A Guide to Owning a Historic Home

Carver County Historical Society, National Register of Historic Places, historic homes, National Historic Preservation Act
Protect homes on the historic registry.
The historic Conrad Fink house in Chaska in 2012.

You found a house you love, but it is on the National Register of Historic Places, or maybe your house is already on the register and you want to make changes. What changes are you allowed to make? This is a commonly asked question and a major concern for people considering owning or who currently own a National Register property.

In short, the inside may be updated, after all, who wants to live in a house that has no electricity or running water? Any changes to the home’s exterior or major changes to the interior of the house could result in the property being removed from the registry.

Being on the register has its advantages. It provides some protection from federal organizations, which might not have your home’s best interest in mind. National Register properties are protected from possible demolition by the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106. “Section 106 requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and to provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) with the reasonable opportunity to comment.” (US Department of the Interior)

So, go ahead, and enjoy your famous property. Who knows, maybe Lincoln slept there.

Wendy Petersen Biorn is the executive director of the Carver County Historical Society.
Email: wbiorn@co.carver.mn.us
Facebook: Carver County Historical Society 
Twitter: @cc_historical