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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Homeowner Assistance for National Historic Properties

Privately Owned Historic Landmarks

The National Historic Landmarks program was established in 1935 by the U.S. Department of Interior's National Park Service (NPS) so that our nation's most significant properties might be purchased and included in the National Park System. Over the years, it became apparent that having the Federal government buy and maintain all of these properties would be very costly and impractical. So, although some Landmarks are included in the Park System, the vast majority are privately owned.

Today, the well-being of National Historic Landmarks depends on many factors: how changes in property use are handled, what effects acts of nature have, how developers approach the historical value of landmarks, and whether an owner has the commitment and financial ability to maintain and preserve the property. The National Park Service encourages and supports the preservation and restoration of our National Historic Landmark properties.

The NHL Initiative:

  • Monitors the status of NHLs and reports their condition to Congress each year
  • Works to improve networking and assistance to NHL owners
  • Prepares information to emphasize the importance of NHLs to all Americans

sundial, outdoor landscaping, landscape
Accent the passage of time by framing a sundial with brillant splashes of landscape roses. Red Flower Carpet by Tesselaar
The Initiative also assists NHL owners by providing published information about maintaining, repairing, and restoring historic buildings, structures, and sites, as well as offering other educational and training activities. NHL owners with access to the Internet can find descriptions of National Park Service programs, including available publications and information on the tax credit for rehabilitation of historic buildings at:


This site also leads to other preservation-related web sites.

Here you can find cultural resources technical assistance and sources for expert advice and training. You can also discover information on tax credits related to historic preservation and on special NPS grants for many purposes.

  • Contacts
  • Grants Information
  • Internet Links
  • Mapping
  • Tax Credits
  • Technical Assistance
  • Training
For the general public interested in preserving a historic property, many of the materials developed to assistLandmark owners may be purchased through the U.S. Superintendent Documents. To order the free Catalog ofHistoric Preservation Publications, write to:
National Park Service
Heritage Preservation Services Division
P.O. Box 37127
Washington, DC 20013-7127.

You can search for California's National Historic Landmarks using the National park Service's handy LANDMARK SEARCH PAGE.