2016 is the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation
Act & DHR, Virginia's State Historic Preservation Office
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) at 50
The Congress finds and declares that
(a) the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its
(b) the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved
living part of our community life and development in order to give
a sense of orientation
to the American people…
--From the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 1966
NHPA and DHR:
NHPA established the legal framework for a State Historic
Preservation Office (SHPO) in every state in the U.S.
Today, DHR is
In celebrating NHPA's anniversary, this agency also recognizes its
own 50th servng the commonwealth as the Virginia SHPO.
In the spirit of NHPA, DHR's mission is to foster, encourage, and
support the stewardship of Virginia’s significant historic architectural, archaeological,
and cultural resources.
NHPA also led to the creation of a National Register of
Historic Places (NHRP).
In 1966, the General Assembly enacted legislation that established a Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR), a parallel program to the
National Register. DHR manages both the VLR and the National
Register in Virginia, the latter in partnership with the National Park Service.
Under the authority of NHPA,
DHR also serves (in an advisory capacity) preservation in
- As set forth
in Section 106 of the NHPA, DHR
reviews and comments upon projects in Virginia
that have the potential to adversely impact historic resources, if
those projects involve federal funds or permitting through a federal
- DHR can advise federal agencies about efforts that can be
to avoid, offset or mitigate adverse effects on historic resources
from construction, road building, and other activities.
The NHPA encouraged and forwarded Virginia's legacy in historic
Preservation Virginia, the
Historical Society, among others organizations).
Today, preservation makes a positive difference in rural and urban Virginia.
And nationwide, as the National Park Service states, “The
NHPA is a cornerstone of American historic preservation.”
Virginians to learn more about the NHPA. And join us in
celebrating the National Historic Preservation Act.
For more information:
National Trust for Historic Preservation:
Submit ideas for celebrating NHPA
- Preservation 50:
Information about NHPA, celebrations around the country, and the future of historic preservation.
- Preservation50 logos: Download six different
Preservation50 stamps (two shown here).
- National Park Service (NPS):
Information about the
NHPA 50th Anniversary and preservation in general.
- Also, a
lesson plan (PDF)
about NHPA that "encourages students to examine their local
history in thoughtful and engaging ways." Intended for middle and high school students; covers activities that "are appropriate
for social studies, U.S., state, and local history classes
and courses on government, civics, art/architecture, and
- Fairfax County
& the 50th Anniversary of the NHPA: Online videos and other features highlighting 59
individual properties and historic districts in the County that
are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National
Register of Historic Places.