National Register Listing: When Challenges Arise

Historic tax credits (HTCs) can provide a critical incentive for owners seeking to redevelop historic buildings, and the path to obtaining HTCs begins with National Register listing. For the thousands of buildings already listed in the National Register (either individually or within a historic district), the first step in the tax credit process is usually straightforward. However, those buildings that are not certified must be individually listed. The process to be listed can be circuitous, with hurdles that can detour or derail a project. It is not uncommon for a developer to pursue the redevelopment of a building that is old, mistakenly assuming that its age and architectural character will automatically earn its historic designation. Compounding this confusion is the fact that some buildings may be locally designated as historic, but not listed in the National Register of Historic Places.