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A Model for Identifying and Evaluating the Historic Significance of Post-World War II Commercial Properties


Post war commercial structures and areas, in particular, shopping centers, banks, gas stations,, restaurants and car dealerships were typically placed along major thoroughfares. Though some have experienced updating renovations, many retain characteristics that clearly identify them as a product of the rapid commercial expansion that occurred in the 1950s-1970s. As these properties are typically adjacent and frequently impacted by highway projects such as roundabout installation and highway widening projects, creating an historic context and model to identify and evaluate these properties for National Register of Historic Places eligibility would be extremely helpful in compliance with Section 106 and streamlining the identification and evaluation process.


The objective of this study is to produce a companion piece to NCHRP Report 723: "A Model for Identifying and Evaluating the Historic Significance of Post-World War II Housing". NCHRP Report 723 is among the most downloaded and used research publications state DOTs, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), consultants, and other transportation and historic preservation stakeholders. A companion publication on commercial properties will fill a significant knowledge gap.


As the pace of transportation facility upgrades in the form of widening, installation of roundabouts and new highways and bridge replacements increase, the impact to post war commercial properties will result. A guide on the identification and evaluation of would be extremely helpful in providing the necessary context and information to more quickly conduct Section 106 review and consultation.

Related Research:

NCHRP Report 723: "A Model for Identifying and Evaluating the Historic Significance of Post-World War II Housing"


To be determined.


The results of this work will have high implementation value to state DOTs, federal and state regulatory agencies, SHPOs, consultants, and other parties with a role in the Section 106 process. The exponentially increasing quantities of properties at least 50 years of age (the window for Section 106 consideration) makes this an urgent need.

Sponsoring Committee:ADC50, Historic and Archeological Preservation in Transportation
Research Period:24 - 36 months
RNS Developer:Carey Cox, Louisiana Department of Transportation
Date Posted:07/14/2017
Date Modified:07/27/2017
Index Terms:Property values, Historic preservation, National Register of Historic Places, World War, 1939-1945, Highway planning, Commercial strips, Commercial real estate,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Planning and Forecasting

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