The first step toward potentially listing a property or historic district on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places begins with completing a Preliminary Information Form. DHR register program staff created this 7+ minute video about the importance of the PIF and what DHR staff look for when evaluating a property using the PIF. The good news is that the 3-page form (below) is relatively simple to complete. If you want some tips or just familiarize yourself with the form before beginning, this video is a great place to start.
DHR’s Preliminary Information Form (PIF) provides baseline information for evaluating a property’s eligibility for the historic registers and is intended to allow a property owner to move forward on a preliminary evaluation without a lot of up front costs or investment of time:
- Submit a completed PIF to the Regional staff member you’ve been working with on your project. You may find it helpful to refer to these examples of completed PIFs:
- Historic District
- 134-5608, L&J Gardens Historic District, City of Virginia Beach
- 047-5458, Toano Commercial Historic District, James City County
- 118-5498, Twelfth Street Industrial Historic District, City of Lynchburg
- 127-7046, North Thompson Street Historic District, City of Richmond
- 186-5005, Chase City Warehouse Commercial Historic District, Town of Chase City, Mecklenburg County
- Individual Property
- 056-5050, Coates Farm/Cebula Barn, Madison County
- 031-0001, Roberson Mill, Floyd County
- 002-1134, Sugar Hollow School, Albemarle County
- 078-5197, Amon Richardson House, Rappahannock County
- 008-5076, T. C. Walker (Rosenwald) School, Bath County
- 123-5506, Christ and Grace Episcopal Church, City of Petersburg
- 159-5013, Green Hill Cemetery, Town of Luray, Page County
- Historic District
- This committee recommends if an individual property, archaeological site, or a proposed historic district should proceed to listing in the historic registers.
- If DHR staff recommends a PIF proceed, then the staff will present it at the next available quarterly meeting of the State Review Board. The SRB may concur with the staff recommendation, request further information, and/or make specific recommendations on aspects of preparing and improving a final nomination.
- Refer to the Register Nomination Checklist for detailed instructions about preparing a nomination packet.
- Note that nomination materials are not subject to copyright. Maps, photographs, and nomination forms submitted to DHR become part of the public record and are retained in DHR’s permanent archives.
- Consider hiring, as many owners do, a private consultant to prepare the nomination. The forms require detailed historical and architectural documentation to prove that a resource meets certain register criteria. While many owners do prepare their own nominations, it takes time and research. (Also, note that the time required for completing a nomination depends on who prepares it and the property or district being nominated. For a nomination prepared by a private consultant, his or her particular schedule also affects the amount of time required.)
- Remember, as the State Historic Preservation Office, DHR is responsible for assuring that nominations meet scholarly standards, are factually accurate, and conform to state and federal regulations. Nominations that do not meet these requirements will be returned to the property owner and/or author for revisions.
Updated April 6, 2023