State Historic Preservation Office

Is My Property Eligible for Listing in the National Register?

This is a question owners of older properties frequently ask, and one the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) staff can help answer.

Note icon. The department has changed all fill-in forms to PDF fill-in. You will be able to save and reuse these PDF forms. However, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 or higher to save the PDF fill-in form. Also, at this time the department does not accept digital signatures. If your Acrobat Reader prompts you to use one, we ask that you don't.

In order to assess the significance and National Register eligibility of an individual property (i.e. a residence, commercial building or historic school), or a small complex of buildings (i.e. a farmstead or small industrial complex), an eligibility assessment form and current photographs of the property must be submitted to the SHPO. Photographs should include all sides of the property as well as its unique features, such as intricate trim or woodwork, staircases, fireplaces or exterior landscaping and outbuildings. Blank eligibility assessment forms and instructions can be downloaded here. If you are unable to download forms, you can also email your name and mailing address to moshpo@dnr.mo.gov or contact the SHPO at 573-751-7858.

Use the form to provide as much information as possible on the property and its historic significance and return it to the SHPO, along with clear current photographs. SHPO staff will review the information and respond in writing to the applicant with an opinion on the property's eligibility.

All assessments are based on National Register of Historic Places criteria for eligibility. A property must retain most or all of its historic physical characteristics in order to be eligible for National Register listing. Additional information on the National Register can be obtained by visiting the National Register of Historic Places. Of particular use in completing the eligibility assessment are National Register Bulletin #15: "How to Apply National Register Criteria" and Bulletin #39: "Researching an Historic Property."

Within 30 days from receipt of the above information, the SHPO staff will respond with a written opinion as to the eligibility of the property. Completed requests for eligibility assessments and accompanying photographs should be sent to: State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176.

Communities considering nominating commercial, industrial or residential historic districts should begin with an architectural/historic survey.  These surveys provide an inventory of buildings and other significant resources in a neighborhood or community, and a historic context for understanding significant events and historic development patterns.  Surveys are used to identify National Register eligible properties and to provide a “snapshot” in time that can be used later to mark changes and improvements in the neighborhood over time.

Some communities contract with a professional preservationist or historian to conduct architectural survey.  When funding sources are limited, surveys conducted by local volunteers can also be an effective means of identifying historic properties and connecting citizens with their history.   Upon request, the SHPO will provide free training to organizations interested in volunteer survey.

Finally, there are some National Register documents that are intended to provide the historical context and criteria to facilitate the listing of properties that meet the requirements set out in the document. The recently approved Rural Churches of Missouri:  A Study of Architectural Types 1819 to 1945 and One-Teacher Public Schools of Missouri are examples of multiple property cover documents designed by SHPO staff to assist anyone interested in listing a rural church building or schools that meets the specified requirements. For other multiple property cover documents please check out the listings at the foot of the National Register Map page.

Here, for the convenience of those wishing to nominate properties to the National Register, are forms and information: