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Orange County Historian

Historic Preservation

Orange County has many sites which have historic importance in their own right, or as part of historic districts. While many of these properties are publicly- owned museums, most of them are in private hands.

Over time, buildings need to be cared for, and often property owners are eligible for assistance with renovating these structures.

Historic sites and structures used for residential or commercial properties may qualify for tax credits.

Governments and non-profit organizations may qualify for grants.

And, if you own an historic property, you may want to find out if it’s on the National Register, or you may want to list it yourself.

The process starts with the property owner, who would seek the assistance of their local municipal historian, and who should compile the initial information on the property (deeds, maps, whatever they know).

The municipal historian might then contact the County Historian for more information, such as whether or not the County Historian has a record of any prior cultural resource survey work that may have been filed with the State of New York. Many sites were surveyed throughout Orange County by Donald Clark, County Historian (1970-1980). Many sites identified in either the 1903 Atlas of Orange County or Mildred Parker Seese’s Old Orange Houses have been listed already.

There are 3 steps in this process: a determination of eligibility, a nomination to the NY State Register of Historic Places, and a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. A property might be considered historic, significant, contributing, or some other descriptive term.

Frequently Asked Questions: National Register of Historic Places Official Website--Part of the National Park Service
http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/faq.htm     

How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation
http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/publications/bulletins/pdfs/nrb15.pdf 

Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Properties Associated with Significant Persons
http://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/pdfs/nrb32.pdf    

History & Culture National Park Service: laws, executive orders and regulations for preservation
http://www.nps.gov/history/laws.htm   

State Historic Preservation Office - NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
http://nysparks.com/shpo/