heritage.

The NHPA established the framework that focused local, state, and national efforts on a common goal –
preserving the historic fabric of our nation.

The NHPA:
Conceived the national historic preservation partnership involving federal, tribal, state and local governments
and the private sector.

  • Fostered the system by which federal agencies survey and identify districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture, and use this information to plan projects so that, where possible, historic places are preserved.
  • Established the National Register of Historic Places as we know it today. The National Register identifies the significant national patrimony and provides federal recognition to properties of state and local, as well as national, significance.
  • Created the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – charged with advising the President and the Congress on historic preservation matters and working with federal agencies to address historic resources in the fulfillment of their missions.
  • Authorized matching grants, now called Historic Preservation Fund grants, to states, Certified Local Governments, and Indian tribes for historic preservation surveys, plans, and projects.
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