Alabama Historical Commission facts for kids
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The Alabama Historical Commission is the historic preservation agency for the U.S. state of Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission of safeguarding Alabama’s historic buildings and sites. It consists of twenty members appointed by the state governor or who serve in an official position. The members represent a broad cross section of Alabamians including architects, historians, archaeologists, and representatives of state universities. The commission is tasked with acquisition and preservation of historic properties and education of the public about historic sites in Alabama.
The commission, in cooperation with the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes the annual report, Places in Peril, that details Alabama's most threatened historic resources. The commission also partners with the Alabama Preservation Alliance and the University of West Alabama to produce the Preservation Scoreboard, a publication that highlights specific landmark rescues and success stories, opportunities for rescue, and demolitions within the state.
The commission's executive director serves as Alabama's State Historic Preservation Officer and is responsible for nominating historic properties and sites for placement on the National Register of Historic Places and designation as National Historic Landmarks. The State Historic Preservation Officer carries out functions delegated to the state by the United States Department of the Interior.
The commission also maintains the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, which includes properties that the commission deems worthy of preservation. The Alabama Register includes properties ranging from cemeteries to reconstructed properties which would possibly not qualify for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The commission owns, operates, or has custody of 26 historic properties located throughout Alabama. These include the Alabama State Capitol, Belle Mont, Bottle Creek Indian Mounds, Confederate Park, Fendall Hall, Fort Mims, Fort Morgan, Fort Toulouse, Freedom Rides Museum, Gaineswood, Magnolia Grove, Old Cahawba, and Pond Spring.
In 1975, the commission began a historical marker program to inform the public about significant buildings, sites, structures, objects, cemeteries, and districts in the state. Individuals or organizations requesting a marker must have available funds to purchase it since the state provides no funds. In order for an individual or organization to receive a marker from the commission a property must be:
- listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places or the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
- or be a contributing resource in a listed National Register or Alabama Register historic district
- or be listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
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