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State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the National Register of Historic Places

Recognition for your historic landmark.

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

In Oregon, we have city and county historic landmarks, but there are no state historic landmarks.  Instead, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a state government office, manages a database of all inventoried historic properties, cemeteries and archeological sites in the state, and oversees the National Registry process.  SHPO staff members are invaluable information sources and should be contacted early in the planning process. SHPO has information on applicable state and federal funding programs and tax incentives credits for preservation, general information on the preservation of historic homes, and nomination forms and guidelines for the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register Of Historic Places

What is it? (Good Question!)

The National Register of Historic Places created by federal law in 1966 as part of the National Historic Preservation Act,is a list of buildings, structures, sites and objects that are nationally significant. Individual properties as well as whole geographical areas, called historic districts, are listed.

Why Bother? (In Case You are Wondering)

  • It is an honor and an asset to the community to be listed on the National Register, fostering a sense of place and pride in knowing the significance of the past.
  • The register listing serves as a planning tool that provides important information about local cultural resources.
  • State tax savings are available. Only National Register properties are eligible for the special 15-year property tax assessment freeze.
  • Federal tax credits for rehabilitation work are also available for National Register properties used for income-producing purposes.

How Does One Get on the National Register? (It's not as difficult as you might think!)

  • The property's historical and architectural significance must be well documented.
  • A specific nomination process must be followed; assistance is available from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in Salem.
  • If you decide not to do the work yourself, there are numerous private consultants available to do it for you, for a fee of course! Contact SHPO for a list of consultants.

How Can I Get More Information about the National Register of Historic Places?

Write to the National Park Service at P.O. Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013, or call the National Register’s reference desk at 202-354-2213. The National Register’s web site offers general information about the program, specific information about registered properties, guidelines for nominating properties and publications. The web address is; to go directly to the National Register’s publication site, visit; to search for information about a specific property listed on the National Register, go to  To find out if your home is listed on the National Register, go to

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