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National Historic Landmarks

Administered by the National Park Service (NPS), Department of the Interior, the National Historic Landmarks (NHL) program was established in 1960 to recognize exceptional places located throughout the United States that represent a variety of structures, including but not limited to, cemeteries, trails, buildings, and bridges, that possess a special quality that makes it historically significant to the entire nation. NHLs fall into five categories;

  • historic buildings
  • districts
  • sites
  • structures
  • objects

NHLs may be owned by any entity, including private individuals, non-for-profit groups, commercial entities, and any local, state, or federal government. NHLs vary in their functions, and can include churches, museums, private residences, parks, commercial sites, schools, government buildings, and more.

Fewer than twenty-five hundred properties have qualified so far as National Historic Landmarks and almost half of those are located in the Northeast region of the United States. This compares to about seventy thousand properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Only about 20 to 25 new National Historic Landmarks are named each year.

Within the Adirondack Park, there are eleven properties listed as National Historic Landmarks. These include:

  • John Brown Farm and Gravesite, Essex County ( listed in 1998)
  • Camp Pine Knot, Hamilton County (listed in 2004)
  • Camp Uncas, Hamilton County (listed in 2008)
  • Eagle Island Camp, Franklin County (listed in 2004)
  • Fort Crown Point, Essex County (listed in 1968)
  • Fort St. Frederic, Essex County (listed in 1960)
  • Fort Ticonderoga, Essex County (listed in 1960)
  • Land Tortoise (Radeau), Warren County (listed in 1998)
  • Sagamore Lodge, Hamilton County (listed in 2000)
  • Santanoni Preserve, Essex County (listed in 2000)
  • Elkanah Watson House, Essex County (listed in 1964)

NHL nominations are prepared by interested individuals, organizations, contractors, State Historic Preservation Officers, Federal Preservation Officers, and NPS staff, with the participation and assistance of the owner(s) of the property. The NPS staff can provide information about theme studies and other comparable properties that may be relevant in the evaluation of particular properties and provide preliminary advice on whether a property appears likely to meet NHL criteria. The NPS recommends that those wishing to prepare a NHL nomination consult with the NHL Survey to discuss the property before preparing the nomination. National Park Service regional and support office staff who administer the NHL program in their areas may also provide preliminary evaluations and assistance in preparing NHL nominations. Preparers of nominations should also work with property owners, the State Historic Preservation Officers, and other interested parties to apprise them of the intended nomination and to receive their input and assistance.

Listing of private property as either a NHL 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. As with National Register listed properties, a private property owner may do as they wish with their property granted there is no State or Federal funding, licensing or permits involved. However, property owners should be aware of local ordinances or State laws that may prohibit changes to a NHL property.

For more information on the National Historic Landmark program, visit:
www.nps.gov/history/nhl

Download:
National Historic Landmarks: Illustrating the Heritage of the United States (pdf)

Guidelines for preparing a National Historic Landmark Nomination:
www.nps.gov/history/nr/publications/bulletins/nhl/NHLS.pdf

View National Historic Landmark Nominations:
Camp Pine Knot (pdf)
Camp Eagle Island (pdf)