Preliminary Evaluation and Nomination Processes
o be listed on the state and national historic registers, a property must go
through a two-step process that begins with a preliminary evaluation.
If the site receives a thumbs up during this first step, then the
second step requires a formal nomination to the state and national
During the preliminary evaluation stage, a site is reviewed by a special committee of the Department of Historic Resources and
DHR's State Review Board during one of the board's quarterly meetings. In most cases, the board makes its preliminary determination
of whether a property is eligible for the register based on the information
submitted in a Preliminary Information Form (PIF).
Accordingly, the first step involves submitting a PIF, which
is a distinct and separate document from the formal nomination report
that is completed for step two.
The purpose of the PIF is to provide sufficient information for the State Review Board to judge if a property or
proposed historic district warrants more detailed documentation for nomination, as required by the Virginia Landmarks Register
and National Register of Historic Places. Before completing a PIF,
please refer to the step-by-step
guide to the evaluation process
Also, you may wish to review good examples of completed PIFs (see
below) that have been submitted to DHR in the past.
A PIF for the "O. J. Rudacille General Merchandise" building was
presented to the State Review Board during its June 2011
quarterly meeting. The building, which combines a general store and
residence, was built in 1884 and is located in Warren County.
When the PIF is completed, before it is forwarded to the State
Review Board, it is reviewed by DHR's internal Register Evaluation Team. This interdisciplinary committee meets twice a month and makes a recommendation regarding a property or
proposed historic district's register eligibility to the State Review Board. Such factors as the architectural integrity of
a building (or buildings in the case of a historic district), historical background, and regional representation on the register are considered by the board members in their evaluations. The National Register
for Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register "Criteria for Evaluation" is used in the determination. If the
State Review Board judges the information sufficient, it will act upon the question of the property or district's eligibility. The board may concur with the staff recommendation that
an individual property or district is eligible for listing, request further information, or make recommendations.
If the State Review Board determines a resource is eligible for
register listing, a formal nomination to the registers comes next. Nomination forms require detailed historical and architectural documentation proving that the resource meets certain criteria. Many owners hire private consultants to prepare the nomination. Before proceeding with a nomination, refer to the step-by-step
guide to the nomination process
The length of time for the completion of a nomination depends on who
prepares it and the nature of the resource. For nominations prepared by private consultants, the time period rests with the consultant.
The Department of Historic Resources has continually maintained high standards for properties listed on the national and
state registers. Registration is thus selective and honorific. DHR staff will be glad to answer questions regarding the register program and
the PIF or formal nomination process and procedures.
Preliminary Information Forms:
The PIFs can be downloaded and printed by selecting the "Preliminary
Eval. & Nom. Forms" link in the yellow box
on the top-right side of this page. Again, please refer to the
guide to the evaluation process (see above) before beginning. Once completed, the form must be submitted to your nearest
regional office. The form serves as a starting point for the
historical and architectural documentation DHR staff needs to assess a
property's eligibility for the registers. Please note that the
evaluation process of the forms usually takes three to four months to