As most, if not all, of our readers know by now, NPF is currently working with three neighborhood clients towards achieving a historic district nomination: Paradise Palms, Beverly Green and Paradise Village. What you may not realize however, is that two of these neighborhoods, Paradise Palms and Beverly Green are working toward a local listing, while Paradise Village is working toward a national listing. While the two different listings may seem similar, there are actually pretty substantial differences between the two different types of listings.
Both listings help to ensure the preservation of a particular place, building, landmark or district, but a national listing is overseen at a federal level while a local listing is overseen by local governments. In general, a local listing is more effective at preventing inappropriate changes and ensuring the protection of a historic site. However, a national listing can also be quite beneficial, especially for commercial or investor owned areas, as federal funds and historic tax credits may apply towards renovating properties, provided that the renovations comply with recommended historic guidelines.
Because of major differences in the types of homeowners of our neighborhood clients, NPF thought it best to seek different types of historic listings based off what will be most beneficial for the different residential communities. Let’s take a look at the differences and why they are best suited for our clients below.
Paradise Village and the National Register of Historic Places
Paradise Village is a small residential district generally located between Sahara Avenue and East St. Louis Ave, and 6th Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. The community consists of smaller (by today’s standards) homes that were built in the early and mid fifties and include some of the city’s first contemporary ranch style homes designed by local, well known architects Zick and Sharp. Early efforts at reaching out to the residents regarding a local historic register listing proved to be largely unsuccessful. Because of the neighborhoods proximity to Sahara Ave and The Strip, a large majority of the properties are owned by investment owners, and a little more than half of the neighborhoods residents are renters. After some careful analysis and research, NPF decided the neighborhood was better suited for a national register listing rather than a local listing.
The National Register of Historic Places is a national listing of all of our country’s places that have been deemed important to America’s history, culture, architecture or archaeology. It is a federal designation and is administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). A listing in the National Register of Historic Places recognizes that the area is important to the community or state, but provides little local protection from potential changes to the district. Local governments have no influence over potential construction, development or other opportunities that might have adverse effects on the neighborhood.
However, to encourage the preservation of districts on the National Register, the federal government does provide certain federal tax rehabilitation incentives for the owners of income producing properties. Because such a large majority of the Paradise Village district are investment owners and are renting their properties out for income, the incentives potentially offered to them by a National Register listing are much more valuable than a local listing. As long as the rehabilitation efforts follow period appropriate guidelines, property owners can apply for historic tax credits at a federal level, which in turn promotes the preservation of the district.
NPF hopes that once a National Register listing is achieved, property owners of Paradise Village will look to take advantage of some of these tax credit opportunities and that preservation for the district can begin to be realized.
Paradise Palms, Beverly Green and the Local Register of Historic Places
In contrast, Paradise Palms and Beverly Green are close to applying for historic designation at the local level. In a local historic district, a locally appointed organization helps to prevent inappropriate changes within a historic district. In this case, Paradise Palms would fall under the jurisdiction of the Clark County Historic Ordinances while Beverly Green would be overseen by the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission. In general, local historic districts are far more effective in preventing negative changes and development within the district’s boundaries. The local listing helps to protect the significance and historic character of the district.
A large majority of the residents in both neighborhoods, Paradise Palms and Beverly Green have expressed concerns over the architectural significance of their community. Both are residential districts that were developed in the mid to late 50s and early 60s and are representative of the traditional ranch and contemporary ranch houses that were popular during this time. Because most of the residents are homeowners who reside within the neighborhood and don’t want to see the historical features of the communities changed, NPF decided local listings are far more appropriate for these neighborhoods.
Once a local listing is achieved, homeowners that want to change the existing architecture of their home must meet with a design review board that is overseen by our local historic preservation organizations. The committees works with homeowners to achieve their desired alterations, while ensuring that the historical features of their home and the district are not jeopardized in the process. Although many changes are exempt from review, such as interior features, outside paint colors, and solar additions, many changes do warrant a historical design review, such as roof modifications, window replacements and building additions. These guidelines, however, only apply to features that can be seen from the public right of way and anything that cannot be seen from the street is usually waived from the design review process.
For more on the differences between National and Local listings, visit the city’s website.
Historic Districts Promote Preservation
Despite the differences between local and national listings, both types go a long way in promoting the preservation of places, buildings and districts. A historic district listing at either the national or local level speaks to the historical importance of these neighborhoods, Paradise Village, Beverly Green and Paradise Palms, and helps the community to recognize and understand their historical value. The listings will help promote awareness of the importance of preservation within our city and ensure that our architectural past is not forgotten.
As NPF works towards finishing the final steps for achieving these historic designations, we look forward to helping other neighborhoods and districts within the city and county figure out which listing is right for their area and begin their quest towards a historic district listing as well.