A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Kad'yak was added to the National Register of Historic
Places this past July 14, joining a list of some 78,000 historic
American sites, structures, and neighborhoods. With so many areas
designated "historic," chances are that one or more of them is
practically in your own backyard. But just what does it take for a
place to join this list?
First, an area must be nominated. Anyone can submit a
request to their state's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to
do so. In turn, the SHPO brings the proposal before a state review
board, which then tells the SHPO that they either approve or
disapprove the nomination. At that point, SHPO notifies property
owners and local officials, who have the opportunity to object. If
no objection occurs (in which case the application is forwarded for
nothing more than a determination of eligibility), the request goes
directly to the National Park Service, which considers the area for
In evaluating a locale, certain criteria are used. The National
Register considers an eligible place to be one that may be associated
with events that have made a great contribution to broad patterns in
American history. It also looks to see if the place in question is
associated with significant historical figures, if it includes
distinctive characteristics of a certain period or has high artistic
value, or if it gives--or will give--important historical information.
Those are fairly general criteria, but other more specific rules
prevent certain places from being approved to join the National
Register. Ordinarily, graves, cemeteries, and places of worship are
not considered unless they are of exceptional importance. The same
goes for places that are less than 50 years old.
The entire process of a property becoming listed on the National
Register is quite lengthy. Nominations take at least 90 days to
get through the state. Then the National Park Service makes their
decision, which is done within 45 days of receiving the nomination.
Thus, each property goes through much consideration before it joins
the National Register list. In being added to the National Register,
Kad'yak, therefore, has not only been judged significant by
underwater archaeologists and Russian historians, but it has also
been deemed to be of national importance.
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