Step 3: Secure Public Recognition

Convincing others to give special recognition to your place promotes research, and publicizes its importance.

One strategy for drawing attention to your place is to convince others to single it out for recognition. This public acknowledgement of the importance of a place can generate publicity, which may in turn lead you to uncover new sources of information, as well as new supporters for the place.

There are many ways to secure public recognition of a place. These are a few options, listed in ascending order of complexity:

  • If your place is in New York City, nominate it to the Census of Places that Matter, the citywide survey conducted by Place Matters. You can do this online at www.placematters.net, or mail in the form included in the appendices of this toolkit. Your nomination may attract others to add comments and provide their own information about the place. It also might set in motion follow-up research and promotion by Place Matters.
     
  • Get endorsements by public figures. Consider the public officials, religious authorities, professional organizations, civic groups, and so on that might be interested in your place. Many of them give awards, write proclamations, and do other things that recognize noteworthy efforts. To determine which avenues to endorsements to pursue, review the information you've gathered and note your place's strong points—its architecture, its connection(s) to a particular religious group, significant historical times or events, etc. Then research the possibilities for endorsements, and the steps involved in requesting the endorsement.
     
  • Consider nominating the place for listing on State and National Registers of Historic Places. These are lists of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Register listing brings tax benefits and some measure of protection in the form of extra scrutiny if a site is threatened (called a "Section 106 Review" in the National Historic Preservation Act). It cannot, however, prevent demolition. Register listing is principally valuable in the honor it bestows, by announcing to society at large that a place has been significant in the history of the state and country. When Place Matters helped to get the building that houses Casa Amadeo Record Store in the Bronx on the State and National Registers, it was the first listing that recognized Puerto Rican migration to the mainland U.S.

    For more information about Register listing as a "traditional cultural property," see the next section of the Toolkit: Protecting Your Place, Option 2: Retaining Longstanding Use.

    To find non-profit groups or private consultants who may be able to assist you with a National Register nomination, start by contacting the Neighborhood Preservation Center at 212.228.2781, www.neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org.

Resources

Nomination to the Census of Places that Matter form