The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, set up the Federal-State partnership program in historic preservation. It requires that each State maintain a qualified State Review Board as the advisory body to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). The SHPO is the state official appointed by the Governor to oversee and implement the State's preservation policies in accordance with Federal standards. Delaware's SHPO is Timothy A. Slavin, the Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. He is responsible for the day-to-day operating decisions as well as long range planning for the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office, and the State Review Board provides guidance regarding the overall direction of the program.
Board members must have competence, interest, or knowledge in historic preservation. The majority, but not all, of the members must meet minimum professional requirements and represent certain professional disciplines in history, archaeology, and architecture. Members must be able to carry out their duties objectively, so there are strict rules of conduct to avoid conflict of interest.
The State Review Board has two main functions:
- The Board evaluates the historic significance of properties objectively, by hearing all Delaware nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Places. The Board then votes on whether a property meets the criteria for listing. Only after it approves a nomination can that nomination be sent to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C., who makes the final decision to list it or not.
- The Board provides professional advice on historic preservation matters. The Board determines priorities for long-range planning for historic preservation in Delaware, decides what groups will receive grants from the annual federal Historic Preservation Fund monies awarded to Delaware, and discusses and comments on important historic preservation issues in the State.
For a complete listing of the Delaware State Review Board members, click here.