The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is responsible, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service and local governments, in carrying out the mandates of the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 89-665,as amended) in Missouri. The SHPO works with citizens and groups throughout the state to identify, evaluate and protect Missouri's diverse range of historic, architectural and archaeological resources.
The SHPO funds and coordinates surveys to identify historic, architectural and archaeological resources throughout the state. The most significant properties identified in the surveys are nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, the federal list of properties deemed worthy of recognition and protection. Information gathered in the survey and nomination process is maintained in the Missouri Cultural Resource Inventory, a continually growing database of information.
The SHPO is responsible for Section 106 review of federally funded or assisted projects to ensure compliance with federal preservation legislation. SHPO staff assess the significance of properties within project areas, review the impact of the projects on significant resources and consult with agencies to develop ways to avoid or mitigate damage to the resources.
The SHPO is eligible for an annual allocation of federal Historic Preservation Fund grant monies through the National Park Service. The SHPO allocates a portion of these monies, when available, as matching grants for eligible preservation activities.
The office works with owners, architects and developers to ensure that rehabilitation projects qualify for rehabilitation tax credits. Currently, both state and federal income tax credits are available for the qualified rehabilitation of certain historic properties. The SHPO cooperates with the National Park Service and the Missouri Department of Economic Development in reviewing applications for the federal and the state credits. Staff architects provide advice on appropriate rehabilitation treatments and forward applications to the appropriate federal and state agencies for final approval with SHPO recommendations.
Missouri's Historic Preservation Revolving Fund, a state fund that allows the Department of Natural Resources to help preserve endangered historic buildings, is administered by the preservation office. Historic properties are acquired by the fund and sold with preservation covenants to ensure long-term preservation.
Certified Local Governments are an important part of the federal-state-local preservation partnership. The SHPO assists municipal and county governments in achieving certification and provides intensive training in the preservation of local resources to local historic preservation commissions.
The SHPO provides educational services to the general public of all ages to promote awareness and understanding of historic preservation. Technical assistance is provided to all citizens free of charge. In conjunction with the Department of Economic Development's "Main Street" program, the SHPO provides design assistance to Main Street communities.
The SHPO is responsible for responding to cases involving the discovery of unmarked human burials. Staff work with American Indians, archaeologists and developers to balance respectful treatment of remains with scientific and development concerns.