Listing Process

Listing a property in the National Register of Historic Places consists of four steps. Before starting Step 1, we suggest checking to see if your property is already listed in the National Register. You can check by searching for your address on the Tennessee Historical Commission Viewer, or by searching our Tennessee National Register Listings spreadsheet. If you are having trouble determining if your property is listed in the National Register, please contact National Register staff who are happy to assist you

1. Property evaluation:
THC National Register staff will first evaluate whether a property appears to meet the requirements for listing. National Register listing requires properties be significant for history or design, retain their historic features, and be more than fifty-years old.

If you are interested in listing an individual property, you should complete an Information Packet. For historic districts, please download our Historic District Information Packet. These packets will provide THC staff with information about the property’s history and how it has changed over time.  The packet linked in this section is the current version used by our staff. The complete submission should include:

  • A comprehensive history of the property.
  • An explanation for why the property is significant and meets National Register criteria.
  • Current photographs showing the entire property, including landscape, outbuildings, all exterior building elevations, and all interior spaces. 
  • Completed Information Packet form

Information Packets that do not provide the requested information will not be evaluated until the Packet is complete. Please view and download these two examples of a completed Information Packet for guidance on what  to include in your submission.

National Register staff will use the packets to evaluate whether the property appears to meet National Register requirements. Please contact with any questions on the Information Packets. THC staff can also provide the contact info for preservation planners throughout the state who may be able to assist with the packet. 

Digital submission is preferred to Mailed submissions are also accepted to our office address. The state e-mail system only accepts attachments smaller than 25 mb so please ensure materials do not exceed 25 mb per e-mail. Multiple e-mails with attachments may be submitted, if needed. Please request confirmation that materials have been received by staff. If you do not receive confirmation, please follow up with a separate e-mail. 

Properties that are found to be eligible for listing can proceed to Step 2.

2. Preparation of a National Register nomination:
The next step is to prepare a formal National Register nomination. THC National Register staff will provide the current nomination form, instructions, and example nominations. Regional preservation planners may be able to assist with nomination preparation.

The completed nomination form and photographs should be returned to National Register staff. Staff will review the nomination and provide comments for revisions. Most drafts go through at least a few rounds of revision. Once complete, the nomination will be scheduled for the next possible State Review Board Meeting.

3. Review by the Tennessee State Review Board:

The Tennessee State Review Board meets three times a year to review nominations. They generally meet in January, May, and September. The board is comprised of professionals in architecture, history, and archaeology. The board will review each completed nomination and vote on whether to approve the nomination. 

4. Submission to the National Park Service:
THC National Register staff submit approved nominations to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service has final say on whether a property is listed, rejected, or returned to THC for revisions.

When properties are successfully listed, property owners will receive a notification from the THC. Owners may choose to celebrate the listing with a plaque. The Tennessee Historical Commission does not endorse, authorize, recommend, or have any preference for one company over another. We provide the list for your convenience. You are not required to purchase a plaque.

Ethan Holden
(615) 770-1090
Rebecca Schmitt
(615) 770-1086

This Page Last Updated: July 3, 2024 at 10:45 AM