Historic Contexts

Historic contexts are used to evaluate properties for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  Historic contexts help assess the significance of a property by determining if a property represents a significant part of history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture of a geographical area.  In order to decide whether a property is significant within its historic context, the following five things must be determined:

·         The facet of prehistory or history of the local area, State, or the nation that the property represents;

·         Whether that facet of prehistory or history is significant;

·         Whether it is a type of property that has relevance and importance in illustrating the historic context;

·         How the property illustrates that history; and finally

·         Whether the property possesses the physical features necessary to convey the aspect of prehistory or history with which it is associated.

Contexts must be developed for evaluating and nominating any property to the National Register of Historic Places. 

For purposes of this web page, historic contexts related to Pennsylvania’s historic properties are organized by both National Register Areas of Significance and regionally. Some historic contexts have been formally approved by the National Park Service and other are white papers and are intended to serve as guidance documents. All context documents will be accessible in the near future by searching "Archaeological and Historic Survey" reports through the Ask ReGIS function of the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.

Additional Resources

·         National Register Bulletin: How to Complete the National Register Registration Form, Section V: How to Evaluate a Property within its Historic Context

·         BHP Historic Context Guidelines: How to prepare a Historic Context for Individual Properties and Historic Districts 

·         Pennsylvania Architectural Field Guide

·         Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) Information and Tutorial

 

Historic Contexts Organized by Area of Significance
Agriculture  
1991-M001-011 Farms in Berks County, Pennsylvania
1994-M001-051 Greensboro/ New Geneva Architecture c. 1790-1944; Settlement, Transportation Improvements, and Development of the Greensboro/New Geneva Area c. 1760-1944; Greensboro/New Geneva Glass Industry 1797-1858; Greensboro/New Geneva Pottery Industry c. 1800-1914
1989-M001-011  Gristmills in Berks County, Pennsylvania
2007-M001-042  Agricultural Resources of Pennsylvania, c1700-1960
1994-M001-071  Historic Farming Resources of Lancaster County
1990-M001-071  Tobacco Buildings in Lancaster City
1992-M002-042  Historic and Architectural Resources of the Upper Delaware Valley, New York and Pennsylvania
1992-M001-042 Whiskey Rebellion Resources in Southwestern Pennsylvania
   
Architecture
1995-H001-042 A Study of the Vernacular Architecture of Central and Southwestern PA with a Particular Emphasis on the Barns of These Regions
2011-M001-042  Folk Log Structures in Pennsylvania 
1994-M001-051  Greensboro/ New Geneva Architecture c. 1790-1944; Settlement, Transportation Improvements, and Development of the Greensboro/New Geneva Area c. 1760-1944; Greensboro/New Geneva Glass Industry 1797-1858; Greensboro/New Geneva Pottery Industry c. 1800-1914 
2011-M001-017  Log Houses In Bucks County 
2009-H002-101  Modernism, 1945 to 1980, in Philadelphia 
2012-H003-042  USPS Nationwide Historic Context Study:  Postal Facilities Constructed or Occupied Between 1940 and 1971 (draft)
1982-M001-029  The Thomas Thematic Group (A part of the Multiple Resource Nomination of West Whiteland Township) 
1992-M001-042 Whiskey Rebellion Resources in Southwestern Pennsylvania 
 
Community Planning and Development  
1981-M001-101  The Four Public Squares of Philadelphia TR
2012-H001-101  Historic Context for the City of Philadelphia 
1995-M001-101  Public Housing in Philadelphia 
2010-H001-042  Research Guide for Developing a Context for Evaluating Post World War II Suburbs 
2012-H003-042 USPS Nationwide Historic Context Study:  Postal Facilities Constructed or Occupied Between 1940 and 1971 
   
Conservation   
2007-M003-042 Lumber Heritage Area Management Plan 
1984-M001-017  Historic Resources of New Hope Borough 
1985-M001-029  West Branch Brandywine Creek Multiple Resources 
2000-3536-055 Historic Context Statement and Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Forms for Michaux State Forest 
   
Education  
2007-M002-042 Historic Educational Resources of Pennsylvania: Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Pennsylvania, 1682-1969
2007-H006-042 Pennsylvania Schools Survey Summary Report
1986-M001-101 Philadelphia Public Schools Thematic Resources
1986-M001-003 Pittsburgh Public Schools Thematic Group 
Engineering   
123985  Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Landmark 
1990-H006-042  Blair County and Cambria County PA: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites Abstract 
1991-H001-061  Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites [large file - it may open slowly] 
1994-H001-129 Westmoreland County Pennsylvania:  An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites [large file - it may open slowly]
   
   
   
   
   
   

 



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