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About Historic Landmarks and Historic Districts

Historic landmarks and districts are properties officially recognized and protected for their contribution to the District of Columbia’s cultural and aesthetic heritage. Most DC historic properties are also included on national lists of historic properties maintained by the National Park Service.

DC Inventory of Historic Sites

First established in 1964, the DC Inventory of Historic Sites is the list of properties designated by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) or its predecessor, the Joint Committee on Landmarks of the National Capital. The DC Inventory now includes more than 750 historic landmarks and 50 historic districts. In total, there are more than 27,000 protected properties.

The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) maintains and adds properties to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, working with the staff of the Historic Preservation Office (HPO). HPRB and HPO may sponsor nominations to the Inventory, as may property owners, government agencies, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and community organizations that include historic preservation among their purposes.

HPRB evaluates and designates properties for listing in the DC Inventory according to written designation criteria. Its decisions are informed by a detailed application describing the significance of the property, a written staff report, and public comments submitted in writing or given at an open public hearing. HPRB designations are final, and do not require endorsement by a planning or legislative body.

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government's list of historic landmarks and historic districts nationwide. The National Register was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and includes properties of national, state, and local significance.

National Historic Landmarks

National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are properties designated by the Secretary of the Interior for their outstanding integrity and significance to the nation as a whole. They are selected by the National Park Service, and cannot be designated by other parties. National Historic Landmarks are automatically entered into the National Register.