Historic Designation

Why Designate Historic Resources?

Historic buildings and sites serve as important visual and tangible links to our heritage.  Designation helps us protect and share our history and instill a sense of pride within our community.  Designation also benefits the local economy by attracting visitors and buyers looking for unique historic homes and commercial properties.

What are the types of historic designations?

There are three types of designations for historic sites - local, state, and federal.  Individual historic sites and entire districts may receive just one type or a combination of multiple designations.  The Frederick County Code (Section 1-23-6) has a process for designating Local Historic Resources, which can include either individual sites or a collection of properties.

The Maryland Historical Trust (the State Historic Preservation Office) manages the Maryland Inventory of Historic Places and the State designation process.  The National Park Service manages the National Register of Historic Places and the National designation process.

Designation Criteria

  • Significant character, interest or value as part of development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of county, state, or nation 
  • Site of an historic event 
  • Identified with person or group of persons who influenced society 
  • Exemplifies cultural, economic, social, political, or historic heritage of county and its communities 
  • Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction or architecture
  • Represents work of master craftsman, architect, or builder 
  • Possesses significant artistic value 
  • Represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction 
  • Represents an established and familiar visual feature of neighborhood, community, or county, due to singular physical characteristics, landscape, or historical event 
  • Is rare example of particular period, style, material, or construction technique.

County Register Designation Process Flow Chart

County Register Designation Application