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Oklahoma Architectural/Historic Survey Requirements

Architectural/Historic Survey: A Field Guide details the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office (OK/SHPO) requirements for survey projects carried out in whole or in part with Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant-in-aid from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, to the OK/SHPO. These survey projects include those for which the OK/SHPO contracts directly with a consultant, for which the OK/SHPO partners with another organization or agency through a subgrant, or for which the OK/SHPO has awarded a subgrant to a Certified Local Government to retain a consultant to complete the work. All individuals participating in an OK/SHPO-sponsored architectural/historic resources survey project are expected to be familiar with the field guide, including its requirements for documentation of resources, report preparation, and submission of materials listed below.

For more information, please contact Lynda Ozan at 405-522-4484 or email Lynda.Ozan@history.ok.gov.

Requirements for Architectural/Historic Surveys

All properties within the survey area will be documented at the minimum level. The purpose of the survey is to provide documentation sufficient for preparation of a National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the district. The survey work will be conducted in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Identification and Evaluation and Architectural/Historic Survey: A Field Guide (available at the link cited above), and the products delivered to the OK/SHPO will consist of and be organized in accordance with the following:

  1. Documentation of Properties
    • Within the survey area all properties will be minimally recorded and photographed. Minimum recording includes completion of the Historic Preservation Resource Identification Form and two elevation photographs of the property. Additional photographs may be necessary for larger or more complex resources.
    • The project shall be conducted in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Identification and Evaluation and guidelines for intensive level surveys set forth in Architectural/Historic Resource Survey: A Field Guide.
  2. Project Submissions
    • Identification Forms
      The Subgrantee shall produce two original copies of each completed survey form, as detailed below. Two separate files for each property shall be submitted: a copy for the Subgrantee to keep and a copy that will be provided to the OK/SHPO.
      • The Subgrantee will utilize only the form designed by the OK/SHPO available at http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/forms.htm which includes entry of all data into the most recent Access database provided by the OK/SHPO.
      • The Subgrantee will use designations indicated by the OK/SHPO on the SHPO website. They can be found by going to Architectural/Historic Resource Survey: A Field Guide. Architectural styles and terminology will conform to the guidelines provided by Virginia Savage McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), John J. G. Blumenson, Identifying American Architecture: A Pictorial Guide to Styles and Terms, 1600-1945 (Nashville, Tenn.: American Association for State and Local History, 1977), and Steven J. Phillips, Old House Dictionary: An Illustrated Guide to American Domestic Architecture, 1600 to 1940 (Lakewood, Colo.: American Source Books, 1989), The Buildings of Main Street (Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1987) or as approved by OK/SHPO. Survey forms will be reviewed and deemed complete by the OK/SHPO.
      • Under "Description of Significance" on the Identification Form, Subgrantee will indicate one of the following: (1) the property contributes to a historic district (and name of district), (2) the property does not contribute to the historic district, along with the justification for that status, (3) the property is individually eligible for listing in the National Register, along with the criteria it meets, or (4) the property is not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
      • Each form will be placed in its own one third cut, top tab, legal-size folder with a typed label stating the address or legal description, name of historic district (if applicable), county, city, in that order. The corresponding photographs will also be placed in the file folder (see further specifications for photographs below). All field notes and copies of documentation used in form preparation must also be placed in the appropriate folder. Files will be grouped by street and placed within a manila end-tab pocket folder with a typed label stating the street and city. Files will be submitted in one or more cardboard file storage boxes, arranged in the following order:
        • Numbered Avenues: Numerically by avenue number, alphabetically by direction and numerically by street address
        • Numbered Streets: Numerically by street number, alphabetically by direction and numerically by street address
        • Named Avenues: Alphabetically by avenue name, alphabetically by direction and numerically by street address
        • Named Streets: Alphabetically by street name, alphabetically by direction and numerically by street address
        • Miscellaneous designator, i.e. circles, drives, roads, etc.: Alphabetically by name and direction and finally numerically by street address
        • When the previous arrangements (1-5) are not applicable, survey forms will be organized alphabetically by Plat name and numerically by Block and Lot numbers
        • Properties that cannot be assigned to any of the previously mentioned arrangements will be organized by County, Range, Township and Section to the nearest quarter
    • Photographs
      Subgrantee will produce photo documentation for each property for which a survey form is completed. The documentation will be composed of and maintained by the Subgrantee in the following manner. All photo documentation will meet the digital standards described below. Digital photography is preferred.
      • Digital Images
        • .JPEG or .JPG file format.
        • Pixel array (referred to as pixel depth or pixel dimension) of at least 1200x1600.
        • Resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per inch).
        • RGB color mode.
        • File names should correspond to property address.
        • Record all photographs on CD-R or DVD-R disks.
        • Label discs with survey information: county, city, survey project name. If the label is handwritten, disk and cases should be labeled with archival quality markers NOT with permanent markers. If it is not handwritten, it should be a direct print.
        • All prints will be three by five or four by six (3” x 5” or 4” X 6”). Archival quality printing is not required.
        • All prints should be labeled. The preferred method is hand labeled with pencil or archival-quality marker. It is acceptable to use adhesive labels.
        • All prints will be placed in new appropriately labeled envelopes placed within the folder of the property it documents.
      • Maps
        Maps will be prepared to document the findings of the survey and will be incorporated into the project report. The maps must be of professional quality, drawn by a draftsperson or cartographer or generated by computer, and they must be highly legible. Maps must be reproducible by standard black and white photocopiers. If maps are produced using ArcGIS, the .shp files must be submitted as well. The maps will, at a minimum, provide the following information:
        • The boundaries of the survey area.
        • The boundaries of eligible historic districts and the contributing/noncontributing status of each property within each proposed historic district. Coding of the contributing/noncontributing status must use a method that can be reproduced in black and white photocopies.
        • A map showing the location of properties that are individually eligible for listing in the National Register.
      • GPS
        All surveyed properties will have a GPS coordinate recorded with Longitude and Latitude in decimal degrees. If a complex is surveyed, a GPS boundary will be recorded.
      • Project Report
        Following completion of the survey, the Subgrantee will prepare a written report.
        • The report will address the following topics and be organized as follows: 1) Abstract of report; 2) Introduction; 3) Research design; 4) Project objectives; 5) Area surveyed, including maps; 6) Methodology, including the intensity of coverage and the kinds of properties looked for; 7) Results; 8) Kinds of historic properties present in the surveyed area; 9) Specific properties identified and the techniques of information collection; 10) A list of the individual properties that warrant further research to determine National Register eligibility; 11) A thumbnail sketch of each individual property that warrants further research to determine National Register eligibility and the justification for that evaluation; 12) Historic Context (see below); 11) An annotated bibliography of reference materials necessary for assessing the significance of properties or districts within the study area; 12) A concise, definitive summary; and, 13) Acknowledgement of Support (language can be found at http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/consultant/subgrantees.pdf [Chapter 7, page 73]).
        • The report will be written in accordance with A Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press.
        • The maps prepared as part of the study will be submitted in the report.
        • A draft copy of the completed report will be submitted for a thirty day review. This draft will be complete in all respects and will be edited prior to submission for grammar, punctuation, and clarity. The OK/SHPO will review the draft report and provide to the Subgrantee a written critique, including a list of changes required in the final report. Following receipt of OK/SHPO comments, the Subgrantee will have thirty (30) days to incorporate the comments and then submit four unbound copies of the final report.
        • The OK/SHPO reserves the right to refuse the final report if it is not of sufficient clarity and completeness.
      • Historic Context
        A narrative history of the development of the survey area, set within the context of the development of the region, shall be prepared as part of the Project Report. The historic context should be sufficiently complete to make possible an evaluation of the significance of proposed historic districts and individual properties. The historic context should be coordinated with the themes established in the "Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office Comprehensive Historic Preservation Planning Process and Historic Context Development," in consultation with the OK/SHPO. The narrative should be brief (no longer than twenty-five pages nor less than five pages) and should provide the following information:
        • the chronological limits of the study area,
        • the appropriate historical themes expressed within the study area and the relationship of those themes to the history of Oklahoma,
        • the appropriate National Register Criteria for Evaluation related to the study area,
        • the general physical characteristics of all property types in the study area within each contextual theme, and
        • any deficiencies in the data discovered in the development of the context.
      • Computer Data
        The Subgrantee will provide two copies of all survey data organized in the following manner:
        • All data will be placed on new CD or DVD disks.
        • All data disks will be labeled as to content and capacity occupied, using archival quality direct print or markers.
        • All data will be produced in the OK/SHPO's Microsoft Access database. The database and instructions are available from the OK/SHPO upon request.
        • All data will be entered in ALL CAPITALS and will be entered in the order specified for filing the survey forms.
    Updated 8/16/2021