Register of Historic Places

Register Program Description

The Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places is an official list of properties that have been recognized for their significance to the history, architecture, archaeology, or culture of Hawai‘i communities. Buildings, structures, sites, district, and objects over 50 years old are eligible for nomination to the Hawai‘i Register. Listing on the Register comes with many benefits, including eligibility of private residential and private commercial properties for county property tax benefits and access to grant funding. The Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places is intended to be representative of the various types of significant historic properties in Hawai‘i; it is not inclusive of all significant properties.

Through the nomination process, the Hawai‘i Historic Places Review Board votes on which nominated properties are worthy of listing. The nomination process starts with the completion of a nomination form, which is a technical document that provides justification for a property’s inclusion in the Register. The nomination form includes a physical description and a historic context section which illustrates how the property meets the requirements of listing on the Register. A building, structure, object, site, or district is eligible for the Register for its association with historic events or patterns, its association with an important historical figure, an example of engineering or architectural type or a work of a master, or for its ability to yield information about our history. Additionally, properties nominated to the Register must maintain integrity of materials, design, feeling, location, association, workmanship, and setting. Nomination forms follow National Register of Historic Places guidelines and meet State requirements outlined in Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 13-198-3.

The Hawai‘i Historic Places Review Board is made up of ten professional experts in the fields of architecture, archaeology, sociology, history, and Hawaiian Culture. Hawai‘i Historic Places Review Board meetings are held quarterly and are open to the public. Board members are nominated by the Governor and serve four-year terms. The Review Board votes on the listing of the nominated properties to the Hawai‘i Register and recommends nominations for the National Register of Historic Places. If the nomination meets National Register Standards, nominators can resubmit a nomination to State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) for forwarding on to the National Park Service. The National Park Service will certify that the nomination meets National Register standards and the Keeper of the National Register can then officially list the property on the National Register for Historic Places. Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Division maintains the list of nominated properties, properties listed in the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places, and Hawai‘i properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For the complete list, please visit our website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/shpd/

The National Register of Historic Places standards differ from the Hawai‘i Register. For more information about the National Register, please visit the National Register website: https://www.nps.gov/nr/.

Nomination Process Overview for Private, State, and Locally Owned Properties

To be considered eligible for listing, a property must meet the National Register Criteria and retain historic integrity. This involves examining the property’s age, integrity, and significance. More information can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb15/

Generally, an architectural historian who meets Secretary of Interior (SOI) qualifications will be contracted to complete the nomination. The nomination form is the same for the State and National Register. Ensure that you are utilizing the most up to date nomination form, it can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/forms.htm\.

Historic research on the property must justify the property’s inclusion on the register. Here is a helpful guide on researching historic properties: https://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb39

The form must be filled out specific to Park Service instructions. Please carefully follow these instructions: https://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb16a/

Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, a local non-profit that advocates for historic properties, has additional information about listing properties and a list of preservation professionals:  https://historichawaii.org/resource-center-2/directory/

All nomination submittals must be accompanied by an SIHP request form. For the form and directions on how to complete the form, please follow this link: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/shpd/review-compliance/forms/

After the form is complete and includes all required documentation, it is submitted to SHPD in Microsoft word format to Megan.Borthwick@hawaii.gov and dlnr.intake.shpd@hawaii.gov.

Deadlines and notification schedule can be found on our website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/shpd/state-register/state-review-board/

Once a nomination is submitted to SHPD, SHPD staff review the nomination for technical accuracy and completeness.

SHPD is responsible for certain notifications prior to the nomination going before the Hawai‘i Historic Places Review Board. Deadlines and notice schedule can be found on the SHPD website.

The Review Board will vote on the listing of a property and SHPD will send out a notification regarding the Board’s decision.

Listing in the State Register has the following results for historic properties:

  • Formal recognition of a property’s importance to the history of the community and the state of Hawai‘i.
  • A body of information for local community planning, tourist promotion, neighborhood revitalization.
  • A sense of community history and local pride.
  • Eligibility to apply for state and federal incentives
  • Once the property is listed on the Register, any projects or alterations to the property must be submitted to SHPD for review per Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 6E-10. Please see the guide on how to submit to SHPD: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/shpd/files/2015/05/HRS-6E-Review-Guidance-Doc.pdf
  • Any changes and alterations to the historic property should follow the Secretary of Interior standards for the treatment of historic properties, rehabilitation: https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/four-treatments.htm.

PV on Historic Structures

Guidance for placing PV panels on your historic property can be found at: NAPC-Solar-Panel-Guidelines