Historic Preservation Program

About the Program

The Historic Preservation Program (PDF) is a joint effort of Nicollet County and the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to honor property owners who maintain the historical character of their building, area, structure, land, district, or object. The purpose of the program is to:

  • Foster pride in the legacy of beauty and achievements of the past.
  • Promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through the recognition, enhancement, and perpetuation of sites and areas of historical and cultural significance.
  • Promote the use of sites and areas of historic and cultural significance as places for education, pleasure, and welfare of the people of the county.
  • Protect and enhance the county's attractions to tourists and visitors and the support and stimulus to business thereby provided.
  • Safeguard the county's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage by encouraging the preservation of sites of historic and cultural significance.
  • Stabilize and improve values.
  • Strengthen the economy of the county.

Property Owners

As the owner of a historic building, area, structure, lands, district, area, or object, you can apply to be part of the Historic Preservation Program, which recognizes historic buildings, areas, structures, land, districts, or objects in the unincorporated areas of Nicollet County. To receive a historic preservation designation for a building, area, structure, land, district, or object, it must be located in the unincorporated area of Nicollet County, have good historical integrity, embody the characteristics of the county, and have a familiar visual feature of the county.

Participation in the program is entirely voluntary and a property owner can withdraw from the program at any time. There is no cost to submit the application; applicants are required to record the designation at the County Recorder's Office. If your home is accepted into the program, it does not involve any additional county regulations, such as building restrictions.

Your Participation Means Countywide Recognition

This is your opportunity to be recognized for your efforts of continuing the history of Nicollet County at the local level. The National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, maintains the official list of historic places as authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Those places named to the list have completed an extensive and lengthy application process. The list contains places that have made a significant contribution to the pattern of the United States of America (USA), are associated with the lives of significant persons of the USAs past, embody the distinctive characteristics of a building style, and contain information important in history or prehistory.

Although, generally many of the properties in Nicollet County will not be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, they need to be recognized as an important part of the history of Nicollet County. According to the Nicollet County Historical Society Website, "Nicollet County has been a gateway and a gathering place for thousands of years. The county continues to be an important crossroads today with growing cities, important businesses, and industry, recent immigrants, and productive agriculture".

How to Participate

This honorary program is just one way to show your pride in owning a piece of history in Nicollet County. There are no economic benefits; however, you will receive a certificate to recognize your participation in the program. To participate in the Historic Preservation Program, please complete the Designation Application (PDF) and submit it to the address listed on the application.

You will be notified of the HPC meeting date when your application will be reviewed. If your application is approved, you may be asked to provide a detailed history of your building, area, structure, land, district, or object to help develop a historical description to appear on the county website. If your application is approved, you will be sent a Certificate of Historic Appropriateness (PDF).