Puerto Rico’s historical sites range from entire districts to institutional buildings, homes and central sugar mills, among others. Their historical value stems from the fact that they represent important cultural trends, were the sites of historic event reflect the lives of significant individuals, illustrate advances in architectural, artistic and engineering design, and, above all, are the legacy of the island.
The official list of historical sites is the National Register of Historic Places. It was created by the National Historic Conservation Act of 1966, later amended, which is part of the United States federal government’s program to coordinate and support both public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect the historic and archaeological resources of the United States and its territories.
In Puerto Rico, the entity responsible for protecting the island’s historical heritage is the State Office of Historic Conservation. This office offers advice and opinions to federal agencies on the impact that local construction projects that receive federal funds may have on historical properties; maintains inventories; documents historical properties in Puerto Rico; and educates the public about the importance of preserving those structures.
The State Office of Historic Conservation is also responsible for processing nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. For properties to be eligible for the register, they must be sites that are linked to events that have made a significant contribution to Puerto Rican history; that are linked to the lives of important people from the past; that embody characteristics that are distinctive of a type, period or method of construction; that represent the work of a expert or a significant and identifiable entity whose members may lack individual distinction; or that reveal or may reveal important information about history or prehistory.
Conservation of historical heritage keeps history alive and promotes appreciation for it among the public.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: ¿Qué es el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos?, Conserva, v.3 2007, p. 37.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 17, 2014.
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