National Register

About the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's list of cultural resources considered worthy of preservation. In Tennessee, the staff of the Tennessee Historical Commission administers this program in coordination with the National Park Service. 

There are over 2000 entries in the National Register from Tennessee. Every county in the state has at least one entry. Types of properties listed in Tennessee include homes, businesses, schools, bridges, cemeteries, churches, boats, archaeological sites, and historic districts with many properties. Listed properties have importance in history, architecture, or archaeology.  Benefits of listing may be found here.

Listing Process

1.THC National Register staff will first evaluate whether a property appears to meet the requirements for listing. Interested people should complete an Information Packet. This packet will provide THC staff with information about the property’s history and how it has changed over time. The completed packet along with current photographs showing the entire property (landscape, all exterior sides of buildings, and all interior spaces) should be submitted to National Register staff. THC currently encourages digital submission due to COVID-19. Please contact National.Register@tn.gov with any questions on the Information Packet as well as the available digital submission options. THC staff can also provide the contact info for preservation planners throughout the state who may be able to assist with the packet. 

National Register staff will use the packet to evaluate whether the property appears to meet National Register requirements.

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.


All National Register inquiries and information packets should be emailed to National.Register@tn.gov.


thc_National-reg_NARA

NEW: Most of Tennessee’s  National Register nominations are now available from the National Archives (NARA) https://catalog.archives.gov/id/20812721. The NARA versions usually have correspondence and maps available, where those on the National Register site do not. Most nominations submitted before 2015 are available. Any copies not on either of these sites can be obtained from our office.


Contacts

Ethan Holden

National.Register@tn.gov

615-770-1090

Rebecca Schmitt

National.Register@tn.gov

615-770-1086