Standards > Architectural Description — Written


Standards > Architectural Drawings

National Register, National Register of Historic Places Program, National Park Service.

  • How to Complete the National Register Registration Form (NR Bulletin #16A) Section III. Completing the National Register Registration Form, includes Part 7. Description, which provides guidelines for classification, materials, narrative description, and guidelines for describing properties.
  • How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation (NR Bulletin #15). A property must be shown to be significant for one or more of the four Criteria for Evaluation - Criterion A: Event; Criterion B: Person; Criterion C: Design/Construction; Criterion D: Information Potential. For written architectural descriptions, Criterion C: Design/Construction, is the most pertinent to considering the issue of significance when preparing a written architectural description.
  • Researching a Historic Property (NR Bulletin #39) provides a beginner's guide for methods and research resources.
  • National Register Information System (NRIS) is a database of information about places listed on or determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Actual NR nominations are not located on this site, but must be ordered from the state SHPO (listed at the NCSHPO site) or, if from the pertinent state, available from the NRHP office, Email If requesting information, please include your mailing address, and for nominations, please include the property name, county, and state. Examples of nominations of other sites are helpful in considering how NR standards and guides are implemented. Instructions for NRIS are available at Using the NRIS.

Preservation Briefs, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service

Historic American Building Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, HABS/HAER, National Park Service

  • HABS Historical Reports Guidelines, National Park Service [Index of sections, and complete document, in PDF format.] Outline Format on this site in HTML.
  • Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Engineering Documentation. [File in PDF format.] Compiled by Caroline H. Russell, HABS/HAER, National Park Service. Washington, D.C.: HABS/HAER, 1990, 20 pages, 7 illustrations. $1.25. Details the standards and guidelines for the development of acceptable documentation on historic buildings, sites, structures, and objects, for inclusion in the HABS/HAER Collections. Reprint from the Federal Register, Vol. 48, No. 190, Thursday, September 29, 1983, pp. 44730-34.
  © 2002-2012 Heritage Stewardship     contact