DEFINITION of 'Historic Structure'

A building or other structure (such as a bridge, mine, canal, ship, highway or locomotive) that is significant because of its link to an important period in the past. For example, historic structures may have unique architectural features or political meaning. Areas with a large number of historic structures may be designated as historic districts. Property owners in historic districts generally face special rules and restrictions on maintenance of and alterations to the property. Sometimes grant money or tax credits are available to restore historic structures in disrepair.

BREAKING DOWN 'Historic Structure'

In the United States, structures can be officially registered as historic with the National Park Service and placed on the National Register of Historic Places by petitioning the State Historic Preservation Office where the structure is located. The petition contains information about the property's historic and current functions, architectural classification and materials and other details. To be listed, the property must meet at least one of four key National Register criteria.

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