Just What Does It Mean to be Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The Blennerhassett Hotel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The National Register is the country’s official list of buildings, sites, structures and places that are significant in history. The National Register was established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Each state has a State Historic Preservation Office that works with the public and the National Park Service to nominate properties to the National Register.
In order to be listed in the National Register, a property must meet one of the following criteria:
A. Associated with a significant historical event; or
B. Associated with the life of a significant persons in our past; or
C. Be a significant example of a type of construction, material or architectural design style; or
D. Yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or prehistory.
The Blennerhassett Hotel was certainly a perfect candidate to be part of the National Register. It is significant under Criterion A for its association with the history and commerce of Parkersburg, and under Criterion C for its architectural design. A building only needs to meet one of the Criteria to be listed. A neighborhood or other collection of buildings can be nominated together as an historic district.
Many historic buildings in downtown Parkersburg were also listed in 1982 as a group. If you’d like to read more about the Blennerhassett Hotel and other downtown buildings, the National Register forms for Parkersburg and the entire state of West Virginia are available online.
Anyone can nominate a property for the National Register of Historic Places, but it takes a lot of research and preparation! You must be able to clearly explain and document the history of the property and why it is important on a local, state or national level. The National Park Service offers some great resources if you are interested in learning more. If you are interested in nominating a property, try to collect all the information you can on its history, take lots of pictures, and get in touch with the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office for advice and guidance.
Many people think that being listed in the National Register means that restrictions are placed on the owner. This is a myth! The National Register is an honorary designation and private property owners retain the right to do what they wish with their property using private funds.
The Blennerhassett Hotel is proud to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and takes preservation very seriously. We strive to honor our past and the historic elements of our building while also providing modern amenities. Come stay with us and experience the National Register of Historic Places firsthand!