Designating a property as architecturally and historically significant can encourage preservation, promote awareness, and protect a sense of place and character of our communities.
There are a number of different programs in which to list a property as historically and architecturally significant. Some offer limited restrictions and protections and others offer more. Generally outbuildings including barns are not designated as an "individual" building but part of a larger designation. There may some barns which merit individual designation but for the most part there are included in a larger site such as a National Register District or part of a property with primary building and other outbuildings. Some examples in Connecticut include the Randolph Chandler Barn which is found in the Thompson Hill National Register district and Hilltop Barn which is located in the Hilltop Farm National Register listing which includes a portion of the original farm land and other outbuildings.
A general overview of designations are provided below. To learn more about designating a property please visit the Connecticut Trust's website at http://www.cttrust.org.
National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark is the highest level of designation available. Properties given this foremost form of recognition are deemed significant to all Americans because of their exceptional values or qualities, which help illustrate or interpret the heritage of the United States. The National Historic Landmark program identifies, designates, recognizes and protects buildings, structures, sites and objects of national significance.
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of historic buildings and sites worthy of preservation. Listing on the Register indicates that a property is significant because of its architecture or its association with important persons, events or cultural events. Listing does not restrict what a property owner may do with the property unless the owner is using federal assistance.
State Register of Historic Places
The State Register of Historic Places is the official listing of those sites important to the historical development of Connecticut. Listing on the State Register does not restrict the rights of the private property owner and offers limited protection.
State Historic Resource Inventory
The State Historic Resource Inventory identifies and evaluates historic, architectural, archaeological, cultural and industrial resources. The surveys which serve as the basis for most other designations is also a useful tool for municipal officials, local planners, preservationist, property owners and researchers in helping them make sound preservation and development decisions. There are no restrictions associated with the Historic Resources Inventory.
Local Historic Districts/Properties
Local Historic Districts/Properties offer the most protection for significant architectural buildings in the State of Connecticut. The State General Statutes allow municipalities to establish historic districts and historic properties for which exterior architectural changes are reviewed by a local preservation commission. This allows towns, which have Local Historic Districts/Properties to ensure that alterations, additions, or demolitions are in keeping and consistent with the special character of the designated area.
HABS AND HAER
The Historic American Building Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) identify and document important architectural, engineering and industrial sites throughout the United States including Connecticut. Organized and managed by the Federal Government, each building or property recorded features a complete set of measured drawings, large-format photographs and a written history.
The Historic American Landscapes Survey, like HABS/HAER, is a record of significant American landscapes documented by the Federal Government. This archive of landscapes was created to help us better understand our rich ethnic and cultural heritage.