The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 is an act of legislation that was passed with the intention of preserving historical as well as archaeological sites throughout the United States of America. The Act helped establish the National Registry of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks and the State Historic Preservation Office. The legislation was signed into law on October 15, 1966.
The National Registry of Historic Places, which is ran by the National Park Service is the country’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and other areas worthy of being preserved for future generations. Here is where they are given the distinction of being “historic properties.” The official process of being considered an historic property is called the Section 106 review process. The review process is led by the Advisory Council and helps develop policies and guidelines. To be considered they must mean one of our criteria; a historical event, a historical person, historical design/construction or information potential (i.e archaeological dig site). To achieve this status does not prevent a site from being damaged or deconstructed but does provide the opportunity for grants, loans and tax incentives. The Section 106 review process takes into consideration the benefits of making something an historic place as well as any adverse effects.
The purpose of the preservation act is to help retain diverse elements of the past, perpetuate the distinctiveness of identities of places, involve amateur in landscape care, and to practice conversation approach to environmental change. The National Historic Preservation Act has had a major benefit to the fields of archaeology, history, and historical architecture. No longer do these fields have to be in the world of academia. They have formed what is known as a culture resource management team and help others classify their findings so they can be submitted into the National Register of Historic Places.